Jemma Rix is definitely ‘Defying Gravity’. An incredible career on stage, performances at numerous live concerts and events, not to mention an upcoming album debut – there is nothing this girl can’t do! PJSE have had the pleasure of working with Jemma at many events but how does she take her coffee and how did her singing career all start? Find out here.
Peter: How do you take your coffee?
Super strong latte – no sugar. I only have one a day because coffee isn’t the best for singers, so I savour every mouthful!
Peter: You’re probably best known for playing the green witch in Wicked – how did your career start and what was your big break?
My first ever performance was in Grade 1 and I sang Madonna’s classic “Like a Prayer” at the school assembly. I loved performing from a super young age but I never thought that I would do it professionally. After I finished year 10, I did a 4 year Beauty Therapy Apprenticeship – how ironic, I’m now playing Teen Angel, the character who sings “Beauty School Drop Out” in Grease – The Arena Experience. I still had the performer bug when I was working full time so I did amateur theatre and sung in a pop band on the weekends. My big break came when I landed a contract at Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan. I had the opportunity to play Elphaba from Wicked for the first time there. They compacted the show into 30 minutes and we would perform it 3 times a day. That experience then led me to being cast in the original production of Wicked in Australia in 2008.
Peter: How many performances of Wicked did you end up doing? And what other shows have you been in?
1,200 and painted green for every single one of them! Since Wicked, I’ve played Molly (Demi Moore’s character) in Ghost and will be The Wicked Witch Of The West in The Wizard of Oz in October but this witch is the evil one from the film, so I’m excited to play a true villain for the very first time.
Peter: And you’re about to embark on a new venture?
Yes, I’ve just recorded my debut album. It’s called “Gravity”. They are musical theatre songs that have a pop arrangement to them. I’m doing live performances to launch the album in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. This is my own project so it has been terrifying and rewarding at the same time. I’m learning a lot, which is always a good thing.
Peter: Fantastic, how can people get tickets?
Brisbane – 12th & 13th August www.haywardstreet.com.au
Sydney – 20th August www.hayestheatre.com.au
Melbourne – 27th August www.chapeloffchapel.com.au
Peter: What is your favourite event to attend in Melbourne?
I love the Australian Open. I watch it religiously every year. A couple of years ago I had the honour of singing the National Anthem for the Women’s Final. Stepping out onto that court, I was beside myself with excitement.
Peter: If you could be another Melburnian for a day, who would it be and why?
That’s a tough one! Maybe Gotye (musician) – I would love to have his mind and see how he writes such awesome music. Or John Farnham, to sing with the best voice there is or ever was in Australia would be pretty amazing.
Peter: If you had the opportunity to perform at any event you could, worldwide – what would it be?
Definitely The Super Bowl. 15 minutes of complete entertainment from fireworks to costume changes, having back up dancers and singing with other rock stars in front of 71,000 people, not to mention the TV audience – that would be such an adrenaline rush!
Peter: Where is your favourite place to go for coffee?
Superrandom in Gardenvale. The coffee there is always so good and they are so efficient. You never have to wait long for your delicious addictive liquid gold.
Peter: Jemma, thank you for your time today and best of luck with the album and upcoming concerts.