Spring 2016

Bill Miller

Giving Back

Bill Miller, who joined the DGA in 1996 as a PA, is the kind of guy who likes to stay busy—very busy.

"When I was living in New York [he’s since moved to New Jersey with his family], people knew they could call me at 4:30 in the morning and I’d be able to fill in," he says with a good laugh.

"I got the chance to be a regular stage manager on Good Morning America when they went to weekends, while I was doing Nightlineand other ABC shows during the week."

Miller currently rotates among The Chew (which will celebrate its 1,000th show this spring), GMA on the weekends, and the always challenging New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. "I became Dick Clark’s stage manager in 2001 and then became Jenny [McCarthy]’s stage manager after that," he notes.

The main portion of Rockin’ Eve is shot live in Times Square, and "there’s only so much you can script given how much we interact with the crowd," Miller says. "The elements are the biggest issues."

The stage manager has to be hyper-aware of the environment and potential hazards, and nowhere more so than on The Chew, where chefs and celebrities are vulnerable to culinary hazards such as knives, hot oil, and grease. "The DGA crew is so tightknit and on the ball, there’s never any incidents," he says. "It’s the friendliest set I’ve ever been on, and a rarity for television in that there are no egos or competition."

Miller’s nature to lend a hand has extended beyond the set to serving his guild. He was a member of the Eastern AD/SM/PA Council for eight years and been on two network negotiating committees working for better Guild contracts. "I’m one of the few members here that does both entertainment and news," he explains. "So I feel like I bring something unique to the table [for network news contracts]."

After eight years, Miller was required to take a year off from the Council, but plans to run again this summer. "It’s so important that members speak up when they see a problem [on sets], and my work with the Council is really an extension of that," he says. "It can be difficult [to attend meetings] when you work in early morning television. But considering how much this Guild has given me, it’s the very least I can do."

(Photo: Marcie Revens)

At Work With

Short profiles of Guild members in all categories sharing their experiences at work.

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