5 Questions with ONCE ON THIS ISLAND’s Savannah Jackson-Page

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  • Kevin Ray Johnson

It is my honor to introduce you to Savannah Jackson-Page. Savannah will be performing as a Storyteller in the upcoming National Tour of Once on this Island. A South Jersey native, Ms. Jackson-Page is a Sophomore Musical Theater major at Pace University and recently at her school performed in the first annual Night of Color Cabaret and Showtune Blowout Workshop which was directed by Sam Pinkleton. I find nothing more exciting than seeing young talent whose careers are about to take off. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for Savannah and I can strongly say that it was so wonderful having the chance to interview her!  

1.) How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a performer? 

I think when I was around 10 years old, I went through this awkward 80s phase and became obsessed with artists like Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Chaka Khan. I remember wearing a key in my left hoop earring like Janet and forcing my family to watch me perform fully choreographed renditions of her songs and other artists of that era. Growing up watching so many sickening, talented Black women leaving their heart out on stage got me engaged in the idea and hungry to experience the joy that brings. And they were women who looked like me and were doing it! Theater soon became an outlet for me to experience the joy of performing and being able to express myself in ways I felt I couldn't elsewhere. 

2.) Where did you study? Are there any mentors that truly helped make you the performer you are today? 

I went to Pace University for Musical Theater and completed my freshman year. I’m actually taking a gap now to do the tour. I hadn’t had much training I started at Pace but I did have an amazing collection of professors who have helped me further develop my craft: Blaire Brooks, Andre Braugher, Leslie Giammanco to name a few.  

3.) Congratulations on The National Tour of Once on this Island! What are you most excited about when it comes to hitting the road with such a beautiful show? 

Thank you so much! Honestly, I don’t know where to begin. Once on this Island is probably my favorite musical of all time and the revival was absolutely stunning from the costuming, the direction, the orchestrations the set, and a million other things that blew me away. I’m so excited to have the chance to be part of such a moving story. It is also a very challenging show to do and I know it’s going to be a very rewarding experience to track my growth throughout the run of the show. And the music is so good. I literally can't wait to dance to such captivating music every night.

4.) Are there any shows that you have done in your career that will always be near and dear to your heart? 

I don’t know if this counts but my freshman year of high school I got to play Dorothy in my schools' production of The Wiz. I have a distinct memory of when I was around 4 or 5 years old and for some time every weekend, my mother and I would watch the movie and when the Emerald City sequence came on, we’d grab our colored scarves and sing and dance around her bedroom. Being part of that show had always been a dream of mine so having that be my first real experience with theater was so amazing. I only dream of being able to play that role again.  

5.) What advice would you give young performers who want a career in this business? 

Honestly, I am just getting my foot through the door myself but I would have to quote my freshman acting teacher and say to my peers that “YOU ARE ENOUGH”. It’s so easy to make comparisons and criticize yourself and the talent you’re given. But what I’ve learned in the past year is that I am the only person standing in the way of me obtaining my dream and the sooner I can trust my talent, mindset, and work ethic, the easier it is for me to lead with joy and love. As cliche as it sounds, life is too short! I genuinely believe the more ways you can find out how to let loose and have fun with your craft and not be so hard on yourself, the more blessings you’ll attract, both in the form of work or positive people to surround yourself with that will help you grow. 

To learn more about the upcoming National Tour of Once on this Island make sure you visit the shows official website at - www.onceonthisisland.com