On the Couch with Norton James

Norton James AAR On the CouchWho is Norton James?
Norton James is an English Actor/Singer/Musician originally from The Midlands in the UK who will be performing as a Swing and The Show Captain in The Choir of Man at Arts Centre Melbourne.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Always a tough question as I truly do love what I do and feel very fortunate to be able to make a living from what I love. When I was a child, I always had these huge dreams of jobs I wanted to do ranging from a professional skateboarder to a rockstar to a professional rugby player to a tattoo artist, always changing with each hobby I had picked up or was any good at. As I’ve got older and more realistic there are only a couple of jobs I would want to do if I wasn’t to perform anymore that I feel would give me the job satisfaction I crave and they would be either an agent for performers, a firefighter or working within the film and TV industry behind the scenes.

Who inspires you and why?
I’m not personally inspired by celebrities or people necessarily of fame or fortune. For me it’s the everyday person you meet who has overcome something incredible and still has a positive outlook on life, whether it be a good or bad situation. People who can just be themselves and feel comfortable doing so. We entertain and tell stories for a living and without people living those stories in real life we would have nothing to tell, celebrate or inform.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
This is deep and there are some very obvious answers that I hope everyone would agree with, such as making sure no one ever goes hungry or without a safe place to sleep and solving world poverty. But I would love to be able to just spread more positivity in the world and help people find a way to smile through the tough times we all experience. I live by a mantra of good vibes only whether that’s in my personal, professional or general life and would love to be able to pass that onto others.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I’ve been very fortunate to be able to travel a lot with work, pretty much all over the globe and genuinely have such an affinity to Australia & French Polynesia, so I’m so happy to be back this side of the world. I’m a huge fan of the ocean and love nothing more than snorkeling, surfing or just being out at sea in a boat.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to and why?
For me I have only very briefly been to Melbourne before so I’m excited to explore and find those hidden gems! But I can remember the coffee was insane so first stop would always be a good coffee shop!

What are you currently reading?
Sadly, I’m not really a reader at all. The next question is definitely more suited to me!

What are you currently listening to?
How long have I got?! Music is my life! Every genre you can imagine is in my playlists from heavy metal to acoustic singer songwriters to country to funk. I recently started DJing a little bit more again (only personally and for some small parties) but this has opened me back up to EDM/Electronic/Trance music which has been amazing. But heavy metal and rock will always be the staple for me and weirdly chills me out! Parkway Drive being an Aussie favourite in there!

Happiness is?
Making the most of everything you do, always making time for loved ones, taking every opportunity that comes your way and doing it all with a smile on your face whether you succeed or fail.

What does the future hold for you?
Hopefully a few more years treading the boards before the old knees give out haha! Genuinely I don’t have any particular plan, I ride the wave and see what happens. I would hope more travelling, more experiences ticked off the bucket list and seeing all the parts of the world I haven’t yet.

Norton can be seen in The Choir of Man – which plays Arts Centre Melbourne from 4 January to 11 February 2024. For more information, visit: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au for details.

Image: Norton James (supplied)