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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Where Are They Now? America's Got Talent - Frank Miles

Frank Miles preparing to fire his crossbow on AGT.
Season 6 for America's Got Talent ended last week. Since I've started contributing to, the editor and I decided during the off-season to dig up past performers and do profiles and what they are doing now. In our first Where Are They Now? We get a look at the long career of America's Got Talent contestant - Frank Miles.

Most people don't understand that the better acts on America's Got Talent have been performing for years and years. America's Got Talent was an opportunity for Frank Miles, but it hasn't been the destination.

Frank Miles, who was incorrectly categorized as a danger act, has really made his living as a comedic juggler. When he was 16, Miles said, "I was social phobic. I was so full of fear. I didn't want to spend my life alone. Then, I stumbled upon juggling. Juggling gave me a way to connect with people. If I could connect, I wouldn't be alone and I would have to face my fears." So, Miles became a street performer in San Francisco at age 16.

Over the last 35 years, Miles has performed professionally as a juggler, a stand-up comic and a motivational speaker for corporate events - intertwining his comedic and juggle skills wherever they fit.

Besides working on the stage as a stand-up comic, he spent 10 years in Las Vegas juggling as part of the Folies Bergére on The Strip. He's also spent nearly a decade at sea, working cruise ships.

A few routines in his repertoire dealt with his wn fears and overcoming them. A corporate booking agent said, "If you could do more of that, I'd hire you." So, Miles put together a show and was booked to work at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in early 2000.

On the night of the show, he was wandering around the MGM looking for a Grand Garden ballroom, thinking he was performing in one of the many banquet rooms on the property. When he asked, "Where is the Grand Garden ballroom," the gentleman laughed and said, "You mean the Grand Garden Arena."

Miles walked into the Grand Garden Arena where he was booked to perform. There were 13,000 people there. This was his first corporate gig. He worked for an hour and 15 minutes and has never looked back.

One of the other hilarious stories Frank told me was when he was booked to do stand-up at a Mexican restaurant and the owner handed him a wireless microphone and told him to go out and tell jokes in the middle of the tables in the dining room. Standup comedy is not always fun.

What was even more fascinating were the stories he conveyed to me regarding his appearances on America's Got Talent. What he had been doing in his corporate shows was not really suited to AGT. So, he wrote and produced three routines specifically for AGT. When you saw Frank Miles on stage, all three of those routines were being performed in front of an audience for the very first time - all three world premiers.

His most dramatic performance, which is even more dramatic, once I fill you in on what went on behind the scenes, was when he had a series of crossbows lined up to shoot a jelly donut on top of his head.

A few weeks before the quarterfinals, he contracted adult chicken pox, which caused him to lose 15 lbx. He was so weak, he had to swap his week three performance with singer Lys Agnés. Just prior to the week four performance, backstage he was lifting something and tore his right bicep. He could shoot his crossbow from either hand, even though he had practiced with his right. When he went on stage, he was in tremendous pain. As he placed the donut on top of his head, it was supposed to line up with some markers he had on the target, but it slipped and he couldn't raise his right arm to adjust it. He thought it was close enough.

As it turned out, the arrow grazed the donut, blowing the trick. Piers said, "Great trick. But it didn't work."

Miles didn't make it to the next round.

In the end, he said his experience on America's Got Talent was exciting and fun. Plus, he got to produce three routines that he world premiered on the show. That takes courage. But after 35 years in the business, Frank Miles has not only conquered his fears, he's gone on to teach others how to do the same through his corporate shows.

So if you wonder Where Are They Now? America's Got Talent contestant Frank Miles is probably working at a corporate event, using his well honed crowd and juggling skills to change people's lives - freeing audiences from the same fears that nearly stopped him 35 years ago.

For booking information, see his website:

Frank Miles on Twitter

For more on AGT, see

Photo by NBC/AGT

Related article:
Landau Eugene Murpy Jr. Wins America's Got Talent - Wednesday, September 14, 2011
- Final episode of Season 6. Includes links to previous episodes, Twitter links and more.

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