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New York, NY
USA

The Ensemblist is an inside look at the experience of being a Broadway performer- from the first rehearsal through performing eight shows a week and beyond. Whether you’re an experienced theatre professional or a passionate fan, The Ensemblist will give you the opportunity to get to know new performers and the great work they do onstage, while also shedding light on some of the hidden innerworkings of the Broadway experience. Created and hosted by Mo Brady (The Addams Family, SMASH) and Nikka Graff Lanzarone (Chicago, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), The Ensemblist is the only podcast that shows you Broadway from the inside out. 

Blog

An Ensemblist on the Rise

Mo Brady

by James Spencer Dean

To be a consistently working ensemblist takes an abundance of talent, hard work, dedication and kindness. You have to be someone that people WANT to work with. Sophie Lee Morris is one of those people.

 Sophie Lee Morris

Sophie Lee Morris

“I love being part of an ensemble. For me, the greatest aspect of the theatre as an art form is that it is collaborative. If done well, every actor depends on each other for their performance to succeed. Whether a principal or an ensemblist, we need each other.”

Some people are afraid of being “stuck” in the ensemble. However, if it is taken as an opportunity to grow, one can challenge their endurance and storytelling abilities. Sophie agrees in that “being in the ensemble allows so much freedom to play. More times than not, I get to put my character together for myself, creating in a way that principals may not be allowed to because there are less boundaries set by the creators for us. I used to be so afraid of this process of creation and craved such boundaries. But as I continue to work in the ensemble, I've started to find the freedom. Being a member of the ensemble has helped me grow as an artist.”

After nearly five years of marriage, Sophie admits “it definitely has an effect on the work that I am willing to take. My husband and I decided when we first moved to the city that a cruise wasn't in the cards for us due to the length of contracts and how hard it is to communicate while on board. However, touring was not off-limits, and I am currently on my second national tour, though I do think that both of us would like me home for a little bit now!”

 Sophie Lee Morris

Sophie Lee Morris

When asked about goals for the future, Sophie admits “I would love the opportunity to build a show from the ground up. It would be a great honor to get to collaborate with a director and/or choreographer in this way, and I certainly hope to get the chance!”

Sophie passed on a little wisdom about her experience balancing jobs on top of auditioning. “When I am in New York in between contracts, I struggle (like most performers!) to find work that is flexible enough to allow me to audition the way I need to. I've had up to four part-time jobs at a time, but thankfully, I learned on my first tour to save, save, save so that when I am in between contracts, I don't have to work but one job at a time. What a treat!”

Whether the chance to work as an actor is an incredible blessing, constantly leaving the city can be very hard. “I do think it is time for me to spend a season in the city. Once I close Chicago, I will have been on the road for nearly two years. I think if I'd like to get into television the way I crave to, I have to stay put for a bit and make my name for myself among those casting offices. This is certainly true, too, for theatre. As most people desire, I would love to make it to Broadway!”

“To me, being an ensemblist means joy. It's exactly where I love and hope to be. I don't need the spotlight or the fans waiting outside for me, I just need the opportunity to create and a family to do it with.”

 Sophie Lee Morris

Sophie Lee Morris