“Realizing that acting, dancing and singing could be performed in one place blew my mind,” she says.
Jackson stuck to her plan and majored in musical theatre at County College of Morris (CCM). She says she enjoyed every moment of her time studying musical theatre and attributes that to her professors. She was introduced to music she had never explored, trained to strengthen her voice in ways she never thought possible and inspired to continue her learning beyond the classroom. Professors Marielaine Mammon and Colleen McArdle and many others positively influenced her time at CCM. “They guided me throughout my entire journey, provided me with the skills I needed to succeed at CCM and beyond,” she says.
After earning her Associate in Arts in Musical Theatre from CCM, Jackson headed to Florida for a paid internship with Disney.
“Getting to work for one of the largest entertainment companies in the world is a dream comes true,” she says. “It’s the people I work for and with who make this experience as magical as it can be.”
Once she completes her internship, Jackson plans to continue her schooling and earn her bachelor’s degree in musical theatre or musical studies. Schools in the New Jersey, New York area appeal to her, but if a permanent position were to open up at Disney, she would consider schools in Orlando.
Jackson hopes her experience and education will land her a dream job performing on stage. She appreciates the opportunities CCM gave her to pursue her dreams. Performing twice a year and the state-of-the-art facilities in the Edward J. Yaw Music Technology Center gave her advantages, she says, that students in similar programs at four-year schools don’t enjoy. In four-year programs, she adds, most freshman and sophomores work back stage.
“CCM was a great way to further my education at an affordable price. I learned so much and received opportunities I would not have had otherwise,” says Jackson. “I was provided with all of the tools I needed to train in my craft with an outstanding staff of educators to guide me along my way.”