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Margot Bingham: A Voice of Love and Reason
2014 Feminine Weapon Day Performer
A.E. Fairfield | Nov 23, 2014
Topic category: FEMININE WEAPON DAY
Feminine Weapon
Photographs by Manuela Rana

Feminine Weapon shoot with Margot B. at The Cutting Room NYC

Margot Bingham (aka 'Margot B.') can’t be stopped. Whether overcoming heart-breaking rejection to eventually land a dream role, or attending our interview despite a nasty flu – nothing keeps her down. It’s that dedication – and her breathtaking voice – that’s making Margot a star.

The daughter of a former football player growing up in Pittsburgh, Margot found herself enrolled in sports at a young age. But rather than run after soccer balls, Margot skipped and danced down the field, unconcerned with goal scoring. The playing field was swapped for the stage, where singing, dancing, and performing became Margot’s passion. She attended the High School for the Creative and Performing Arts where she excelled and earned herself a full scholarship to college. At university, Margot not only double majored but also worked four jobs so she could pay her band mates with whom she toured on the weekends. The grueling schedule eventually took its toll and Margot had a major decision to make. She sought the counsel of her beloved college mentor who, to Margot’s surprise, advised her to leave school and pursue her goals in New York.

Once in New York, Margot quickly realized she’d have to take responsibility for her life – there were no classes structuring her day, no teachers grading her performance. There were days where spending the afternoon in her bed seemed more appealing than hitting the pavement for yet another audition. She says, “I realized the penalty is not showing up and not succeeding. The grade is really put on you. There are days I didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t want to push and work for it. But finally I decided nothing was gonna happen under my sheets so I had to step outside and get going.”

Margot kept pushing – landing film, television, and theater roles and performing in music venues across the city. What may be her big break came last year when she was cast as Daughter Maitland on Boardwalk Empire. Her performance as the sultry, twenties lounge singer has earned rave reviews from social media chatter to Rolling Stone. Margot admits the Boardwalk experience was nerve-wracking in the beginning, “Every day I went in to film it was more pressure. They’d written me into the script more, so in a sense I had proven myself. But at the same time I had to continue to prove myself because I didn’t want to prove them wrong, to have them think they had a good thing going that stopped along the way.”

Despite her current success, Margot’s had her share of disappointments, which at one point had her ready to quit the industry. In college she made the trek from Pittsburgh to New York thirteen times to audition for the Broadway production of Spring Awakening. After making it to the final 50, Margot went to New York one final time to audition on-stage and in front of the lights. Having made it this far, Margot knew the decision-makers saw her talent – all they wanted to see was that she could apply the notes they’d given her throughout the audition process and perform those changes on stage. But Margot faltered. “The lights came on and I felt myself blank. I was nervous and scared and became almost a shell of myself. After that I literally gave up all of it in that very moment,” Margot said. Adding salt to the wound, Margot received a call from the casting office a year later. The voice on the line nearly offered her the touring role until he realized he’d called the wrong list, the rejection list.

But Margot rebounded from the disappointment, treating the experience as a valuable lesson. “I framed the rejection letter, not to look at the negative side of things and to prove them wrong in any way, but to remind myself not to give up again. It was my fault I didn’t get the role. It was a personal decision that I made mentally that I didn’t believe in myself enough,” Margot says, adding, “You’re the mechanics behind you’re product. You’re the only one that can move it forward and the only one that can stop it.”

As a songwriter, Margot uses her own life, and lives of others as inspiration. “I try to pull from my own experience as much as I can. But if I’m a little bit lost I have no problem taking inspiration from friends that have gone through other experiences. Sometimes I write trying to seek the words to give them to inspire them to get out of the ruts they’re in or to move forward,” she says. Margot calls music her “score through life” and believes strongly in the power of music to both guide people through the bad times and help celebrate the good times.

Margot has yet to find to her soul mate but believes he’s out there. Watching her parents, who met in college, navigate 37 years of happy marriage confirms her belief that there’s someone for everyone. “They were truly meant to be,” Margot says. But not everyone finds their soul mate in college and Margot believes there’s value to be found in all relationships. “I believe there’s someone out there for all of us. But I also believe that people come in and out of our lives at different points when we need them. I’m thankful for all of the relationships that I’ve had both good and bad.”

Margot’s take on spirituality and religion is also largely shaped her parents. Her mother is Jewish – Margot was raised Jewish – and her father Methodist. Coming from two different religions, Margot took it upon herself to learn about each, as well as Hinduism, Buddhism, and others. “I think religion is beautiful. That someone can believe in something so much to make them a better person and to have a higher sense of self is important,” Margot says. But after absorbing insights from these various religions she finds herself more spiritual than religious, believing that loving and following your heart is what matters. “I think it’s important to love. If you love something that’s God or Buddha or you’re priest or rabbi as long as there’s love in your heart it’s really beautiful. I’m more spiritual than religious but I think religion is beautiful,” she says.

Margot, a performing at 2014's Feminine Weapon Day concert, adding, “I think it [Feminine Weapon] is badass. I’ve never been a firm believer of guns or violence but I think to be a weapon on your own because of the idea you put out there and the energy you put forth is incredible. That’s more powerful than any gun out there.” ~FW

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This interview is part of the Feminine Weapon Day photography series. Feminine Weapon Day is January 30th and has been designated to Honor Your Conscious Light + Beautiful Self.

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Author A.E. Fairfield (aka Ashley) was raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. After attending New York University she remained in New York to pursue a career in writing. When not writing the next Capelli & Ford mystery or for Feminine Weapon, she can be found horseback riding or reading the latest thriller.

Photographer Manuela Rana recently moved to New York City from Italy. She's the assistant to established photographer Antoine Verglas (Vogue, Elle, GQ, Forbes Magazine, Victoria’s Secret) and currently enjoys working in the fashion and lifestyle photography industry.

Tags: Feminine Weapon Day, Margot Bingham, Margot B, AE Fairfield, Boardwalk Empire, Daughter Maitland, January 30, Manuela Rana, Christina Weber
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