James LegrisThe first thing that sticks out about James are the bracelets on his wrist. The two bands–one from Bonnaroo, one from Floyd Fest–display his love for music festivals, each one his ticket into one of these adventures.

James Legris is a 21-year-old senior in the College of Arts and Sciences studying Journalism and English with a minor in creative writing. He was born in Hawaii and moved with his family to Phoenix, Arizona when he was a year old.

A Love of Music: I mean I love psychedelic rock, dream pop, punk, hip hop, I think in every genre there’s good music. I like folk, and there’s folk punk too. Arcade fire, no age. I go to concerts pretty frequently. I’ve probably been to 50/60 shows in the past year. Chromatics last Friday.

Family Matters: My parents are both children’s pulmonologists who met in the field, and now they own a private practice together. I have four siblings; the two older ones are half-siblings. They all do pretty different things: My oldest sister is 37 and lives in Texas. My 34-year-old brother is a physicist, my 25-year-old sister is getting her MBA at Harvard business school, and my youngest brother is a sophomore in high school. I sort of took a different path.  A lot of my family went to Yale, but I decided to come to NYU instead. New York had more opportunities for writing, pop culture, and the entertainment industry. I need a big city. I’ll be home in Arizona for four or five days and have a panic attack not knowing what to do.

What’s Next? I want to stay in city after graduation, even though I eventually see myself settling down in Arizona. I live right in downtown Phoenix, right on the border of the avenues and the streets. My goal is to find a job by the end of the semester. I really love writing screenplays and poetry in my free time, but I would also be happy working in the entertainment business, like as a screenwriter doing freelance filmmaking or a music and film critic.

A love for the Arts: It’s kind of like I just want to work in the arts. I want to work in the arts and I want to make films and I want to progress the arts. Eventually I might just become a lawyer or go to business school, but that’s a few years down the road. This summer I interned at a literary film agency where I read fiction manuscripts and decided whether or not they could be adapted to film. It seems really fun until you realize how many manuscripts are just really, really bad.

Puppy Love: I have two Maltese Terriers back home. I was going to bring the girl to New York with me this year, but the two are attached at the hip. When the boy escapes, the girl cries out for him until he comes back, when she could just follow him.


Written by Ivana Rodriquez