Sophie Lee Morris is a performer from Texas who just moved to New York not too long ago. We met through Broadway Donation and found out that we lived a stop away from each other. In our conversation, Sophie shared her experience of moving from Texas to New York. Sophie is represented by Take 3 Talent. For more information about Sophie Lee Morris, check out her professional website. Here is the full interview below.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I am originally from Texas--from Fort Worth. Just moved to New York about seven months ago in August. Didn’t start dancing until high school. So still feels pretty new at the whole game. Learning a lot. I live with my husband and a roommate. We’ve been married for almost two years now. I studied musical theatre at Texas Christian University.
What year in high school did you start?
My freshman year. I played soccer for the first portion of my life. Once it got too competitive, my mom pulled me out and I started taking acting classes. Music followed along in school with choir. As my mom saw me get more interested, she was like, ‘You should really take dance.’ And I did not want to for the longest time. She really pushed me to start, and when I started, I fell in love with it in high school.
What made you move to New York?
My husband and I took a trip up to New York last March. Just kinda wanted to see New York again from the first time I had visited in high school with new eyes--the eyes of ‘Would I actually be able to live here, survive here, enjoy it still, love it enough to make it happen?’ Also when we came up in March, I auditioned for a few agents, did a showcase, and had about five or so agents there. Got interest from four. They all just said, ‘Let us know when you get to New York.’ So I figured it was a good time to come. I was doing a show in Ft. Worth this past summer, and once that closed, I moved up.
Could you tell me a little bit about your husband?
He’s a playwright. He does a lot of writing. He’s working right now at Fordham University at their givings department where they take all the donations. We met doing theatre in high school.
What project is he currently working on?
He’s a playwright, so he’s always working on something. Whether it comes to a close or not. He just submitted a short play to a festival in Arizona. New play festival. We’ve actually performed one of his works at TCU while I was still in school. A production of Happy Birthday, Boris. He’s always working on something.
Are you currently signed to an agency?
Yeah. Take 3 Talent.
What are you up to now?
Auditioning. Just auditioning a lot. Four to six a week. I just did a show in North Carolina. That ended in February. I got back late February. Did another show in Irving Berlin concert here in New York. Since then, just auditioning and trying to get back on my feet. Dancing a lot.
What was the biggest difference when you first came here from living in Texas?
The biggest difference is probably not driving, which I love. I hated to drive. To be able to walk everywhere or take the train--I love it. But it is definitely a change. It’s just the time difference. Have to make a lot more time to travel than you did back home. People are generally the same. I was surprised by that. I figured that you’d lose southern hospitality-- and I guess you do. People are nice, but you just pass by them quicker. They’re just on the streets as opposed to being in their homes. They’re still the same people.
What do you miss most about home?
Honestly, just family. All my family is there, all my husband’s family is in Texas. We haven’t been back since we’ve moved up. I just miss my family a lot.
What was your Christmas like?
That was interesting for sure. It didn’t feel like Christmas. Sure, it was snowing, but in Texas you don’t really get snow, so that’s not something I necessarily associated with Christmas. We had Chinese takeout for Christmas dinner. My husband and I celebrated together. Our roommate was out of town and all of our friends were back home for Christmas, so it was just two of us, which was nice and little bittersweet at the same time. We had one of those Charlie Brown Christmas trees--with the one ornament.
What would be your dream role to play?
Right now, I am really obsessed with Beautiful. And I’d love to play Carole King. I grew up listening to a lot of Carole King. So I am very connected to her music and that show. Dance wise, it’s little cliche, but I love West Side Story. I would love to do West Side Story. Just iconic choreography.
What are your plans for the future?
At this point, I haven’t decided. I have learned that in my life, I haven’t been able to plan anything that has happened. So I just don’t anymore. Like, moving to New York wasn’t a plan of mine. When I came up and had so much interest, it just happened. i definitely want to remain in the theatre in some capacity. I studied arts administration--that was my minor in college. I’d like to be on the business side of things. Either director of operations or management of some kind.
You said ‘it just happened.’ What was that conversation like? That’s a big decision to make.
Thankfully, my husband and I got married about a year before the move came about. We’d already figured out how each other worked and see the trajectory each other were on. It was difficult conversation, but easier than I expected it to be. He was on the trip to New York with me. He could see all the good that was coming out as well. When I approached him about it, he just saw what needed to happen and said, “Let’s do it.” Both of us have been penny-pinchers our whole lives, so we had enough money to come. We just made it happen. We worked all last year overtime to make sure we could come and survive.
What’s your favorite part about living in the city?
Coming from Texas, it’s the access to class. Unless you were a part of a dance studio and could commit to going certain times at certain nights every single week, they wouldn’t take you in. To have access to acting classes every weekend and to dance at any point in the day everyday has really been my favorite thing. I can wake up one morning, knowing I have nothing to do and run and take a class that I didn’t plan on taking. It’s definitely more spontaneous. I think I like that. I am not that kind of a person, so I am learning a lot from that feeling here--just more spontaneous lifestyle.
You like to plan things ahead of time.
Since making the decision to come to New York, I haven’t been able to do that as much. It’s slightly stressful and slightly freeing at the same time to not plan out every moment of every day and to come from such a strict and regulated schedule. I like it.
What side jobs do you have right now?
I have two at the moment. I work part-time for in customer service for a company called Sleeping Baby. They were actually just on Shark Tank not too long ago. They sell a sleep sack for babies. It helps them transition from being swaddled as a baby. It’s really great. Most of the emails I answer are from really happy moms saying thank you. It’s a pleasant job for sure. There are people who are not satisfied, but other than that, I get lots of cute pictures of babies all day long. It’s not bad. I also pick up shifts at the temp agency. Odd jobs. Mailings. Receptions. That kind of a thing. I also do work city at BDC. They have a program where you do one shift a week, and for each hour, you get discounted class, which helps a lot.
Anything you’d like to share with the world?
I think we all realize that it’s going to be hard. But until you actually face it, you don’t quite realize it. And I think it’s just to keep going through difficult times. I know I am going through one right now and just coming up against no after no. Or not hearing at all. But knowing that each day, there are three more auditions to go on and as long as you stay motivated to go, something’s bound to happen. You just have to keep your chin up.