Hockaday Model Isn’t Just a Pretty Face

(Photo Illustration: Elizabeth Ygartua)
(Photo Illustration: Elizabeth Ygartua)

Evan Miller has always been a naturally driven performer.

She learned piano at age 3, joined her church choir at 6, and taught herself guitar at 12. The Hockaday junior recently added modeling and poetry to her resume.

So Miller wasn’t afraid of the spotlight when she landed her first big modeling gig when she was just 14 at New York Fashion Week.

She got a call that 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target was interested in having her model for their “Stylescape” ad in 2013. She never auditioned; they requested her specifically.

“It was one of my very first jobs,” said Miller, who stumbled upon the finished product on social media. “And I didn’t know how big of a deal it was. I didn’t know it was going to be a billboard.”

Miller plans on continuing to model through Page Parkes Model Agency for the time being, but her heart is devoted to music. Her father, Jimmy Miller, is a local music producer and passed on his love of music to his daughter.

“I’ve always spent time with him in the studio since I was a baby, so music and making music has always been an integral part of my life,” Miller said.

She wrote and recorded five original songs for an EP titled “Heiress” that debuted in January 2014. Her father helped facilitate the melodies but the rest was left to Miller.

“She pretty much figured it out herself,” Jimmy said. “She knew what she wanted, how she wanted it, and when she wanted it.”

The music and lyrics came naturally, but it proved more difficult to market herself without a major label behind her. Miller used music-sharing company Tunecore in conjunction with marketing to YouTube and Twitter followers. In the first week on Amazon and iTunes, she sold between 200 and 300 EPs.

“She’s modest, but they’re all over the world,” said her mother, Evelyn Miller, an executive for a local marketing services company. “She gets the business side from me and the music side from her dad.”

Miller’s music is being played in Australia, Korea, Finland, and throughout South America, in addition to the United States.

“The finished product was so exciting,” she said. “I would sit and listen to the songs and think, ‘Oh my gosh, I did this.’”

Outside of being a musician and model, Miller is involved with school activities such as concert choir, show choir, and drama. She was a finalist at the Texas State Poetry Out Loud competition in 2015, and is on the student diversity board.

Looking ahead, Miller isn’t much different than her classmates at Hockaday — she spent her spring break looking at potential colleges. Her short list is comprised of schools that would allow her to combine entrepreneurship with music.

“My goal is to start the foundation to build a global brand,” she said.

Jimmy said his daughter’s success is attributed to her focus and capitalizing on her natural gifts.

“If anyone wants to know what it looks like when someone takes all of their God-given talents and puts them together,” he said, “just pull up Evan’s picture.”

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