Center stage in the Performing Arts Center, artist Tim Miller entertained a crowd of around 100 people on Sept. 30 with a mix of performance and lecture. With his unique performance method, Miller caught the attention of his audience, discussing a wide range of topics. From gay marriage to the AIDS movement; he even included a witty remark about Kim Davis.
Mixing the use of lecture and performance, his pieces discuss his struggles as a gay man and working towards a better world with his art. Humor and sincerity are how he communicates his struggles and joys.
For professor Felip Costaglioli, professor of aesthetics and international cinema, the best part was “The weaving of the performance moments and lecture moments because it is important to me as a performer and educator to weave practice and theory.”
After introducing himself on stage, Miller transitioned into an act about his childhood and a specific moment that helped to form who he was. From there he moved onto a lecture about how he started performing, his life, and the work he has done in the LGBT community.
“I was touched by the way he very simply but honestly weaves autobiography elements into the performance,” said Costaglioli. “The simplicity and immediacy of the act of performance, performance as an act of communication.”
Audience member Em Hirschey said that, “He should come back. He has been through a lot and I feel if he were a life coach he would do really well. He has a lot to offer.”
The performance and lecture at the very end was used to explain the trials that he and others had to face to get married. Krystopher Dailey said, “My favorite was the last one where he got really emotional. I actually started crying.” Infused with raw emotion, Miller talked about how for over 20 years he has been in a relationship, and only for the last two has he been married due to the marriage laws in the United States.
At the end of the sets of lecture and performance, Miller opened up a Q & A time. Students and faculty asked a variety of questions including what they could do to get more involved with the sort of performance that Miller does.
During this time, he was asked why he first started performing. In response Miller said, “Meeting guys probably. No actually, I had the desire to do work that matters. I started to have a feeling that if I didn’t write the pieces they wouldn’t be what I wanted to perform.”
During the reception after the show, Miller met and talked with the audience, signing books and talking about his life and encouraging those talking to him. There were also different refreshments served while people waited to buy one of his two books for sale.
There is a week long workshop dealing with vocal empowerment this week that Miller is instructing.“Most people would rather be seen than erased.” says Miller. On Friday, there will be a show put on to demonstrate the work and progress of the workshop.
After the close of the workshop, Miller plans to head to Dallas TX for another performance and workshop with students there. He performs and teaches as a way to improve the world. Miller said, “I have enormous faith that performance can make the world better.”