Members' News | The Arts

From Framlingham to New York

From Framlingham to New York

Millie Gibbons (BH04-13) is taking New York by storm as a professional actress, a career that was born from a passion for performing in school productions.

Born in Bury St Edmunds, Millie attended FCPS between 2004 and 2013, where she developed a love for performing arts.

Growing up in Suffolk, I always loved the outdoors, and I knew an office job wasn’t going to cut it for me”, Millie explains. “I felt that an acting career opened more doors – it’s allowed me to travel across the US and listen to the stories and experiences of people all around the world. An acting career and being part of this powerful industry is so rewarding – sharing stories that need to be told, as well as bringing joy and understanding to people of all ages and all cultural backgrounds.”

Millie moved to New York at the age of 19 and trained for three years at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Graduating in 2022, she landed two prominent roles in her first year, staring in JSL Studios featured film ‘Back to the Present’ and landing the leading role in short film ‘Lemon’.

We’ve just wrapped filming on Back to the Present”, says Millie. “It was the most incredible experience, spending three months on set living out of a suitcase we filmed at the Mescal Movie set in Arizona, as well as scenes shot in Utah, Florida, and New York. Growing up horse riding in Suffolk, I was even able to do my own stunts during the wild west scene.

“I was also lucky enough to land a leading role in William French’s upcoming festival short film Lemon, where I played the role of Hazel. We filmed in New Cuyama, Northern California, a small town that has only 500 inhabitants. Surrounded by vast mountains, it was an adventure, and such a learning curve for me. I got to meet new people and learn about their culture which I would’ve never have been able to do had it not been for this role.”

She sights her pre-teen years in school productions as the driving force of her acting career, with the creativity, self-expression, and freedom that they offered helping her to develop confidence and carve a pathway into adulthood.

“In 2010, I was in the school’s production of ‘Toad,’ directed by Adrian Shoeburl. I played the role of Ratty and I remember having so much fun with my friends learning lines, dressing up in our costumes – we still laugh about it now. A photo of me with a huge smile on my face still hangs on the wall.

“My final and pinnacle production at FCPS was when I played the role of Tallulah in ‘Bugsy Malone’. I sung a solo for the first time and I vividly remember the moment I finished my last big note – I could hear the roar of the audience cheering. I was so nervous going out there, I never thought of myself as a singer, but focusing on telling the story through the singing kept me grounded, and I felt so at home on the stage.

“The school productions taught me above all to be myself. It was a space that enabled us all to express ourselves as creatively and freely as we wanted. There can be so much pressure on young people to get top grades these days, that having that freedom to explore parts of yourself you didn’t know existed is so exhilarating. I grew in confidence, I discovered this creative side of me, I learnt how important team work is, as well as pride in your performance, the responsibility of learning your lines, problem solving and improvising if something goes wrong, being there to support and cheer on others – there are so many life skills you acquire on stage that you can learn from and continue with off stage and into adult life.”

Looking ahead, life in front of the camera isn’t slowing down for Millie, with another film lined up to start shooting in April, as well as working alongside Producer Bobby Moresco (known for Academy Award Winning ‘Million Dollar Baby’ and ‘Crash’).

“A career in acting requires commitment. It is not the easiest career path, but it’s certainly the most fun. If you’re interested in pursuing acting, next step would be to look into drama schools, get some professional training so you can fully equip yourself for the road ahead”, says Millie.

“My acting teacher always told me ‘learn your lines so that they’re in your bones’ – if you know your cue’s and your lines, then you can focus on having fun with your fellow cast or classmates. Being nervous is normal, every actor gets pre-stage nerves. Don’t worry about the audience, they are there to support you, and if you mess up, don’t panic, take your time.

“But above all, don’t give up. If you love to perform and it’s a lifelong dream of yours, then do it. We are all unique in our own way, we each have something new and different to offer that is valuable and exciting in an industry like acting.”

Click here to see a previous news story about her move to New York.

Pictured below are : Millie in Back To The Present, Lemon and performing during her Prep School production


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