Nicole Miller, Brenau Scholar

Brenau Scholar Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller’s favorite words of wisdom come from acclaimed author Kurt Vonnegut Jr.: “Be soft, do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”

This reflects much of how Miller, a theater major with a concentration in musical theater and a minor in history and political science, felt growing up in rural Douglasville, Georgia. Miller didn’t like the social environment, but rather than focusing on what she didn’t like, she searched for something that spoke to her. She found it performing on stage.

“I always wanted to perform as a kid,” she says. “I would take any opportunity to get up in front of everyone and perform. I started doing plays and musicals when I was 8 years old. In third grade, I auditioned for Cindy Lou Who in the school production of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I memorized all of the monologues and all the parts I could find, since I didn’t know how an audition would go. When I showed up, they gave me a script and I said, ‘I don’t need it.’”

Miller attended Woodstock High School, where she was introduced to a new interest: history. She was interested in historical and political writing, and her AP history teachers made her think twice about pursuing theater. But, in spite of problems with some of the other theater students and teachers, she began to realize how badly she wanted to do theater.

Naturally, the Gainesville Theatre Alliance drew her to Brenau, but it was when she visited the campus during Winter Weekend that she was convinced, choosing Brenau over the University of North Georgia. “When I got to meet everyone at Brenau and meet the community, that made up my mind,” she says.

One of Miller’s favorite things about Brenau’s theatre program is that she can design her own major. She’s looking forward to taking playwriting and directing and is choosing courses to get the full scope of what opportunities are available in theater. She’s already getting involved, running tech for all the GTA productions during the fall semester.

It isn’t all theater and academics for Miller, though. She has joined Young Democrats, the Identity Club and the Art Club and is a member of Alpha Chi Omega. She is also looking forward to volunteering at Gateway Domestic Violence Center through her sorority, since some of her favorite volunteering activities during high school were helping at domestic violence shelters. She’s even thinking about starting new clubs at Brenau, in particular an environmental conservation club.

Someday she wants to move to New York and “join the troupe of other starving artists.” Her dream role is Judy Turner in A Chorus Line, and she’s already set the goal to audition for the 50th anniversary revival of the show on Broadway in 2025. She has also considered going to graduate school later on to teach theater or do more with a history major.

For Miller being a Brenau Scholar is “a good opportunity to represent a school that I love. I want to be someone who can be there for the students and help them if they’re struggling with classes. I am honored to have the opportunity to do that.”

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