Kellis Actor Captivates School and Community Audiences

Tyrel Milam greets audience after

Michele Sefton

Tyrel Milam greets audience after "All Shook Up" performance.

Nevaeh Williams, Arts and Life Reporter

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Being a student actor is what many would consider a wonderful and special job—tasked with portraying a variety of colorful characters, many actors and actresses take pride in their ability to bring joy, laughter, and tears to their respective audiences. Tyrel Milam, a senior and student actor at Kellis, is one such person.

Milam began acting during his freshmen year, though he didn’t really start taking a genuine interest until he became a junior. He explains how much he enjoyed meeting and bonding with new people—particularly the cast members—and how the “joy and satisfaction” brought to the audience was largely what drove him to become an actor.

But such a job doesn’t come without challenges. Milam describes having to occasionally deal with anxiety when “soloing” on stage, and a tedious schedule to boot (namely in the form of some very early mornings and even longer nights). Despite this, being a student actor is quite an enjoyable experience for him—in fact, one of his favorite performance roles was one of the brothers—Asher—in Josephine. The reason being that it was what initially got him into Community Theater.

Milam continues to perform in Community Theater, most recently in a production of All Shook Up, a musical produced at Theater Works, which is located in the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts. All Shook Up is a musical comedy that incorporates Elvis Presley’s songs and is loosely based on Shakespeare’s play, Twelfth Night. Milam was primarily an ensemble member, helping create the environment of the play, moving equipment backstage, and filling in wherever he was needed. Rehearsal took place Tuesdays through Saturdays, totaling roughly sixteen hours a week.

Abby Zumpf, a senior at Kellis who witnessed Milam’s performance, had this to say: “Tyrel’s performance in All Shook Up was exciting to watch. His enthusiasm for the theatre is one that I wish I had for anything. Tyrel didn’t just walk on stage—he jumped. He didn’t simply get our attention—he demanded it. All in all, he’s a captivating actor and I can see him in movies already.”

One actor Milam draws inspiration from is Zachary Levi, an American actor and singer who played Chuck Bartowski in the series Chuck and appeared in films such as Tangled, Thor: The Dark World, and Thor: Ragnarok.

When asked where he sees himself in the future, Milam stated, “in New York I’d hope—preferably on Broadway.” He recognizes that he has many people helping him work towards achieving his goal, and would like to thank Mrs. Triveline and his community theater friends (“you know who you are”) for encouraging him to go above and beyond.

Milam’s closing remarks included supporting the arts, and reminding people to enjoy themselves and pursue a career they’re truly passionate about.