Call Answered: Mark Arthur Miller: "SOUL SEARCHING" at The Triad Theater NYC
Mark Arthur Miller is the son of legendary Motown composer, Ron Miller, whose hits filled the ‘60s and ‘70s. “For Once In My Life,” “Touch Me In The Morning,” and “Heaven Help Us All” are just a few of Ron’s songs.
Mark is bringing his show SOUL SEARCHING to NYC for the very first time. This show is a true-life tale of a white boy who grew up on the south side of Chicago, only to discover his estranged father has written some of Motown's greatest hits. Through powerful performances of Ron Miller’s music, along with more beloved songs of the era plus original material from Mark Arthur Miller, we witness the redemptive power of music and how it reunited a family.
SOUL SEARCHING will play at The Triad Theater in NYC, (158 West 72nd Street) for one night only! Thursday, October 17 at 9:30pm. Click here for tickets!
1. This October your show SOUL SEARCHING is making its NYC debut at The Triad Theater. What are you looking forward to most about this concert? Well, first of all it’s pretty exciting just to be doing the show in NYC! Also I'll be doing the show to a room filled (hopefully) with mostly people who've never seen the show, which is always a rush, also scary as hell! But that’s part of why we do it right?
2. How long did it take you to create this show - from idea to inception? I have a close friend who said I had the idea for the album and the show over 40 years ago, but I think little germs of the concept started to slip into other cabaret shows I was doing about 20 years ago. I've probably spent the last 10 defining and redefining it. I think I always knew I'd tell this story. I think it is unique and universal at the same time.
3. Which song did you know right away just had to be in the show? The first was definitely "For Once in My Life,” and my personal favorite, and one of my dad’s favorites, “Heaven Help Us All,” had to be in the show. I also knew that there had to be a song about where and how I grew up so Peter Smith and I wrote "87th and King."
This is hard to answer because so many songs have made up the soundtrack to this particular story of my life. It was tough to narrow down my dad's great songs and the Motown songbook that accompanied me through many milestones.
4. SOUL SEARCHING is a true-life tale of a white boy who grew up on the south side of Chicago, only to discover his estranged father has written some of Motown's greatest hits. What was the hardest part of writing this show? The hardest part by far was what to leave out, that’s why there have been so many drafts throughout the years. I think I always felt that the show is a full musical or a movie, so fitting it into a reasonable cabaret show timeframe was always difficult. Emotionally, writing the show was very therapeutic. (I can say that now).
5. What can you tell us about the moment you reconnected with your dad? We met him at the airport in Chicago. My mom was with my sister who was hiding behind a wall because she was so nervous! He was walking down a ramp and I walked up to meet him. As I got closer he had that look like he was looking in a mirror, I definitely look like my father's son. I walked right up to him and gave him a big hug, and he hugged me back. I was 16 years old and I hadn't seen him in 10 years! If I tell you more I'll give too much away.
6. What did you discover about yourself from creating this show? I discovered that I could write. My father always wanted me to, but I didn't until this album and this show. After he'd passed.
7. What is it like to sing your dad's music? What do you think about as you perform it? For a long time I couldn't get through some of his songs, it was just too emotional, especially after he passed. Now I find a lot of joy in it. Singing his lyrics always gets to me. Its like he wrote about things in the way that I feel them. And his words keep me closer to him.
8. What is something you learned about your dad that most people wouldn't know? On the outside my dad was an extrovert but on the inside he was private and shy. Maybe that's not so unique but I'm just glad I got to know both sides.
9. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing SOUL SEARCHING? I think it’s about redemption, love, and the power of music. My dad wasn't always there for me, but I have found a way to understand and forgive, and enjoy my legacy in a way I might not have, had I chosen to hold on to any resentments. I am lucky to have been Ron Miller's son for better AND for worse. I hope the audience comes away with the inspiration that a less than perfect situation can also have meaning and beauty and love. A lot of people have come up to meet after the show and shared that they had the same relationship with their dad. That can't be totally true. But the shared piece is the struggle AND the love and I hope everyone can find healing in that. I know I have.
10. Let's end this interviewing with playing on the song "For Once in My Life." Finish this sentence...."For once in my life, I...” Am bringing my show to NYC!!! (Finally! But not the last time!)
More on Mark:
Mark Arthur Miller is an actor-singer/songwriter whose career path was first influenced by athletics and acting. After college, where he played both basketball and tennis, Mark competed on national tennis tours as a professionally ranked player, and at the same time began an acting career, sending his coaches into fits over his dual lifestyle.
Mark focused on acting when he moved back to Chicago from Los Angeles at age 21. He co-founded Reflections Theatre Ensemble there, and then went to New York where he performed in numerous theatrical productions before returning to Los Angeles, where he co-founded The Road Theater Company. In LA, in addition to theater he is active in television and films. Music, however, has the front seat. Once Ron Miller realized his son’s singing talent, he would often have Mark sing demos of his songs. Mark began performing in such popular venues as Rockwell Table and Stage, Catalina Jazz, The Federal and The Cinegrill, where Ron Miller was often in the audience until his death in 2007.
Mark released SOUL SEARCHING in 2018. The recording has found its way onto playlists on radio all over the world. Naturally it features some Ron Miller hits, as well as originals by Mark Arthur Miller and other classic Motown songs.