In the corporate world, employees leaving a job are asked to sit through an "exit interview" with HR about their time at the company. Although that concept doesn't exist for Broadway performers, we think it's fun to check in with stars as they finish up a successful run. Patina Miller
will say goodbye to the Pippin
circus on March 30, when she completes her Tony-winning run as the Leading Player. As she leaves the big top for The Hunger Games
, Miller looks back on her “fulfilling, strenuous and happy” year in the circus-inspired musical extravaganza.
Job You’re Leaving:
Leading Player in Pippin
How did you feel when you first got the job?
It felt amazing! Having just left Sister Act
, I didn’t know what I would be doing next and I was trying to adjust to life without eight shows a week. Finding out that I had gotten this role shortly after was so exciting, and I just remember being so giddy and pumped to get started.
How do you feel now that you’re leaving?
Leaving is always bittersweet. I am so proud of what we've done in bringing this classic back in such an inventive way. These people have become my family and I’ve enjoyed every single moment on and offstage with them. I will miss them and cherish every moment we've had. It definitely feels strange, I won’t lie!!!! LOL.
What are three words you would use to describe your experience at the job?
Fulfilling, strenuous, happy!
What was the easiest thing about the job?
Falling in love with my character and my fellow actors! It really is a special group, I can’t really explain it, but we gelled in the first few moments of working together.
What was the hardest thing?
The hardest part for me in the beginning was figuring out how this world operated and what we were trying to say with this piece. And, obviously, learning how we all vibed onstage—how the Fosse and circus worked together.
What was the highlight of your time at this job?
Hearing the nightly gasps when the curtain dropped to reveal the cast during “Magic To Do!” Also, I mean, I keep mentioning my cast but they were a huge highlight for me during this time. I so enjoyed doing this show nightly with them. What I love is how connected and invested each and every one was and have been each night for over a year! Everyone works so hard and it’s nice to be in a company with people who work just as hard as you do.
What skills do you think are required for future job applicants?
Hmmm… Fast learner, someone who isn’t afraid to do anything, someone who's bendy and has a good set of hips, and most importantly someone who gives it everything they got!!
What advice would you give to future employees in your job position?
Make sure they find time to rest (something I haven’t been able to do for a year...LOL...but I think it’s important). The job ain’t easy, but that's what makes this part so exciting, because you constantly get to work every night on making it better and better. My last piece of advice is that they allow themselves to really go on a journey and not be afraid to connect with those beautiful audiences we have each night!
How do you think you’ve grown during your time at this job?
I've grown so much, oh my god! The beauty with this piece is that I get to try again each night. I've just been tapping into my character’s essence, who she really is, ya know? What makes her so passionate and so committed to getting Pippin to take the journey. I've been layering on from the beginning and I've grown as a performer and as a person. I will miss Daniella Jamille so, so very much!
Why are you leaving?
I'm leaving because I’ve had the most amazing year and a half! This show has opened up a lot of doors for me and I’m really excited to explore the next phase of my career. I'm filming The Hunger Games
up until my wedding and I am in the midst of filming a pilot as well. A lot of dreams are coming true!
What will you miss most about the job?
I will miss the work! I will miss Fosse—I loved getting the opportunity to dance in a show, especially Fosse. I'm completely in love with my cast and crew at the Music Box and I will miss all of our silliness before the top of the show and just the fellowship of the company. Awww man, it’s going to be a sad week! Whew! Thank you, Broadway.com, for being so amazing and supportive to me during what will go down as one of the best times of my life! Also, I will miss those wonderful fans that have been supporting us since we started. We wouldn’t be here without them!