Featured Artist: Jane Miller

Featured Artist: Jane Miller

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This is a series of posts featuring our artists who are making things happen in and around our great borough of Queens.  Please check back weekly for new posts.

Jane Miller  (photo by Joanna Wylomanska)
Jane Miller (photo by Joanna Wylomanska)

Playwright and Screenwriter. Copywriter for a non-profit during the day.

Which Queens neighborhood do you live in and for how long?
I live on the Sunnyside/Woodside border and I’ve been here for about nine months. So, I’m a relative newbie. But I love it!

How did you get involved in theater?
When I was 16, I joined a youth theater group on East 4th Street called Downtown Art. I acted in lots of plays and made some great friends, including Laura Pestronk, a Mission to Ditmars member.  I loved the community that we all created. Eventually I realized I was too introverted for acting and much too self-conscious, but I loved creating a story. That’s how I ended up becoming a writer.

What do you love most about Queens?
I feel a real sense of perseverance in Queens. As in, people are always working to get ahead in the world and improve their lives, and I really like that energy. When I think about what Queens symbolizes, I always think of John Guare’s play “The House of Blue Leaves,” which  is a lot about striving for something in your life. I also believe it takes place in Sunnyside.

Do you have an “only in Queens” moment you’d like to share?
This is not a single moment so much as a collection of Saturday morning memories on the 7 train. When I was in high school, my parents sent me to a hagwon, a Korean “cram” school in Flushing. I would spend a few hours every weekend preparing for standardized tests. There were a whole bunch of these schools in Flushing and they always felt very exclusive to Queens. Maybe that goes back to the “getting ahead” kind of energy and spirit in Queens.

Your top Queens picks (food, entertainment, sights, etc)?

The cutest coffee shop in all of Sunnyside/Woodside. They have amazing rainbow cookies and a great chili/beer special. They also have a $15 “wine down” after work special, which is a bottle for just $15, http://www.auberginecafe.com/

Phyzique, http://phyzique4life.com/ – an affordable, neighborhoody gym that makes me laugh because they have a “z” in their name.

Tell us a little about the play you’re developing in the Propulsion Lab?
The play I’m developing is about a young woman who is being cyberstalked. She decides to escape her life by adopting a completely new identity and leaving her friends and family behind. I’m playing around with the idea of having many lives in one life.

Current/Upcoming projects?
Heading to get my MFA in Screenwriting in the Fall at UCLA in LA! But who knows, I may be back to Queens in a few years.


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