Left to right:
Scott Miller, Leslie Ann Giles,
Stephen Seay and Darlene Parker.
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Tarradiddle Players -
Meet The Company
Tarradiddle Players, the Resident Touring Company of Children's Theatre, spreads the joy of live theatre across the Southeast. In addition to appearances on CTC stages, this four-person troupe travels from Virginia to South Carolina performing in schools, community centers and towns big and small for audiences who might otherwise never see a live play. Tarradiddle Players has performed for over one million children during its 40 years!
Here the 2012-13 cast members introduce themselves and talk their first theatrical experiences.
Leslie Ann Giles
“My very first play was when I was 11 years old. I told my parents I wanted to be an actress when I grew up and they enrolled me in a community theatre summer camp. We were putting on a show called "Clowns" and I knew the part I wanted. Sadly, they had already given the part to another little girl, but they still needed another girl for a singing role. The only thing they said was they were looking for someone who could be LOUD. I put my mind to it, and when I got up to the piano I sang as loud as I possibly could. That determination and confidence got me the part! I had never sung in public before, so even my family was surprised at this big voice coming from this tiny little girl. I will never forget that show, or the lessons I learned: don’t let people telling you no stop you from your dreams, keep auditioning even if the role you wanted is already gone (there may be another one you would love but aren’t giving the chance!), know the power of voice and value of self, and of course…love what you do!!!” Leslie is originally from Anderson, SC and is a Winthrop University alum.
Scott A. Miller
When I was four years old, my family moved to a different town, and I was enrolled in a new pre-school. After a few days, my mom was picking me up and one of the pre-school teachers told her that I had barely spoken to anyone—kid or grown-up—since I had been there. My mom said something to the effect of, “that’s weird, at home, I can’t get him to stop talking,” and she asked the teacher to please keep her posted. Another week or so passed and the teacher told my mom I still wasn’t talking. My parents understandably were getting worried. Then, the next day, when my mom came to pick me up, the teacher—all smiles—walked up and told my mom that I had stood up in front of the entire class that day and sang “Somewhere Out There” from An American Tail (you know, the “Fievel movie”). I sang the whole thing. Both parts—it’s a duet. After that, just like at home, I wouldn’t stop talking. I think that was the day I decided I would become an actor; I just wouldn’t know it for another ten years or so. And I hope that at least one kid who sees a Tarradiddle show is inspired afterwards to do something crazy like sing a song in front of their classmates just because they like how it sounds.
So much of my play growing up was dressing up, acting or singing. One of my favorite experiences was playing around at home with my big sister, Phyllis. I was around 11 or 12. We used to record little songs, commercials, fake news reports, whatever we imagined. Mom graciously let us use her cassette player. Called "Crazy Tapes" we spent hours on scripting and sound design. We even made a Cujo-like horror movie trailer featuring the family dog. The dog made great harmless growls playing tug of war. Turning on the recorder, I ran in place in a pile of leaves and screamed while my sister played with the dog. We ran in the house and recorded the voice over giving the movie title time and date. When we replayed the trailer it sounded so cool!!!!! Even though it was a game took the work seriously. I now know I am having a good day when I feel like I did playing with Phyllis. I wasn't too long out of college when I first worked for Children's Theatre and Tarradiddle. Many years later I still love what I do. Each new season is a new set of opportunities and challenges. I find that exciting. Our job is so much fun but it is also hard work. It is always worth the sweat to see the expressions in the audience.
My first play wasn't until my high school production of "Oklahoma!". I had done skits and sang in choirs all my life, but I never took to the stage for a full production until the drama teacher came to my choir and asked if anyone was interested in being an extra. My part was very small, but I fell in love with theatre. The next year, my first audition was for "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown!" and I was cast as Snoopy ... which gave me my first solos. After that, I was hooked. I knew I had found a place where I could be special just by doing the things I loved to do anyway. I love being an actor because it challenges you to do new things and learn new talents. If you want to learn to tap dance - do it. If you want to learn to play the guitar - do it! You might not be the best at everything you try, but you'll never know what you can do if you sit at home playing video games all the time (which I LOVE to do). While I was in college, I found this fortune cookie that said, "You cannot love life until you live the life you love." That's my motto and I try to keep that in mind with anything I do.