LAKEVIEW — At an audition for the second season of the TV show “Boss,” Kallie Miller stood before a row of casting directors and delivered a single word.
“Patty,” Miller said shyly, just as if her character had been asked her name for the first time.
Clearing that hurdle, the directors next handed her lines from a sex scene. She nailed it.
Miller landed the part of an intern who has an illicit affair with the married state treasurer and mayoral hopeful, Ben Zajac, played by Jeff Hephner. She had two minutes to read the script for the first sexual encounter between Patty and Zajac before auditioning with it.
“It’s almost better that way,” said Miller of the cold read. “You’re in the moment, responding to the moment. You’re there.”
The next day, the bubbly blue-eyed actress and Lakeview resident was cast as “Patty the Intern.”
Dawn Gray, president of Gray Talent Group, the agency that represents Miller, said Miller’s recurring role on Boss is “certainly a big deal” and should open other doors.
“A lot of this business is a Catch-22,” Gray said. “Casting directors don’t want to hire you without credits, but if you don’t have credits, they won’t hire you. She’ll still have to go out and be brilliant in auditions, but at least this will give them a reason to look.”
Miller stands 5 feet 4 inches tall with thick light-brown hair and a light-up-the-room personality.
A New Orleans native, Miller has spent more than a decade learning the ins and outs of the acting business, and about half of that time in the Windy City.
Miller said she grew up singing, dancing and “all that jazz,” but it wasn’t until she landed a role in her performing arts high school’s production of "The Music Man" that she felt she’d found her life’s passion.
“I was just a lonely chorus lady,” Miller said, laughing. “But when I gave my grand bow, I just got the bug.”
The acting bug stuck with Miller from high school productions to college productions at Roosevelt University, a yearlong traveling tour with "Sesame Street," and her stint on "Boss."
Miller now has her plate filled with two upper-level workshops at Second City, and she recently completed a role in the Mayne Stage’s "Rocky Horror Picture Show."
“I want my hands in every single pot,” Miller said. “It can kind of be overwhelming at times, and I’ll think, ‘Well, maybe I should focus on one thing,’ but why? I want to do it all.”
Rachael Mason, one of Miller’s coaches at Second City, said Miller is the kind of actor who can do it all and be successful — whether it’s on stage, on screen or even cabaret.
“She is smart and beautiful and has some killer pipes,” Mason said. “This girl can write her own ticket.”
At the moment, Miller said she’s pleased to be working in her field and toward her dream, but she’s not ready to give up her day job waitressing yet.
“It’s a passion without a paycheck,” Miller said. “It’s the thing I love, so one day!”