It’s a long way from the wintery, cold city of Minneapolis to the sun-drenched winter waters of Key West, but actor Annie Miner made the trip while chasing a dream of living on a boat.
“My background is in entertainment, concert promotion, marketing,” Annie said from aboard her 35-foot Marine Trader trawler slipped at Key West Bight. “I always had a dream of living on a boat and when I lost my mother to cancer, I took some time to think about life and knew there was more to it than I was experiencing.”
When she moved to Marathon years ago she found a slip and a job as a tour guide on Pigeon Key. With a little free time on her hands, she decided to attend an open audition at the local theater. She got a part and the acting bug bit her.
Somewhere along the line, she heard that the theater in Key West paid actors.
“It’s not a lot of money, but when you live on a boat, every little bit helps,” she said. “I came to check it out, found this marina and while walking the dock, ran into some of the live-aboards. When I realized there was a slip available, I went to the dock master and grabbed it.”
She motored down from Marathon and hasn’t left.
“I was here, and I had a part in a play at the Waterfront Theater, I was in the cast of ‘The New Century,’ in 2011,” she said. “And got a bigger role at the Red Barn Theater in ‘God of Carnage,’ in March of 2012. Both those plays won Tony Awards in New York.”
Her only early attempt at theater was in junior high school.
“I didn’t get the part,” she said. “I never even thought of acting again until I saw the audition ad in Marathon. I guess I love to talk and the audition said it was a reading, so I gave it a try and am glad I did.”
It’s a far cry from where she was 15 years ago when she “ran away to Hollywood, Florida.” She stayed with a former boss and worked part-time at a small charter boat company. While learning all she could about the boating and live-aboard world working at the charter business, Annie also did her research on living on a trawler by crewing on boats being delivered to Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Originally, she thought she would continue to live on the mainland and cruise back and forth to the Bahamas.
“But cruising is expensive and after a while I returned and needed to work. Someone at the marina said Marathon had inexpensive slips and there was work,” she said.
Why a trawler? “I didn’t think I could single-hand a sailboat,” she said. “I wanted to cruise and knew I’d be doing a lot of it alone, so a trawler with engines made sense to me.”
Plus, there’s room for her shipmate Bob the Barker.
“He barks at everyone, so the liveaboards call him The Barker, then they give him a treat.”
Miners said she feels lucky to have the marina community and a supportive theater and arts community in Key West that support her.
Miners is featured in the Red Barn’s “Bingo! The Winning Musical” opening Dec. 17 and running through Jan. 18, 2014.