Talk to us about your experience filming "Julie and The Phantoms." What did you struggle with the most? What came easiest to you?
It was one of the best experiences I've had in my career so far. The whole environment was so welcoming and full of energy. Everyone wanted you to succeed and Kenny constantly encouraged us to give our input on the creative process. Walking into this production, it was so different from anything I had ever done for TV and Film. I grew up dancing first and got into the
musical theater when I hit about 11 years old, so I've been trained in all three aspects. It wasn't necessarily a struggle to work on the series, but it was definitely nerve-racking at first. I have always felt super safe when dancing or acting, but I've always been way shyer when it comes to singing. With this show having such incredible vocalists in it, I was really worried going into the recording studio for the first time that I wasn't going to be able to deliver what the team would want. After the first take or two, I became more relaxed and just had fun with it.
-What was the hardest to memorize for Julie and The Phantoms, your lines, dance routine, or song lyrics? And why?
Luckily growing up in dance from such a young age, I've been so used to memorizing choreography in about 30 min and having to execute it to the best of my ability right after. So, memorization has always come a bit easier to me, but I'm sure being such a perfectionist also plays into that. If I had to pick one though, probably the songs. I only got to rehearse the songs in about 2 or 3 lessons before I went in to record them. It wasn't even necessarily the lyrics themselves; it was
-How were you discovered?
I have never answered that question before in that context and it's crazy to hear the word "discovered" haha! I guess I've just always thought of how I got my start. To make a long story short, I went out to LA for some workshops and classes back in January of 2016. On that trip, I ended up signing with my agent Robin Nassif who then introduced me to my now manager Tina Treadwell and Kim Coleman. About 9 months and tons of auditions later, I booked my first job which was the pilot of "Knight Squad."
-How is filming a musical show different from a traditional TV show like "Knight Squad"?
It's incredibly different. Even "Knight Squad" wasn't a 'traditional' kid show. We had magic and these crazy stunts. Every episode there was something else that made it even more unique than it already
was. Going from that to JATP was a big jump. The pre- production alone of "Julie and The Phantoms" was this whole new experience. There is so much work going into this from the music to the choreography to the very structure of the show and you know add the whole special effects from the ghost's thing. It is a lot of work from all the departments, but I think they all would agree that it was completely worth it.
-Describe your perfect day off when you are not shooting?
If it's a day after a really long shoot, then probably just hang out on the couch and catch up on the current show I'm watching or just re-watch "The Office" for the millionth time. Although, I loved exploring Vancouver on our days off from JATP. Just walking around, hiking, hanging out with the cast. Mainly just spending time with them and bonding even more off set.
-What is your favorite place to vacation or a place you are dying to visit when COVID is over?
I don't really vacation a whole lot, but I would love to go to Paris. That's been a major bucket list place of mine for so long.
-Who inspired you to be where you are today? If not an actress what would your career be?
I have had a lot of personal inspirations in my life I can't just pinpoint one person. Growing up there were so many major influences and teachers who helped shape me into the person and performer that I am today. That list would be so incredibly long, but they each had a specific impact on my life. I would still have to do something within the entertainment industry even if I wasn't an actress. I have always loved to choreograph, and dance is a huge part of who I am so probably a choreographer
-How have you kept busy during quarantine and what advice can you give to your fans that are struggling to get through the pandemic?
I've been trying to focus a lot on myself and personal growth. Mentally and physically. I've been writing a ton which has been so much fun and an incredible outlet. I highly recommend it. I've picked my guitar back up and started playing again. I learned how to play when I was young from my Grandpa, but I haven't played in a couple years just due to how busy I've been. So, I am really grateful to have had this time to focus on that love for it again.
-What are the main differences you notice between Texas and California and which do you prefer?
The weather haha. It's so humid and hot in Texas whereas California is the perfect mix of sunny but not over heated. I don't think I could ever pick one or the other. Texas was my only home for 15 years and whenever I go back to visit, it almost feels like I never left. Over the past almost 5 years of living in California, it has become more of a home to me. It really wasn't at first. All of my family was back in Houston, I didn't know anyone and I kind of felt alone. But once I started Knight Squad, that all kind of changed. I met new people, made lifelong friends and started working on such cool projects. Now being in California feels comfortable and more of a second home to me.
-Which celebrity would you like to go out to dinner with? Dead or alive and why?
That is such a loaded question. I have so many. Although, my number one would probably be Michael Jackson. My mom grew up the absolute biggest fan of his and passed down that love to me. His music impacted my life in the biggest way, and I have always looked up to him as a performer. There is a reason why they called him the 'King Of Pop' because there will never be another one like him. He was truly a one in a million artist and performer. I'd love to be able to ask him so many questions about his career, his creative process and honestly just hear all the incredible stories he would have from his life.
Savannah Lee May
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