James Morrison is an actor, filmmaker, playwright, singer/songwriter, and yoga teacher. Born in Utah, he migrated to Alaska to settle with his family when he was nine. He can trace his love for storytelling from his early teens when he discovered the poetry and performances of Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, the Beatles and silent film greats Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields and Buster Keaton. It seemed to him a logical progression to take his love of storytelling and playing pretend to the stage as an actor, which he unapologetically did in high school, community theatre, and at Anchorage Community College. In what seems to him like another life, he began his professional acting career as a clown and wirewalker for the Carson and Barnes Wild Animal Circus in 1975 and has been a working actor since serving his theatrical apprenticeship with the Alaska Repertory Theatre Professional Training Program. In the 40 years since, James has played in everything from Shakespeare to Sam Shepard and Tennessee Williams and World Premieres at some of America’s foremost theatres including the McCarter, the La Jolla Playhouse, the Salt Lake Acting Company, the Mark Taper Forum, the Sundance Institute and The Old Globe with such celebrated directors as Emily Mann, Des McAnuff, Jack O’Brien, Charles Nelson Reilly, Jose Quintero and Harry Mastrogeorge, his acting mentor since 1982.

James is the recipient of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Performance and three Drama-Logue Awards. In 1985 he appeared in the London premiere of Emily Mann’s STILL LIFE at the West End’s Donmar Warehouse and the Riverside Studios after a stint in The Edinburgh Festival at the venerable Traverse Theatre where the production received a Fringe First Award.

On television he will be remembered as Bill Buchanan in FOX’s Emmy Award-winning drama 24 and Warden Dwight Murphy in TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN. An expert at playing white haired men, James has had recurring roles on REVENGE for ABC as the White Haired Man, as well as TNT’s HAWTHORNE and ABC’s PRIVATE PRACTICE, also as white haired men. In the mid-90’s he was Col. McQueen in the one and only season of FOX’s sci-fi classic, SPACE: ABOVE AND BEYOND. He’s undertaken too-numerous-to-count episodic guest assignments including THE ORVILLE, BROOKLYN NINE-NINE, MAJOR CRIMES, LAW AND ORDER: LA, SIX FEET UNDER, WEST WING, FRASIER, MILLENIUM and THE X-FILES, among many, many others. James will and can be seen in the films RELISH, DOUBTING THOMAS, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, I AM I, THE JAZZ FUNERAL, FALLING DOWN and one he cannot reveal due to the proverbial Non-disclosure Agreement.

James earned his certification to teach Hatha Yoga from Ganga White and Tracey Rich at the renowned White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara where he has taught and sits on the Board of Trustees. He also led regular classes at the YogaWorks Center for Yoga in L.A. for 10 years.

With his wife, Riad Galayini, James co-directed and produced the documentary SHOWING UP: A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE AUDITION in which over 50 of our finest working actors, teachers and directors examine the audition process as a context for pursuing what we want to achieve in our lives. SHOWING UP is available on iTunes, Amazon and other outlets.

You can find out more about James, how he feels about life, and SHOWING UP at

Taking a class with James is not an audition or employment opportunity and there is no suggestion or guarantee of an audition or employment as a result of taking his classes.

Explore James’s  classes: The Ongoing Scene Lab


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