It’s the 5th Day of Broadway on FFB so let’s start this off right… Stop reading and listen to THIS now. Yep, she’s out of this world right?!! And on top of that, she’s the sweetest human ever so I’m pretty jazzed to share Morgan James with y’all on the blog today! She’s a Broadway gal who has set sail into the most incredible solo career with an amazing tour coming up (deets below!) Plus, she’s rockin’ and rollin’ on the health & fitness train so soak it up, loves because Morgan is sharing gems of inspiration about living that FIT FOR BROADWAY life!
NOTE FROM MORGAN: Hi everybody! Well, if you don’t know me, I am a Juilliard grad turned broadway gypsy turned soul singer solo artist! From Idaho, to California, and now NYC. Worked about every single type of pay-the-rent job along the way, and now…Nothing I love more than making a living as a full-time artist in the greatest city in the world 🙂
Q: Morgan, I couldn’t have had more fun with you & your puppy Luther during our photoshoot! You have such an exciting year coming up but let’s start at the beginning. What was your journey to Broadway?
A: Such a fun winter day we had! Thank you for meeting up with me and chatting/shooting! I took the long way to Broadway, for sure. Haha. After Juilliard, I naively thought it would be a breeze to make it into a Broadway show…it was not! Took me many years to find my voice, my niche, and the right timing and skills. After some time doing regional theatre and workshops, I booked the original company of The Addams Family. Thankfully three more original Broadway companies followed for me! (Wonderland, Godspell and Motown the Musical)
Q: You’re now gearing up for an amazing tour and original album… what was the transition like from musicals to writing your own music?
A: I didn’t know that this was my calling, or part of my path! Song writing and my solo career kind of found me. My mentor, Berry Gordy, Jr. really encouraged me to write songs and find my voice, and he got me my record deal with Epic Records in 2012. My first studio album, Hunter, has many of my original songs on it. Touring and singing my own music is an absolute thrill; every night I am meeting new fans, and telling my own stories, fulfilling MY vision. It’s my heart and soul, for sure.
UPCOMING: Jesus Christ Superstar in concert
Q: How have health and fitness been intertwined through your journey on Broadway and as a solo artist?
A: Well, NOTHING is more demanding than a Broadway show schedule! Everything I know about the stamina, work ethic, and resilience I learned from being on Broadway (and being surrounded by that community). And every show has its own demands and challenges. Godspell, for instance, took a huge toll on the cast physically, and we had to be in such good shape to even get through it. I was lifting several times a week and taking in double the calories I take in now!
For my solo touring, it’s a bit different: I’m in a different city every day, and your workouts have to be creative! (Like hauling luggage and gear!) I love to ride my bike (with Luther in the basket, obviously), and lift weights a couple times a week.
Q: Best advice you’ve ever received about this industry?
A: There is enough for everyone. There is not a finite amount of money, success, jobs, chances, shots… only YOU are on YOUR own path.
Q: What’s your advice for handling the ups and downs?
A: Keep your eyes on the prize; it’s a LOOOOOONG game. Haha! And keep good people around you: they will get you through the triumphant days and celebrate, but most importantly, they will be what gets you through the low, bleak days.
Q: You mentioned your transition to a plant based diet.. how has it impacted your health?
A: Three years ago I stopped eating meat, and I think that has contributed to more optimal skin, weight and balance. I truly think my body runs so much better now. I don’t miss it! (Which is surprising from an Idaho girl who used to eat meat and potatoes every single day!!)
Q: Top 3 tips for vocal health?
A: Water. sleep. study/practice (i.e.: you don’t suddenly wake up one day and never need a lesson again)
Q: So many performers tour throughout their careers. What’s your advice for maintaining a healthy lifestyle on the road?
A: So hard to stay healthy on the road! The flights, buses, close quarters, late nights. Tons of water and sleep are essential. Oregano oil and menuka honey are my homeopathic weapons!! I never leave the house without them.
Q: Any holistic practices that help maintain mind, body, & spirit balance?
A: I actually need someone to give me advice in this area!! Someone want to fill this in for me?? My husband makes me laugh every single day, and that is a huge part of staying balanced 😉
Oooo Meditation, Morgan! 🙂 It’s become a part of my health journey and there are so many apps that make it accessible. Even guided meditations on Youtube! Also, love the app Headspace. And if you’re looking for an EXPERIENCE in NYC, I just tried Inscape today actually and it’s a wonderfully immersive meditation experience conveniently located in Flatiron with drop in class options! And their intro pack is $18 #deal! -J. xx
Q: What’s your advice for aspiring performers who have their sites set on Broadway? Advice for performers who are transitioning to a solo career and writing their own music?
A: It’s very hard when we look at other people’s paths, and other peoples journeys and compare them to our own. We try to emulate someone else’s journey, in order to achieve what they have achieved, but there is a huge part of the journey we never see: we don’t see all their work, hardship, trials, luck and personal traits that lead to their success. We can never just copy the steps of someone else in order to make it to their destination. So…there is NO magic bullet, no magic answer for finding success in finding your path.
The only thing you can do is work very, very hard, be patient, be humble, be fearless, be courageous, be kind–find YOUR voice, and not someone else’s. And don’t forget the joy. Don’t forget why you wanted to do it in the first place! Xoxo, MJ
Instagram: @morganajames | FB: MorganJamesOnline