AMJ was bitten by the acting bug at a very early age. His most memorable childhood role was Linus in "It's The Great Pineapple, Charlie Brown" (he lived in Hawai'i at the time). In high school he won awards in regional, district, and state Drama competitions, and had audiences thinking a 75-year-old man had been recruited to play Grandpa in "You Can't Take It With You"!
After theatre and AMJ took a break from their relationship for a decade, AMJ returned to the stage in two Steve Oakley vehicles: as flamboyantly gay Randy in "The Ballad of Bobby Rae", and bumbling mobster Luigi in "Festival Fever." But it was in the Aerospace Players' production of "Oklahoma!" where AMJ literally found his footing. Originally brought on for a seven-line ensemble part, AMJ (and his cowboy boots) were added to several dance numbers when the director got a look at what AMJ could do.
Over the next several years, AMJ switched from performing in
a musical to writing one. Collaborating with Emmy-nominated composer
Leo Marchildon, AMJ wrote the book and lyrics for the musical drama
"The Nine Lives of L.M. Montgomery", a multimedia spectacle in which
the famed "Anne of Green Gables" author interacts with her fictional
creations during the course of her increasingly difficult life. After a
year of exhaustive research, and another year of writing, "Nine Lives"
had its world premiere in Montgomery's native Prince Edward Island on
June 20, 2008, the 100th anniversary of the publication of "Anne of
Green Gables." Press coverage ranged from local papers to Japanese
network NHK. AMJ co-directed and appeared in the landmark production.
Following the release of "The NIne Lives of L.M. Montgomery: Original Cast Album" (which can be found in the Store), Leo and AMJ prepared for a revamped second season with AMJ directing and performing. Tighter and more colourful, the sophomore production was even better than its first. The show continues to evolve, and when "Nine Lives" lives its next life, you'll hear about it first here at AMJ.com!
Explore the comprehensive web site devoted to "Nine Lives" at
AMJ got the chance to play a historical figure instead of writing about one when he was cast as Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau in a workshop of "Trudeaumania", a developing musical by Wade Lynch and Don Fraser. Though the reading didn't require the stage's usual theatricality, AMJ still worked to emulate Trudeau's look and sound to get into character and stretch himself as a performer.
But the real stretch happened when AMJ was cast as Pirelli in
the ACT production of Stephen Sondheim's challenging musical, "Sweeney
Todd." AMJ took voice lessons to prepare for Pirelli's infamous high
notes, and a reviewer for the Charlottetown Guardian said that AMJ
"brilliantly owned the stage" as the showy Italian.
For more images from AMJ's time on stage, as well as from his
many other endeavours, make sure to visit the Gallery!
Website ©2005-2013 Adam-Michael James