Fret not Jayleybeans (that’s what Jayley Woo’s fan club is called), the Ch 8 actress plans to continue working with Mediacorp “whenever suitable roles or projects come around” even though she’s not renewing her contract with the company.
The 26-year-old will be following in the footsteps of her ex-colleagues like Julie Tan and Tay Ping Hui and has set her sights on the Chinese market. But the actress, who’s currently in talks to work on some projects in China, declines to reveal more as nothing’s been firmed up yet. What she can tell us though is her plan to enrol for acting classes in a Shanghai drama school in the near future.
For now, Jayley, who made her acting debut in Ch U drama Jump! in 2012, will be busy filming upcoming Ch 8 long-form drama Jalan Jalan. Come November, you can also catch her as a geeky female gamer in Toggle fantasy web-series Glitch, where Jayley will morph into an avatar to fight video game villains who have invaded the real world.
And for all you conspiracy theorists out there, no, her decision to bid adieu to full-time acting here has nothing to do with her surprise omission from this year’s Top 20 Most Popular Female Artistes list, okay?
8 DAYS: Why the decision to move on to pursue other projects?
JAYLEY WOO: It was something I had been thinking about since the start of this year. Maybe it's due to my age, but I realised that it’s time to do what my heart tells me to.
Were you very emotional over your decision?
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t spend some nights crying myself to sleep. I’m quite a creature of habit and tend to feel really secure in my comfort zone. But how can I improve when I feel ‘safe’ and am unwilling to try something different? I felt I was getting too comfortable. That’s when I told myself I cannot continue to be complacent. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and follow my heart so that I won’t regret not doing [the things I want to].
So how did you come to terms with the decision to not renew your contract?
There’s only so many tears one can cry before the light at the end of the tunnel comes into view. I had doubts on whether or not I was making the right move. But there really isn't a right or wrong in the manual of life. You just have to go ahead and learn from each move you make. Once you accept that, you'll be at peace [with the decisions you make].
We hear you plan to take acting classes abroad.
Right now, I’m going to focus on shooting my long-form drama Jalan Jalan. But I do have plans to attend a drama school in Shanghai to improve myself. I've never taken a professional acting course. My acting knowledge comes from self-realisation, watching movies and dramas, as well as conversations with veterans and sporadic short classes with acting coaches or directors.
China also beckons?
Nothing is final at this moment so I can't reveal much due to the P&C terms.
Besides acting, what are your other plans?
Before, I had many plans in mind, but not enough time to execute them. Now, I’ve started thinking about the things I may be capable of doing. But only time will tell if I’m able to excel in them. I also have plans to settle down. But these things take time. The only thing I can do now is to work hard. The rest is really up to luck.
What are your fondest Ch 8 memories?
Taking part in special programmes like the President's Star Charity. And also, the characters that I'm able to play over the years, like The Queen's Wu Kai En and Have A Little Faith's Qian Leqi!
There’s speculation that your omission from the Top 20 Most Popular Female Artistes list at this year’s Star Awards might have played a part in you not deciding to renew your contract.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t affected when I heard that I wasn’t part of the Top 20. But it really wasn’t a deciding factor for me to not renew my contract [with Mediacorp].
What’s one thing you’d like to do now that you have the time?
I don't exactly have a lot of time now per say, since filming for Jalan Jalan will stretch all the way till the first quarter of 2019. But if I have the time, I'd like to travel and learn more about everything and anything! (Laughs)