No one could believe it when Lindsey Morgan dropped out of college to move to Los Angeles.
“I was young enough, naïve enough, and ignorant enough to be like, ‘Oh my God, I can do this’,” Lindsey says.
Born in Georgia, Lindsey and her family moved to Austin, Texas, where she was raised. She performed in theatrical productions while she was growing up, but her career wasn’t extraordinary. “I wasn’t very good,” said Morgan. “I was never the star of the show, but was put in the chorus, played an understudy or painted the backdrop.” She was very shy.
That’s exactly why her family was surprised when she decided to major in theater in college and suddenly move to Hollywood halfway through her collegiate career. “My mom was mortified,” Lindsey concedes.
They made a deal that she could intern with a theater company for that summer, but she never went back home. “I felt like I learned so much and gained so much experience [that] I wasn’t getting in Austin,” she says.
So she moved permanently and enrolled in as many classes as she could. She was taking 15 hours of college courses to make up for her time off.
Lindsey says her first agent and manager were terrible, but she accepted them instantly. Being so green, she took whatever she could get. She would later learn that that was not the best decision.
“They gave me bogus contracts that were illegal and charged me way too much money,” she recalls. They took advantage of her ignorance to the point where she barely did anything her first year.
Finally, she found a great acting studio and coach John Rosenfeld. “He championed me. He was great,” Lindsey says.
However, she was coming up to the point where she was spending all of her saved up college money from home and not making any in return. Just when she was about to take time off from acting lessons her coach offered her a scholarship. John told Lindsey to pay him back once she booked a role.
“The best advice he gave me was to go into debt for my education, so I did,” she says.
“They had been taking a higher percentage of money than the acting union allowed, so when they threatened to sue me I told them they couldn’t because the contract was illegal,” Lindsey explains.
She then found a great manager and agent who sent her on numerous auditions, which landed her a contract position on the popular soap opera, General Hospital.
Lindsey had never watched soap operas prior to booking the role of Kristina Davis, so she wasn’t sure what she was getting herself into. She describes it as working all day every day, learning 30 new pages of dialogue a night and performing a new play every single day. She says it moves quickly, and you have to nail your part on the first or second take.
“That was crazy because at that point I was still very green,” she says.
She also joined the cast at a point when many soap operas were canceled. “I started when General Hospital was moving into a new regime,” she explains. “It was a high-pressure cooker of everyone wanting to stay on the air.”
To make the situation even more difficult, she was replacing an actress who was well-liked by the audience. She received a good amount of hate on the Internet, which took a toll on her.
“Looking back, I came into what feels like now as a hostile environment,” she recalls.
Although Lindsey was nominated for an Emmy for the role of Kristina, she did not feel like she performed best work on the show. Receiving so much hate from the audience hurt her confidence, and she was always stressed. “They tell you to develop a thick skin and get rejected from auditions but also at work,” Lindsey shares.
She describes acting as very different from a job like accounting. In acting, you are constantly under a microscope, with millions of people judging you from your very first take.
After about year, it was unclear where her character on General Hospital was heading, which led to a mutual parting.
Lindsey was left feeling as though she was fired. Although she was slightly devastated at first, that sentiment was quickly replaced by a huge sigh of relief.
Leaving General Hospital left her with self doubt, pondering whether she should continue to pursue acting. However, her love and passion helped her persevere.
When she booked her role of Raven Reyes on The CW’s post-apocalyptic drama The 100, it was supposed to only be a five episode guest role.
Lindsey was prepared for her character to be killed off quickly. But now in season two, Raven is still alive.
Raven is a brave and intelligent mechanic who can fend for herself. To prepare for the role, Lindsey picked up a copy of Mechanics for Dummies. “I flipped through to the control panel and wiring because I knew she had to be good with her hands and really know what she’s doing,” Lindsey says.
She also started CrossFit training so Raven could believably stand her ground as the only female in a group of men. “I watched how guys walked and carried themselves and brought a very masculine energy to her,” she explains.
Lindsey describes her scenes as “very stressful and exhausting” Raven is constantly in a “kill or be killed” situation. “I can’t fake cry. So when I cry [on screen], I’m really crying,” she says. “You have to trick your body into a traumatic state. It’s exhausting.”
The 100 has taught Lindsey has strengthened her confidence and shown her how capable she is for the role. By pushing herself in her role as Raven, Lindsey is continuing to evolve as an actress.
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