Morgan James: The Chosen One
When you think of a musical artist what comes to mind? In most cases one would say its someone who creates music. My next question would be what does it mean to create music? Most popular artists to date have no idea what it means to create, study and understand the art we call music. Allow me to introduce to you a young musical artist I like to call
“The Chosen One.”
Former Julliard Alumni and Broadway singer, Morgan James has definitely paid her dues when it comes to honing and studying her craft. Her journey began at one of the world’s top performing art schools— Julliard. During her time there, Morgan was taught early on how to work hard and stand out in a crowd of students hoping to make it big one day.
“Julliard wasn’t comforting at all. Due to its highly competitive atmosphere, it taught me how to toughen up,” says James
After graduating from Julliard with a degree in classical music. Morgan was quickly faced with the harsh realities of someone striving to follow their dreams in New York City.
“Julliard doesn’t help you book an agent or build your book. So basically I had to go out and do it myself.”
The sheltered young woman from Northern California soon had to put the toughness she learned at Julliard to use. Morgan became engulfed in her work and committed to building her reputation as a theatre singer. The first task was learning how to audition and look for agents. The struggle continued as she also had to work, taking on numerous jobs ranging from being a babysitter to a bartender, to waitress, and caterer. She admits that the hustle and bustle of juggling a job and trying to pursue your dream can take a toll on you.
“The struggle of juggling a job and working on my career definitely weighed on my spirit more than anything. I didn’t handle that very well. I constantly felt envious and jealous of other people. I felt angry and inadequate, “ James recalls.
For anyone living in New York, staying focused on pursing your dreams, and aiming to stay about water financially can be a huge burden.. For a young musical artist, the burden can be that much more intense. Many people fail and become victim to the demands of New York City living. They’re often forced to choose between surviving and living out their life’s dream. How you deal with the many struggles can be a test of your inner will and one’s mental stability.
“I think its important for people to remember (no matter how talented they are) that not everyone is cut out for the business side of theatre and music. The people who make it, yeah they’re talented, but they’re also tenacious. They figure out how to be fearless and self accepting in a time where they may get knocked down a lot,“ says James.
The fearless attitude Morgan James had to develop helped her on her way to finally achieving one of her goals as a singer. Broadway. The blood, sweat and tears had finally paid off. After reading for multiple workshops, she was able to build her own track record, which led to her debut in “ The Addams Family”. As her time came she began to understand the miracle of divine timing.
“Before booking The Addams Family I had a lot of near misses. There were shows I thought I was going to book that I didn’t. You always think you’re ready and you want things immediate but that’s not really up for you to decide. Ultimately the universe will decide that for you. It’s when your preparation, talent and maturity meet together in a moment.”
After her role in The Addams Family”. It became easier for her to book other shows. She starred in Wonderland and most recently Motown. The learning experience never stops, no matter how much you’ve accomplished. For Morgan, some of her biggest lessons came from working on Broadway.
“The main thing I’ve learned or noticed, while working on Broadway, is no one works hard or has more stamina than the dancers and singers. After doing eight shows a week for ten years, nothing compares to working in Broadway.”
“It is truly the best training, and it is the best place to learn how to interact with other people, and be good human beings. You’re in a dressing room with so many diverse people, so you’re forced to collaborate and learn from each other.”
The lessons Morgan was taught throughout her journey has ultimately helped her in reaching her goal as a solo artist. She is currently gearing up for the release of her debut studio album on Epic records. With the album being written by Morgan, you can expect to hear a lot of songs about her personal experiences in life. Learning from some of the best writers in the industry, while also taking some influence from the music she loves, you can be sure to get a heartfelt record that just may take you on a mirrored journey of your life.
“I’ve been putting my whole self into it. I left the Motown show in December, so that I can work on the album full-time. Its been a total labor of love. I’ve been in a kind of fog lately because that’s all I can think about.”
As an artist you never stop growing. The job of an artist is to develop and become not only unique, but also relate-able. As an artist, it is important to stay grounded and focused on who you are. It is a test most people either fail or give up on. When you take the time to truly craft yourself, you become the artist you were meant to be, and then some. She is The Chosen One not because she is signed to a major label or has worked on Broadway. She is The Chosen One because she has been chosen by the universe to not only be an incredible singer or artist, but to be an incredible example of what tenacity, growth, and inner strength looks like.
“Its one thing to love to do something and it’s another thing to make it your life’s path”