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Meet Jordan E Jackson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jordan E Jackson.

Jordan, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
For as far back as I can remember, I’ve always been a dreamer. I grew up in a small town called Santa Maria along the central coast of Cali. There wasn’t much to do so my head was always in the clouds. I dreamed of being an Olympic track star, starring on broadway, being a lead in a movie, I wanted to do it all. Thankfully I had awesome parents that always supported my ideas no matter how big or outlandish.

My dad is a sports guy, I get my athleticism and competitiveness from him. I ran track for 14 years, played soccer for 12, dance lessons for eight and if you asked me, I swore I was going to be a professional athlete. My mom is an awesome piano player! Growing up, she would play and she and my dad would sing together. I distinctly remember them singing that climactic ending ‘O K L A H O M A’ from the musical together as my sister and I sat there giggling thinking what on earth is this, though I secretly loved it. The Sound Of Music was one of the first musicals my mom ever showed me. The way the talented Julie Andrews acted through a song with such poise really struck something in me and I couldn’t look away. I needed more of this uncontrollable urge to burst into song in my life and that’s when I discovered my love for musicals and theatre. We watched hundreds growing up and I fell in love with each one. Music quickly became my outlet. When I had a bad day on the track or on the field, I just plugged into my CD player and sang the feelings away to lift me out of my dark space.

Age 19 was one of my darkest times. I had moved to Sacramento to pursue my track career but I was injured again. 8th grade I tore my left meniscus, I recovered and this time it was my right. I didn’t have the passion I once had to rehab my knee and get back into track. I had lost my mojo so I moved back home and felt completely defeated. With the encouragement of my parents, I enrolled in our local junior college and decided to join choir because it had brought me so much joy in high school. I didn’t have a clear major anymore so I figured why not.

Dr. Ann Lucas was the music professor and choir director. I quickly saw how much she loved what she did and it made me excited to sing again. A couple of months later, a friend of mine in choir told me about a college called American Musical and Dramatic Academy. I looked into it, they had a Bachelor’s program and were located in Los Angeles. This was the perfect opportunity for me to pursue musical theatre and earn a degree in something I’ve always loved. I wanted to put my best foot forward so I looked up voice teachers in the area and came across Deanna Delore. Deanna was an amazing teacher she taught me how to really use my voice, with great technique and got me ready for my audition. After a few months, I went down to LA with my mom auditioned for AMDA and got in. I was so excited, it felt like a fresh start.

My parents have always supported me and paid my tuition but I wanted to get down to LA on my own. The summer before classes, I worked as a janitor and lifeguard and saved up enough money to move and never looked back. I’ve now been in The City Of Angels for over ten years. I graduated from college and have been in several productions such as Hairspray, Bare, Rocky Horror Show, Hello Dolly, etc. Modeling and Tv and Film have now caught my eye and I’ve been actively pursuing both for a couple of years now. Finally, the production that helped me earn my EMC card was of course Oklahoma at 3D productions! All the times I listened to my parents spell out that word full voice in song had come to this. My life came full circle and I knew this shy girl from a small town with big dreams was exactly where she was meant to be.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Personally, my biggest struggle was getting over my shyness. You have to be open and vulnerable in my opinion to be a good actor. Modeling has really helped me with this. You have nothing to hide behind it’s just you and the camera and really has helped me come into my own. Choosing a career in entertainment is never a smooth road. It’s unpredictable and you never know when your next gig will be. I’ve sacrificed relationships, jobs, sleep and sometimes sanity to be able to make it this far without giving up. Thankfully I’ve made a ton of friends who are in the same boat with me who I can always lean on to vent and get great advice from. As well as a great support system from home. When things get really tough, I just call my sister who is my rock, to give it to me straight, come up with another plan or idea and keep it moving. It’s tough at times but it’s also rewarding to be able to pursue what you are passionate about. You are given one life. Why not live it chasing your dreams.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My proudest moment in my career so far has been to be able to live in one of the toughest cities, Los Angeles surrounded by all of these talented people and never give up.

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Image Credit:
Rene Renderos, David Anthony Hinton, Helen Berger

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