…I would inspire people to have a radical revolution of human empathy. In this technological world, we have started to lack basic human compassion. We need to encourage a society that has more of this quality so that we can all have a deeper understanding of one another.
I had the pleasure to interview Amelia DeMilo. Amelia is a New York City actress and singer, now living in Los Angeles. She has sung the National Anthem and God Bless America at CitiField, Shea Stadium, and the FedExForum. Amelia can also be heard singing on the soundtrack for the Les Misérables film directed by Tom Hooper and worked with Kristin Chenoweth as a back-up singer during her tour in 2016. Her newest project is playing Stella, the activist fighting for a positive change in the world in the musical movie Drama Drama (2019).
Thank you so much for joining us Amelia. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I grew up in a small town on Long Island, New York.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
Throughout my childhood, I had multiple surgeries (about 14) addressing the detrimental effects of a bone cyst in my arm. As a result, I was pulled out of all physical activities as a kid, like sports. I always loved singing before I could even walk, but having these surgeries encouraged me to go down a more artistic path. Since I was not able to play sports with my friends, my mom encouraged me to start doing community theatre as a way for me socialize while I was healing. It made me so happy to have this outlet. Music and theatre became one of my greatest escapes. It later turned into one of my biggest passions in life. I feel incredibly blessed for my health and that all the operations turned out well. I met so many children in the hospital during my years there; some of them have not been as lucky and me with their different situations. I feel it is my passion in life to give back.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
I think moving to LA was an interesting culture shock!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Never wear tight jeans to an audition, because they might ask you dance & you will feel uncomfortable! I always wear comfortable clothes now.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I’m currently writing original music; working on releasing my first EP. I also recently played Stella in Drama Drama, a musical dramedy about five high school girls who become an overnight pop girl group success. My character was super chill and an activist for making the world a better place.
I’m very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
Diversity in film is so important. To have more diversity in film creates a more inclusive society of acceptance and understanding. There are so many different people in the world with different stories and backgrounds. The more we can have representation in film, the more inclusive and understanding our world will become.
From your personal experience, can you recommend three things the community/society/the industry can do help address some of the diversity issues in the entertainment business?
Represent and support people of color. Represent and support people with disabilities. Represent and support women. Listen to their stories. Be an advocate. Educate yourself on the value of representation.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1. Always be yourself! It’s so cliché, but you have to trust your instincts and not let other people tell you who to be.
2. Always do your best. Always show up 100% ready to give it your all.
3. Be kind to yourself! It’s important to work hard, but also important to priorities self-care. It’s easy to overwork when you have a dream, but it’s also integral to take of yourself.
4. Always be gracious when faced with conflict. As Michelle Obama brilliantly has said, “When they go low, we go high!”
5. Know that this is not easy — it takes a strong work ethic & thick skin. So be brave & stay strong!
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Meditate. Know your soul’s purpose & have a strong spiritual grounding. It’s so crucial that you know who you are.
If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I would inspire people to have a radical revolution of human empathy. In this technological world, we have started to lack basic human compassion. We need to encourage a society that has more of this quality so that we can all have a deeper understanding of one another.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My mom. She helped me through everything — all my surgeries, all my growing pains. She was one of the first people to sit with me at the piano and teach me music. I’m so grateful for her presence in my life.
One of my favorite quotes is by Maya Angelou — “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This is such a valuable quote. People truly will never forget how you made them feel, so make them feel safe, welcome, understood, and comfortable. Be kind & genuine always.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have a private b lunch with, and why?
I would love to have a private lunch with Lady Gaga. She is my ultimate idol and inspiration.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
I’m on Instagram @ameliademilo.