Michael James

Michael James

Michael has taught for more than ten years at the college level and has more than forty years of professional entertainment experience.  He began his theatrical career at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, starting out as an ensemble dancer.  Each season he moved up the ranks to become assistant choreographer and lead performer while continuing to also perform in the chorus.  By his fifth season he was assistant director.  More theatrical work fell in place along the way.  Throughout his career Michael has appeared in and/or choreographed such classic musicals as West Side Story, The Music Man, Paint Your Wagon, The King & I, Irma La Douce, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Cabaret, Desert Song, Brigadoon, 1776, Guys and Dolls, Bye Bye Birdie, Irene, Shenandoah, Anything Goes, The Golden Apple, Finian’s Rainbow, No, No Nanette, Oliver, Once Upon a Mattress, Pal Joey, Company, The Boyfriend, Oklahoma, Funny Girl, The Rocky Horror Show, Godspell, Annie, and Smokey Joe’s Cafe.

 All of his theatrical work provided the catalyst for numerous television appearances eventually taking him to primetime access as the co-host/producer of a nightly entertainment program called PM Magazine for which he won an Emmy.  He also performed for five years on the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives, as well as hosting specials for PBS and Fox television along with annual telethons such as Weekend with the Stars for United Cerebral Palsy and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  He also created original programming for television including an annual music special for the Spanish-language network Telemundo.

He eventually segued into the field of celebrity and high-profile personality management.  Among his clients were Broadway veterans Sheryl Lee Ralph and the late Anita Morris, as well as music artists Captain and Tennille and international superstar Julio Iglesias.  As a director/producer, Michael has worked on more than 1,100 television and video episodes.  As a choreographer/director/producer, he has worked on more than 100 live theatrical events both dramatic and musical including many original productions.  Among his favorite productions have been Rabbit Hole, Copenhagen, On Golden Pond, A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking and Clue: The Musical.

Michael earned his M.F.A. in Theatre Arts/Directing from Minnesota State University, Mankato.  He is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and is currently on honorable withdrawal from SAG/AFTRA and AEA.  Locally he has appeared in productions at Circle Theatre in Fort Worth, Theatre Arlington and the Trinity Shakespeare Festival.  He has also directed projects for Stage West and Jubilee Theatre.