James was born and raised in Bristol, England and Springfield, Missouri, and received his B.A. from the University of Missouri-Columbia in Theatre and Political Science. In 2001, James began a nine-year stint at CLIMB Theatre, first as an Actor-Educator, and eventually as the director of the Teaching Company, an ensemble dedicated to using interactive theatre techniques to initiate dialogues with young people about the issues that affect their lives. During his tenure at CLIMB, he led hundreds of workshops with young people in grades K-12 and wrote ten educational plays on topics ranging from bullying prevention to the attainability of higher education for students who would be first generation college-attendees.
James studied improvisational acting at the Brave New Institute and was a player at ComedySportz-Twin Cities from 2009-2013 and from 2016-present. He is a performer in the cast of HUGE Theater‘s weekly Show X, and is a member of Interplanetary Appeal, Ringo, For Better Or For Worse, and The Mess. He also performs the show Troubadour, which is his solo improvised singer-songwriter concert. He has performed at the Twin Cities Improv Festival (with Beatbox, Interplanetary Appeal, For Better or For Worse, The Mess, and Troubadour) and the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival in Austin, Texas (with Ringo).
Interplanetary Appeal created the Minnesota Fringe Festival hit Deadline: A Choose Your Own Adventure Story, as well as Clutterbug and The Bother (both with Rita Boersma). In addition to its Fringe Festival shows, Interplanetary Appeal has created the original improv shows: Choose Your Own Adventure, Friend Request, Parent/Teacher Conference and Dream Sequence.
James has founded and played music with 3 Twin Cities bands: The Seagraves, the Robinson Caruso Organization, and currently School For Girls.
In 2011, James founded a free theatre ensemble for Twin Cities teenagers called Harbor Theatre Group. The mission of Harbor Theatre Group is to provide young performers with a safe environment to explore and express their ideas while forming bonds with other performers and creating work of a high artistic standard.
After working as an artist/advisor for Synergy, a program of the East Metro Integration District, as a science-theatre educator at the Bakken Museum, as an artist/facilitator for Stillwater Area Schools Office of Equity and Integration, and an improv instructor at the Brave New Workshop Student Union, James taught 5th grade at public elementary schools for 4 years. He is currently a Program Manager at Project SUCCESS.
(Photo credit: Katy Kessler/Matt Blum Photography)