A Chat with Jeanette (Part 2)

(An OSIM exclusive)




What do you enjoy doing most in your free time?

I like reading. I started reading Chinese books when I was in Taiwan about 7-8 years ago. I picked up Jimmy’s illustration books there. His books are colorful, easy to read. Very few words! At that time, my Chinese was terrible. It was good practice for me.


Yes, I remembered catching a glimpse of you in a dated Taiwanese idol drama. How long were you in Taiwan?

I was there for 4 months. The show was one of my first productions. (Laughs) I must appear so green to you!


Well, everyone has his humble beginnings. What prompted you to join the talent search many years ago?

I was in my final year in NUS in 2000. I was preparing for our graduation production. At the same time, my friends and I were going to theatre companies for auditions. One friend told me that a certain company was looking for actors. I only learnt that the company was a TV station after I submitted my application!


TV was a totally different arena compared to theatre. I was trained in theatre and was preparing to pursue an acting career in theatre. Theatre is very different from TV because you need to be exaggerated. And there is an interaction element with the audience, which makes stage acting very dynamic. TV involves a lot of close up shots and subtle expressions that are more realistic in life.


Dialogue delivery is also different. It was quite difficult for me to adapt at first. The director always picked on my speech. It took me a while to get used to the TV style of acting.


Yes, your theatrical style in your first drama had made an impression on me. If you haven’t gone into acting, what would you have done?

I will most probably be dancing professionally. Before I signed a contract with the TV station, I was dancing almost everyday. I was practising and helping my instructor with the little girls who were learning to dance. In fact, I was about to take the instructor course.


Taking the instructor course would require a lot of commitment and time. I would need to constantly upgrade myself. The course consisted of many modules including teaching skills. It would be difficult to manage when I started work.


Do you still get to dance now?

I only get a chance to dance if my role is required to dance. I am also sometimes assigned to perform at charity shows. These are the only opportunities when I get to dance nowadays. If I’m required to dance, I’ll do stretches everyday to prepare myself for the performances.


How did you get started in ballet?

I was a late bloomer. I started at 13. Fortunately, I used to do gymnastics before that. It was quite easy for me to adapt to dancing as gymnastics involved rhythmic talent as well. I started late but I did double grades every year.


Gymnastics, dancing, acting – all of which involves body expressions. Looks like you were born to perform! Before acting, I heard you were actually into singing?

Oh, that was a really long time ago, when I was in junior college. I was training for a girl group. But that didn’t work out because it was full of empty promises. It was the performing value that attracted me to it, rather than my “love” of singing (chuckles).


In Little Nonya, you didn’t end up with you ideal man. Do you have any special one right now?

Unfortunately no. But I do look forward to having someone special in my life, someone whom I can share my life with. Recently, guys that I go out with seem to be more interested in my work than who I am. My work has become an obstacle to my love life!

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