At the age of 16, singer, Jenna Wright has already gained an impressive CV of performances on stage and video.
Jenna began performing as a princess mascot singing Disney songs where she developed her love for performing. Her credits include Talullah in Bugsy Malone (Sharon Higgins Academy of Dance), Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid and a school production in which she portrayed the lead role as Delores Van Cartier in Sister Act (St Julian’s School)
As well as singing live at weddings and charity events, Jenna has been completing her exams. She was recently featured in Kamila Jarczak’s, Women Of Newport exhibition and had several photos displayed.
Andy Howells recently put questions to Jenna about her stage work and some exciting new music videos she has been working on.
What inspired your interest in the performing arts?
I have always been a creative person and loved watching films and shows. After I experienced my first professional show “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” in the Wales Millennium Centre, I knew exactly where I wanted to be in the future.
Tell us about your first performances?
I started performing at 11 years of age at open mic nights, my brother would play the guitar and I would sing. My first theatrical performance was “Bugsy Malone” ( Sharon Higgins’ Musical Theatre, Dolman Theatre). I took part in this performance when I was 14. I was very lucky to have been cast as Tallulah, it was an amazing experience that made my passion for performing arts grow even stronger.
You’ve had some exciting roles in theatre productions, can you tell us about those?
Since I have started acting my roles have ranged from ensemble to leads. My first ensemble member experience was “Top Hat” (Centrestage Cymru). It was exciting and eye opening to be a part of the chorus because it showed me how even though you may have a smaller role, you are still working hard to play an important part in the overall production even though you may not play the lead. I experienced my first leading role recently in my school production of “Sister Act” where I played “Deloris Van Cartier”. This role taught me a lot about acting and the show was an experience I will never forget. Very demanding but very rewarding and had some great reviews too. Other shows I have performed in include “The Little Mermaid” and “Alice in Wonderland”.
What’s been your best stage experience so far?
My best stage experience was playing “Deloris” in “Sister Act”. The show itself was a one of a kind experience, however, being able to play the leading lady every night just topped it all off. Being able to perform as “Deloris” filled me with happiness and being able to put my own interpretation into the character gave me a new perspective of what acting truly means. Nothing fills my heart with more pride and love than the final bows of a show, it’s truly an indescribable feeling.
Which performers inspire you and are there any you particularly relate to?
The list of performers who inspire me is endless. Every actor or actress I see in a performance inspires me because to be able to even get the role in such a competitive industry shows how passionate they are and the amount of hard work they have put into their careers, this is a passion I see in myself. I understand the huge amount of work that is needed to put on a show, because of that I respect every single person on that stage as well as everyone else involved backstage. One film actress I am particularly inspired by is Jessica Lange. She is an amazing actress and I am always moved by her on screen performances. Recent theatre shows I have seen are The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Rock of Ages which were both amazing with wonderful cast.
You’ve been busy lately recording some excellent videos – can you tell us about those?
I recorded a cover album last year with some of my favourite songs on there, this year, I aim to produce another. The videos that go along with the songs are posted to my Facebook page which you can find as Jenna Wright Vocals. This is where I just share my passion with family, friends and whoever is interested in my singing. This is also where people can contact me if they would like to me to sing at their wedding or event. I love recording songs and sharing that passion with others. I choose songs that I like and ones that test me vocally. My Dad helps me endlessly with my videos, his support is something that I could never be without. I mostly record covers at the moment; however, I am now starting to write my own songs which I also hope to record and share, an important next step for me.
You’ve been making your first steps into live performance – how have you enjoyed that?
I love performing live. Nothing makes me happier than being able to entertain an audience. I think that as a performer, it is so important to perform live in different environments and to different audiences, so I am eager to continue to sing at events and other functions to anyone who wants to listen.
I was proud to be recently featured in the Women of Newport Exhibition by Kamila Jarczak, a wonderfully talented photographer and it was from this I was recently asked to perform live at some local events.
When you chill out who do you enjoy listening to?
My playlist is very random, one minute I will be listening to the charts and next I’m listening to heavy metal. It really depends how I’m feeling, at that moment, I’m really enjoying Billy Eilish’s music. The harmonies are beautiful, and the lyrics are full of meaning.
What are you doing in the coming months?
I am hopefully off to college to study Performing Arts, I also have some weddings booked to sing at. I will be getting back on to the theatre scene very soon and I am looking for a company to join asap to expand my resume and continue to follow my passion.
How can people find out more about you?
You could visit my Facebook page, Jenna Wright Vocals, This is where I post my videos, photos and music. I love being able to share my passion with different people, so if you would like to check me out then I would really appreciate you visiting my page. Also keep a look out in local media for gigs and on YouTube!