Or, maybe I do. I first “met” Morgan James on youtube about two years ago, sort of by accident. I was in a Joni Mitchell sort of mood (even us boys get there every once in a while), watching some videos, and ran across Morgan’s version of “Help Me.” Find it at (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skOTu-EYL8g), in case you’re interested. Then, it was all over. I became a fan. But know her?
Maybe I do. Early in her childhood Morgan learned to sing. Her goal, at some point in her early life, was to go to Juilliard. After being placed on a waitlist, then rejected, she decided that giving up her dream was not a satisfactory option. After what Wikipedia calls, “significant correspondence with the head of admissions,” she was admitted, sort of as an extra. Promise, followed by rejection, followed by perseverance, followed by success. Surely I, and you probably too, have traveled that road before. Then of course, it’s all easy sailing, right? Not so much. Part of the rise from yesterday to today guarantees setbacks along the way, re-charting the course, committing yet again to our strengths and the goal. I imagine Morgan has been through that sequence often. We’ve all been there, done that. I know I have. But sharing that common experience doesn’t mean I know Morgan James.
But maybe I do. Everyone has strengths. The issue with most of us is that we spend too much time trying to improve our weaknesses, rather than doubling down on what makes us excellent. Morgan James can sing, LORD, can she sing. Her range is incredible, her sound is crisp yet so, so, soulful. Her ability to communicate through the gift of voice is absolutely incredible. Beyond that, Morgan James has a gift to give you a little insight into the struggle for her/our dreams, for excellence, during most every song. It’s that “transparency” that makes the Morgan James experience so personal. Ninety minutes is not nearly enough to really know someone, is it?
Maybe it is. My wife Linda and I got to meet Morgan James in person after her show at a nicely executed meet and greet. She was sweet, kind, interested, not only with us, but with everyone she met. Unlike many “stars,” Morgan seemed, in that moment, as accessible in person as she did when singing her soul for us. She is, believe me, a woman on the rise. She is, also, the epitome of my idea of success: strengths fully focused, obstacles faced, grateful and grounded in her version of real life.
We all, I believe, strive to be better. Many strive to be the best. The road to that place is never easy. I’d like to think that every time I am given the opportunity to meet someone on that same path to excellence it is both a privilege and a blessing. It was a fabulous night with Morgan James, a strong, awesome, woman on the rise. It was great to get to know her, even if I truly don’t. BUT….
Maybe I do.
YOU can get to know Morgan James too. https://www.youtube.com/user/morganjamesonline