2012-03-16 / Community

Michael Morley Brings Music To New Audiences

By Debbie Fleury

Michael Morley (right) on stage. Michael Morley (right) on stage. At thirteen years old, Michael “Mike” Morley has a resume that is twice as long as the average entry level applicant. He has performed in 104 shows in 40 states; he has had professional vocal training for almost half of his lifetime, and he went on tour with a stage production for six months in Canada.

And later this year he hopes to advance his musical career at LaGuardia High School, one of the most prestigious and selective performing arts schools in New York.

But despite all his accomplishments and so many other exciting new opportunities to look forward to, Morley has had his share of hardships. His house was set on fire when Flight 587 crashed in his Belle Harbor neighborhood, eleven years ago. Growing up he was known to be rather shy and reserved, but in kindergarten he auditioned for the St. Francis de Sales Talent Show without telling his parents – but his performance is now a fond memory for one of his teachers, who recognized that he had a natural talent for singing. It is due to this teacher’s intervention that Morley’s parents became involved.

When asked what the biggest challenge was in starting his musical career, his agent, Briege McGarrity, described what Morley’s regular schedule was like. Being a freshman in high school is a challenging feat – it’s when students have to accommodate a larger workload, participate in extracurricular activities and even make new friends – but Morley has managed to exquisitely balance his academic responsibilities with his love for the performing arts.

“I did get a lot of help from my parents,” Morley said. And it’s true, he did not do all of this alone. His parents were ardent supporters of his natural talents and allowed him to do what he loved. And his mother, Susan Morley, took a year off from her career to accompany him during his national tour of “Oliver!”

But like most rising stars, there are other influences beyond his immediate circle that he credits for helping him break through.

Apart from his parents, some of Morley’s other inspirations include Tim Burton and the world’s biggest pop star, Lady Gaga. “Because she isn’t afraid to be who she is,” Morley said. She is exciting and different. And although Morley respects all genres, show tunes and Broadway musicals appear to be his favorites.

When asked if he had any advice for other young boys and girls who aspire to break into the entertainment industry, Morley said, “Follow your dreams.” After some more thought about his answer, his tone changed and he firmly added, “Expect good things to come when you really work for it.”

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