It was Sunday, January 13th, and the cast of Oliver! had a 5 hour rehearsal ahead of them. Yet Myles Moore took time out of his busy morning to sit with me in the Greenville Theatre lobby before this extensive rehearsal to chat about anything and everything I ask: from his role in this production of Oliver!; the first show he ever saw when he was 8 years old; his big break on the television show Nashville; even his recent birthday surprise of a Golden Retriever puppy - here's the inside scoop on the most reliable and perhaps most important member of Fagin’s gang: Myles Moore as the Artful Dodger.
After getting the “Hello” formalities out of the way and discussing just how cold the weather has gotten this January we jumped right into it, beginning with how he got his start in theatre when he was 8 years old.
“A friend of mine, his parents went to see a production of Willy Wonka. During the performance, my friend’s father apparently leaned over to his wife and said ‘You know, Myles could totally do that.’” Moore said. So Myles’s family went and saw the show for themselves and that was the start of it.
“I fell in love with it! I mean it was kids on stage; I had never seen that before." Moore added. After enrolling in some classes and summer camps, Moore was officially hooked. He auditioned for a local production of Charlotte's Web and was surprised to be handed the lead role of Wilbur. Soon after performing in a handful of local productions, something major happened for Moore.
His agent had been sending him out for all sorts of jobs and roles both local and regional and an amazing offer was soon sent his way- the opportunity to be on the national tour of A Christmas Story. He was originally brought on to be the understudy to the role of Ralphie and play some various ensemble roles. But, soon into the process he found out he was, in fact, to be playing the role of Ralphie full-time. Plus this opportunity wasn’t just for one tour; the chance to continue for a second tour came Moore’s way and he gladly accepted. This time around Myles was a little old for the full-time role of Ralphie, so he was given the opportunity he was originally supposed to have on the first national tour. He was Ralphie’s understudy and an ensemble member, getting to play such iconic characters like the ‘Goggles Kid’ waiting in line to see Santa. “I got to pee on Santa’s lap and tap dance- two things I didn’t have the chance to do when I was the full-time Ralphie.” Moore also commented how he really grew as an actor having worked in both a lead role and in the ensemble,
“You can’t have a show with just the leads, it wouldn’t make any sense. Some of the most fun things to do are in the ensemble.” Moore said.
In between each of these tours, Moore had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the 2017 Sony produced movie All Saints staring John Corbett. He played Corbett’s son in the movie, watching his father give his heart and soul to revitalizing a church in both faith and community.
Due to the nature of this transient business, Myles found it hard to have a normal public schooling experience. After the movie and second tour opportunity came along, Moore knew something had to change.
“Since I was going to be missing almost an entire semester we decided I would do homeschooling for one year. That way I could stay with my grade level but not have to keep up with my class in SC long distance." Moore said.
Before long, another amazing opportunity was presented to Moore, the chance to be on the television show Nashville. It was quite the whirlwind for him.
“As soon as I found out I got the role, we were on the road two hours later.” Moore said. From 2017-2018, Moore was in 10 episodes, playing the character of Jake Maitland. Myles says of his experience,
“Everyone, from the crew to the cast, they were wonderful. I think they could tell that I was a little nervous coming in. They made it so great.” He said. Chip Esten especially made a lasting impression on Moore, making him feel very welcome and equal on set despite the difference in age and career accomplishments.
Having had the opportunity to work on film, TV, and stage. I was curious about Moore’s learning experiences on all of these performance platforms and which he found he preferred himself.
“With theatre you have to project and be a lot more expressive so even the people in the very back of the house can see and hear you and know what you are doing the entire time. On film, they have the ability to zoom in and you don’t need to be as loud since they are filming so close. Plus, if you make a mistake on stage you have to fix that ASAP. If you make a mistake on film they can call ‘Cut’ and you can just redo it. And…it’s kind of fun to have to fix your mistakes on stage,” Moore said. Thus the verdict is that he prefers the stage out of the three mediums.
“There is something about that, about being in front of people and hearing their reactions in real time. You can tell that they are enjoying the show, and it’s just so much fun.” Moore said. We know from Moore's previous work here at the Greenville Theatre what a true love of the stage he has. In 2014, he was Gavroch in Les Miserables; in 2016, he was Michael Banks in Mary Poppins; and he was also a part of our "Celebrating 90 Years" performance, where he sang a song titled ‘Consider Yourself,’ performed by a character named the Artful Dodger from a musical called Oliver!.
We have come full circle with this song for Myles Moore.
“This is a big show for me. Obviously it’s been a dream role for years, so I’m so honored to finally have a chance to play this role. I get out of school and am just so excited to go to rehearsal. Every show I have seen at the theatre has been amazing and I have a feeling this will be one show they can’t top,” Moore said. He even spent some time talking to me about his excitement to work with Resident Company Actor, Carter Allen.
“Fagin and Dodger have such a unique relationship. I am playing his right hand man, someone he really trusts and will listen to, more than any of the other kids in his gang.” Moore said.
Even though rehearsals have just begun, many of the cast members can’t wait to get an audience in the seats. Moore commented, “I am most looking forward to ‘Consider Yourself’ not only because this song means so much to me, but because it is such a big dance number, it’s going to be so cool for the audience to watch. I also can’t wait for them to react to the kids. They are working so hard and carry this show and I can’t wait for the audience to see their hard work. Honestly, just all of it. It’s fantastic!” To finish it all off I asked Myles to describe Oliver! in one word for our audience and he provided us with “spectacular.” We have no doubt that it will be!
For many performers, life is more than their work in the theatre or behind the camera. I asked Myles to share a little about how he spends his time when not performing and what he sees for himself in the future.
“I want to do some more local theatre. Having just turned 16, I am excited to have the chance to work on some older characters and see what’s next up for me in all aspects of theatre. I want to enjoy my teenage years while I have them, and not grow up resenting missing so much. My friends mean so much to me and I really can’t wait for them to be able to see me in this part and this show.” Moore said. Continuing to look into the future, Moore isn’t sure if he will go to school yet for theatre but he knows that he would certainly love the opportunity to do another national tour if it ever arose. As we continued to talk I learned of his love for comedian John Mulaney and his obsession with superheroes, particularly Spiderman, which was evident by the awesome Spiderman designs on his socks and shoes. In addition, he likes to unwind by playing video games, rollerskating, avoiding bees and spiders outside, and spending time with his new golden retriever puppy (named Peter in ode for his love of Spiderman, of course).
Myles started his time here at the Greenville Theatre in Les Miserables playing, as he so enjoyably called it, “a street rat with a Cockney accent” and he certainly isn’t done yet. Be sure to catch Myles Moore as the Artful Dodger, the coolest “street rat with a Cockney accent," this side of the Upstate.
This is just the first of our Oliver! interview series: 'Getting To Know Fagin's Gang,' Stay tuned so see who we get to know better next. Tickets will also be on sale to the public on February 11th for Oliver! so be sure to mark your calendars and we will see you at the theatre!