Rozz Morehead is a multi-faceted performer and director from Broadway to television to music! She made her Broadway debut in "Big River" and has since gone on to perform on Broadway in "Urban Cowboy" and "Once On This Island." Her Off-Broadway credits include "Tapestry: The Music of Carole King" and "Beehive." Regionally, Rozz has performed at the Guthrie Theatre in their critically-acclaimed production of "Candide" as well as "Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," "Aida," "A...My Name Is Alice" (at the Old Globe), "Dreamgirls," and "Sophisticated Ladies."
Rozz has appeared on several episodes of Nick Jr.'s "The Wonder Pets" as "Mama Blowfish" including "Off To School," "Meet The Beetles," and "The Rat Pack." She was also featured in the new animated film "Santa Baby," from Producers Rankin and Bass, for Fox TV starring Eartha Kitt, Patti LaBelle, Gregory Hines, and Vanessa Williams and on the soundtrack version of the song "Santa Baby" with Eartha Kitt.
While competing on Star Search, Rozz received national attention for her performances, making it all the way to the Finalist competition. She was the vocalist and announce on the TV show "New York At Night" and the vocalist for the theme song to "ABC Sports Pro Bowling Tournament."
She has performed on "Top of the Pops" (BBC) with Moby as the featured vocalist on the hit dance record "Move," and on "MTV Unplugged" with "Everytime You Touch Me" by Moby. Rozz has also performed with several Pops concerts with such symphony orchestras as Minnesota, St. Louis, Houston, Portland, Milwaukee, and Omaha presenting the Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Friends, Harold Arlen, Rodgers, Hart, and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, and Irving Berlin.
As a background singer, Rozz has performed with such luminaries as Patti Austin, Stephanie Mills, Maxwell, Debbie Gibson, Ben E. King, Jennifer Holiday, Black 47, Buster Poindexter, Kathy Triccoli, Clint Holmes and Grover Washington, Jr., and completed the Diana Ross 2002 summer tour, performing in concert for Prince Charles in Hyde Park for over 60,000.
Now Rozz is bringing her talents to New York, working behind the scenes, as director of "Ocean in a Teacup" in the Midtown International Theatre Festival. "Ocean in a Teacup" tells the story of a broken American soldier who gets a second chance at life in post-war India…The war is over, but Ray Hauserman does not return home from India to the woman he loves. The shame of having broken his vow “never to kill” draws him to an Indian teacher who offers him a unique path to redemption.
"Ocean in a Teacup" plays from July 17-26 at the June Havoc Theatre (312 West 36th Street).
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I started singing when I was about 4 years old. Even at a young age, I think I understood that singing was a way to bring joy to people. When I was in high school, I got a job working at a textile mill in NC, and it was then I knew I NEVER wanted to work that hard again.
2. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? Jon Stewart.
3. How did you get invovled with and what attracted you to "Ocean in a Teacup?" What excites you most about having it in MITF? I was working as a singer with the writer, Joel Krantz and he asked me to take a look at a show he'd been working on. I was so busy that I hoped that I wouldn't like it so I'd have a reason NOT to get involved. One night we were discussing the show, and Joel recited the lyrics to a new song. It was called, "Nothing Can Stop You From Loving". We were standing outside a little restaurant in NJ and those lyrics brought me to tears. It was pure poetry with a beautiful message. I then went home and listened to a few of the songs, read the script and I was hooked! I started doing dramaturge work with him on the piece. Being accepted into the MITF has given us a chance to really hone the script and tell the story to a larger audience.
4. What do you get from directing a show over performing in one? Even when I've been on the other side of the table, I've always been interested in how directors work. I'd stay and watch them work with other actors just to see how they would look at a scene and interpret the script. Insider trading that had been passed to them directly from the writer, and then given to the actor. As a performer, I love diving deeper into each character to find the truth and emotion behind every word.
5. What do you get from working in theatre that you don't get from working television or music? Theater is just telling a story. If your heart is in it, every medium is the same. Even on a corporate industrial, the motivation should be telling the story and being in the moment. Not above it, but present and accounted for.
6. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer and a director? That there is power in the gifts we are given. I try to use my talents to be welcoming and inclusive, to build confidence in the people I'm working with, and to bring glory to God.
7. What is the best advice you've ever received? When I was a little girl I was chosen to sing a solo at church. It was well-recieved by the congregation and at the end of the service I ran up to my mom asking, "Did you see me? Did you see me?" She looked down at me and simply said, "If you were doing it to be seen, you were doing it for the wrong reason." At first, I was totally deflated, but as I thought about it, I began to understand. When singing or performing becomes about me, I get nervous and uncertain. When I keep me out of it, and use my talents to serve and move another's heart, then everything is as it should be. I feel at peace. I'm just an instrument to be used.
8. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My mom and dad.
9. Favorite website? That would be a tie between, myspace music and youtube. I'm the music minister of All Souls Community Church in Nanuet and those websites are invaluable for finding new music and hearing the full version of the songs, even whole CDs.
10. "Mary" or "Rhoda"? Mary.
11. How did you come to work with 'NSYNC and co-write "Home For Christmas?" My friend Gary Haase with whom I co-wrote the song, asked me to collaborate with him on a Christmas song for Celine Dion. We wrote the song "Home For Christmas" for her. By the time it was finished it was too late to get it onto her CD, but he told me there was another artist interested in the song. At the time, I had no idea who 'NSYNC was, but I was excited that they liked the song. Several months later, I got the call that not only had they recorded the song, but it was the title cut of the CD. Whoo Hoo!!!
12. What was the best part about working with Diana Ross, Eartha Kitt, Vanessa Williams, and Debbie Gibson? What did you learn from each of them?
I love working with them all, but Diana Ross? What can I say. I had been a fan of hers for as long as I could remember. At the audition for the gig, I was teamed up with another girl to sing with the band. We were working on "Keep Me Hanging On", when in walks Ms. Ross. I was stunned. She came in, hair billowing behind her, picked up a mic and started to sing with us. I was DONE! Tears started streaming down my face. At the end of the song, she looked at me and said, "Are you okay?" I just shook my head and said, "You... are Diana Ross!" I got the gig! Her band was playing a private party at the Waldorf the next night. I got a call asking if I'd like to come and sing backup for her at that gig. I nearly fell off my couch. But that night, unrehearsed, I did my first job with her. But it got even crazier. As she was singing "I Will Survive", she came over and pulled me from the ranks of the background singers, gave me her mic and said, "Take it!" Not being one to shy away from anything, and having sung the song for 100 years, I came down front and started to wail. IT WAS AWESOME!!! That has to be one of the best moments of my life. Having Diana Ross share the stage with me.
What did I learn from them? The most wonderful lesson of all. Our gifts and talents are meant to be shared to bring joy and move another's heart.