STL native and Broadway performer Spencer Davis Milford is today’s Five Question Friday Feature!!!
Spencer grew up in Webster Groves and has been performing professionally since the age of 11. Some of his recent credits include Peter and the Starcatcher at The Rep, 42nd Street at The Muny, and John and Jen at Insight. Spencer will turn 21 very soon and currently lives in New York City.
Q: What was your first experience in theatre?
A: When I was five years old my mom asked me if I wanted to audition for “Little Shop of Horrors” at Shrewsbury Young People’s Theatre (which was right up the street from our house). I loved to sing around the house and in the Christmas shows at church so naturally my mom thought musical theater was the next step for me. But I thought the show was called “Little Shop of Horses” so I said, “No mom I don’t want to be in a play about horses!” And she responded with, “Spencer it’s not about horses it’s about a man-eating plant!” I auditioned and got the role of the first customer. My line was, “Excuse me, but I couldn’t help but notice that strange and interesting plant in the window!”
Q: What is the best piece of career advice anyone has ever given you?
A: My good friend/teacher/mentor, Lara Teeter, has given me many words of wisdom since the time I started taking tap with him at 12 years old. But the thing I will always remember is when he told me that I don’t have to follow what others have done to “make it” in this business. Everyone has their own recipe for how to be “successful.” It’s not so much about what school you go to or who you take class from, it’s about making sure that you’re constantly growing as a performer. Take any class that sparks an interest in you. Find out what makes YOU different from everyone else and use it to your advantage.
Q: Tell us about a backstage or onstage mishap you lived through.
A: Three years ago I made my Broadway debut playing “Ronnie Winslow” in an old English play by Sir Terence Rattigan called The Winslow Boy. We were two months into the run and I was getting dressed for my last scene of Act I which was this big interrogation scene. I shared a dressing room with my understudy who had turned off the monitor to the show so he could watch something on Netflix. I’m sitting there listening to the stand up comedy he’s watching when I hear some terrifying words come from the monitor in the hallway: “RONNIE TO THE STAGE PLEASE RONNIE TO THE STAGE”
My heart sank. I sprinted all the way down to the stage from my dressing room on the fifth floor. I was jumping five or six stairs at a time. Finally, I ran onto the stage and Roger Rees who was playing my father turns to me and says, “Ronnie where have you been?” I replied with, “I’m sorry father I was having a wash” then the scene began as if nothing had happened. Moral of the story: ALWAYS leave your monitor on in the dressing room.
Q: What is your dream role?
A: Boone in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
Q: What is your current guilty TV Pleasure?
A: RuPaul’s Drag Race. Yes I’m not ashamed to say it.
Thank you Spencer- great answers!!
Check back next Friday for another interview with a STL performer or technician- don’t miss this one!!
Grace Austin is a STL area director and educator.
See her work at gracemaustin.com.