For this week’s Fast Forward Friday, we interviewed actor-producer-writer Kerri Lynn Miller. She has acted in numerous New York theatre productions, independent films and as well as featured roles on TV shows such as Royal Pains, BlueBloods and Odd Mom Out. Her latest project which she starred in and produced is a short film titled Etymology. For more information about Kerri click here.
Q: What are you currently working on? Tell us about it.
I am an actor, writer, producer and mom. I am so excited that we are birthing our short film Etymology out into the world via festival submissions. Our team just started the process and we are very excited to see where Etymology finds its audience.
Q: What was the inspiration and impetus for doing this project?
Women are constantly sold unattainable and conflicting expectations about who we are supposed to be. Because of this, I believe we all struggle with some form of perfectionism. I was drawn to producing Etymology because it reveals an ugly side of perfectionism specifically related to a mother daughter relationship. It explores the roots of perfectionism and the consequences it has on ourselves and our daughters. As an actor, I was drawn to the darkness in my character Catherine.
Q: Who are your artistic heroes – who have had an impact on you and your work?
I gravitate to movies that explore perfectionism, failure and shame. I love Hillary Swank’s performance under the direction of Kimberly Peirce in Boys Don’t Cry and her performance in Million Dollar Baby. I find inspiration watching David O’ Russel’s movies, my favorite being Silver Linings Playbook. My favorite movie is Goodwill Hunting. The scene between Matt Damon and Robin Williams – “It’s not your fault” – will always touch me.
Q: What keeps you motivated and inspired as an artist?
Above all else, I love connecting with others. As an actress, I love those moments when you are so present that you get lost. As a filmmaker, I love sharing stories that make me feel vulnerable. It’s scary to be vulnerable in your work but that is where the “gold” of creativity lies and where authentic connection comes from.
Q: What other projects would you like to tell us about?
I have a feature film in development that I have been working on for four years. It’s a passion project of mine, and near and dear to my heart. I will be looking to secure investors early next year.I just wrapped a new and currently untitled series for LMN (Lifetime Movie Network). It was such a fun role to act! My director told me to watch Basic Instinct to prepare for my role. No, there wasn’t a crotch scene, but lots of seducing, betrayal and manipulation in the name of my character’s next book.
Q: What is one instance of knowing you are living in your vision?
Recently, we did a small screening of Etymology with a group of moms. At the end of the short film, we recorded their individual feedback …. I was floored. These moms were moved to tears. They saw themselves in the main character and could relate to her struggle. It was during these interviews that I felt a sense of satisfaction. I thought, “No matter what happens with this film, it was a success.” We connected with these moms in an authentic way. It was a win and as far as I am concerned, everything else is gravy.
Q: If there were no barriers to entry, what is one thing you would be doing?
There is a movement happening with women in film. Barriers are being broken as we speak. I am so proud to be a part of this time in history and I am excited by all the opportunity. If there were no barriers, I would be doing exactly what I am doing now but at a higher level.
Q: What has been big your biggest obstacle in achieving your vision?
I think there is an opportunity to inspire more female investors for film. We need to have our stories told because these stories will be the ones that shape our future generations. They will empower our young daughters of tomorrow.
Q: What do you do to stay connected to your creative self?
I am my most creative when I am in a joyful space. I create my joy through being in nature, spending time with my family, playing with my dog, journaling, dance parties in the kitchen and working out.
Q: If you could let go of something that has held you back, what would it be?
Perfectionism. I am a recovering perfectionist and I know that I have often let the judgement of others impede my progress at times. I would let go of all the times I placed pleasing someone above being truthful to myself.
Q: What is your favorite piece of art?
I am obsessed with Laurent Bahaux’s photographs of lions and elephants in Africa. My favorite shot is Criniere De Lion. It’s magical!
Q: What person do you most admire, living or dead?
Albert Einstein. He seemed to have all the laws of the universe figured out. He could give me a road map.
Q: If you could be known and celebrated for one thing, what would it be?
Living joyfully and being an uplifting presence to those I came in contact with.
Q: If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be?
Q: What is your guilty pleasure?
Without a doubt, raw cookie dough! Yummy!
Q: If you could sit down with yourself 15 years ago, what would you say?
I would say: “You’re enough.” Funny thing is, I’m still telling myself that today. I’m learning it’s a practice.
Q: Where would you most like to live?
I would like to be bi-coastal and travel the world. It’s not so much about where I live as who I am sharing my life with. I love exploring and seeing as many different parts of this world as possible.
Q: What is your idea of success?
Freedom to create stories and characters and share them at the highest level. Freedom to travel and spend time enjoying life with the people I love. Having a beautiful space to live in. Being surrounded by laughter and well-being. Feeling a sense of ease and flow in my life. Joy. I want it all.
Q: What is your idea of happiness?
Gosh, I think it’s the same thing as success. Above all else, happiness is feeling good when you wake up and feeling good when you go to sleep. Rinse, Repeat.
Q: Final Thoughts?
Nope, because I’m a work in progress, nothing is final.