Skai Jackson Reveals What It’s Really Like Being In A Disney Channel Series
“Our scripts would change every day," Skai reveals.
30 September 2019 by Fonticha Tran
Skai Jackson at the "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" World Premiere, El Capitan, Hollywood, CA 12-14-15 — Photo by s_bukley
Disney star, Skai Jackson, opens up to fans in a YouTube video about what it’s really like to act in the Disney Channel series, Jessie and Bunk’d.
Fans, buckle up. Because it turns out it's a lot harder than it looks.
First of all, Skai explains that shooting an episode is not as easy as everyone thinks. At all. Of course, a lot of us always think it's pretty quick to shoot an episode, right? In reality, though, it's the exact opposite.
In fact, it takes a week.
In the video with YouTuber 'Bloveslife', Skai gives fans a mock timetable:
Monday: Table read
I "That’s where you read your script in front of the directors and producers. And they’ll give you notes and then we would rehearse all day, [then] do school.”
Tuesday - Wednesday: Run through.
I "That’s where you actually act it out. Basically [it's like] what you guys see on TV, but we have scripts in our hands, and we're just reading it. [It] just shows the producers what it would look like.”
Thursday - Friday: Film
Shoot the episode. Well, that's straightforward, right? Actually, no. Because there’s a catch - the script could be changed at any time.
Yep. During rehearsals, the writers or producers could decide to change the script slightly. Perhaps a line here, a line there. Maybe a dialogue -
Or even a whole conversation.
And the young actors don't have a choice to do anything but to just memorise it.
Not only that, but it could even be changed late at night to be filmed the very next day. So that meant the young actors were constantly working, memorising new lines and all, just so they can be ready when filming came.
I "Our scripts would change every day. [...] They would go back to the editing room, fix whatever they wanted, and then they would send the new script around like 7, 8 at night [and] you go over it. It’s like an everyday thing."
I "And even when we were [filming], sometimes they would just come last minute. Be like, "Alright we want to add this in the scene, we want to do this..." So lines would always be changing for me."
I "You have to be really really prepared. There’s been times where the night before they would change the whole scene. It’s weird; I’m like what?"
But on the bright side, Skai has been in the Disney Channel industry for years, so she just goes with the flow.
I "But I’m so used to it, so it was nothing to me. I’m like alright they changed it, whatever, cool. [But] if you’re not used to it, it's going to be hard."
She then reveals how some of her cast members on her second Disney series, Bunk'd (a spin-off to Jessie) struggled with their lines. As they weren't as experienced as the Jessie cast, a lot of them found it hard to keep up with the fast-pace filming schedule.
I "Some of them this is like their first really big series, so for them it was a little bit harder because it’s not just the lines, it’s also blocking.
I "Blocking is where you see us walking in the episodes of what we’re doing. All of that is also incorporated so it’s not just memorising the lines, [it's] where to stand, where to look."
I "It’s a lot to be thinking about and then doing your line at the same time."
But it's OK because Skai's extremely good at memorising not just her lines, but her co-actors' lines. Which meant that she was able to tell them where they went wrong.
Fun fact: If you look closely in Jessie season 1, you can see Skai mouthing her castmates lines while they’re saying it!
So does Skai regret working on Disney Channel?
Despite all this hard work it's been, Skai’s actually pretty happy with everything that’s happened so far and she wouldn’t change any of it.
I "It’s hard, but It’s like a good experience, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’m really grateful for everything that I have and that I’ve accomplished. So It’s been a good ride, and I’ve excited to see what I’ll do next."
Skai's book, Reach for the Skai: How to Inspire, Empower, and Clapback can now be pre-ordered for its release on October 1.
Fonticha Tran is a news writer at Exclusive Hollywood and is also responsible for researching and writing news articles. She also keeps track of the celebrities’ on our watchlist while monitoring their social media for any new updates.
Fun fact: Besides constantly being on Twitter and reading up on her favourite celebrities' newest tweets, she's busy rewatching Stranger Things and The Umbrella Academy.