Student Spotlight: Miles Barrett ('17)

Published on Jan 27, 2015

By Sheila Headspeth (‘15)

Acting major Miles Barrett (’17) didn’t start out with a love for theatre. He decided to become an actor after an injury his freshman year of high school that forced him to miss the upcoming basketball season. Looking for a new extracurricular, he then followed the advice of his sister, a theatre major, and auditioned for his high school’s musical.

“I auditioned reluctantly and I ended up making it,” Barrett explains. “I was forced to make a really big decision because I loved the feeling of performing on stage. It was like an adrenaline rush. The family and community that [theater] forms is unlike any sports team that I’ve ever been on. I didn’t have any other options and [acting] just seemed right.”

Since he’s been at Columbia, Barrett has numerous professional acting experiences under his belt. He completed his first internship at Profiles Theatre where he helped build sets, assisted with wardrobe changes, and helped patrons.

He also had his first professional audition last October and although he didn’t get the role he auditioned for, the same director called him back with something else in mind— a cast member for Vieux Carré at the Raven Theatre this past summer.

Despite his professional acting experience, Barrett credits Columbia for teaching him the basics--his favorite classes at Columbia are Improvisational Techniques 1 with Brian Posen and Acting 1: Scene Study with Scott Olson.

“In both of those classes the constant has been that every single second I feel like I’m learning something,” he says. “Even if I’m not performing, when I’m watching others perform or when I’m listening, I feel like I have such an investment into these classes.”

After graduation, Barrett hopes to get an agent and stay in Chicago where he’s established his roots and continue auditioning for roles.

“Acting is a job and it’s the hardest job in the world,” Barrett says. “You have to work on yourself and expose yourself for your weaknesses and work on them every single day. I don’t feel like people understand that that’s what we do.”

Check out Miles’ portfolio on his Talent Pool!