Thanks to her critically acclaimed turn as the villainous Zhao Fei’er in Ch 8 drama The Dream Makers, we now know Jeanette can make us believe that she is not the sweet-as-apple-pie girl who loves baking cakes for her pals and family. Just how good is she? She can act as a villain while singing her lines too, after starring in the remake of the stage musical Beauty World last November. Jeanette, who majored in Theatre Studies in NUS, plays vindictive cabaret dancer Lulu, the same role Sharon played in the 1998 TV version of the musical. Beauty World revolves around Ivy Chan, an innocent small-town girl from Batu Pahat, whose journey to find her long-lost dad takes her to the colourful Beauty World carbaret in Singapore. Jeanette shares her thoughts about her first major musical experience.
1. The musical gig was an act of serendipity
Jeanette shares, “I had to turn down some overseas engagements and events this time, but otherwise, everything fell into place. The stars were aligned.”
2. She had to take vocal lessons to prepare for her role
“I started vocal lessons after I got the part about two months ago. I’m aware that I don’t have a rich voice that can belt out big numbers, like Kit Chan’s. But we’re looking to focus more on my acting and dancing, since I’m a trained dancer, to enhance the role.”
3. She reckons haters heckling her singing can back off
“? I’ve had to deal with my fair share of criticism from the audience over the years. It’s the same for TV shows, isn’t it? . I would think that I’m well-prepared for the negative comments that might come with this role. I’m just going to enjoy the journey and have fun.”
4. All she needs is just a costume change to transform into a baddie
“I feel very different the moment I put on Lulu’s costume! It definitely helps me get into character. I don’t always have to be the ‘sweet’ girl-next-door. I hope the audience will be shocked and surprised by my transformation, because that’ll mean I’ve succeeded.”
This story first appeared in Issue Number 1299, 10 September 2015.