Arts Unplugged with Adrian Seet-Up Close and personal with Shanthini Venugopal. Podcast and Pics: aforadio.com
Posted in E-News on 22. Aug, 2012
Actress, singer, director and teacher. Shanthini Venugopal has been in the theatre industry for over 20 years.
Her mother, Nalini Venugopal, was the first Indian Malaysian female singer to appear on Malaysian television and radio while her father served in the Royal Malaysian Police Force.
Shanthini said the best part of growing up in Kampung Pandan was that there were many children in the neighbourhood whose parents were also in the government service. During the tragic May 13 riot in 1969, her neighbours, who were of different races, used to take turns congregating in one another’s homes.
After finishing her secondary school, Shanthini pursued a business degree in Canada and while there, was part of a singing telegram group.
Shanthini also attended theatre training courses at the Odin theatre in Denmark in 2001 and 2005.
According to Shanthini, music was always a part of her growing up and is something she is passionate about. It was also because she loved music that she joined the New Straits Times band while working there in the 1980’s. A couple of years into the job, she decided if she didn’t pursue her passion, she would always be in regret. So in 1985, she quit her reporting job and took up singing in hotels.
That gamble, about 20 years ago, did pay off. Today, Shanthini is a respected figure within the local theatre industry. Over the course of 20 years, she has taken on the role of singer, actor, director and teacher. In addition to that, she has freelanced as a producer, stage manager for various theatre companies in Malaysia since 1981.
She formed her own company, The Jumping JellyBeans (JJB), in 2000 specializing in productions for children. JJB’s work is supported by Nestle Malaysia and HSBC in the Arts, and has performed extensively throughout Malaysia, England, Denmark, Australia and has participated in International Children’s Theatre festivals in Iran, Singapore, India and Germany.
Shanthini made her Hollywood debut in the 1999 remake of Anna and the King in the role of Beebe, Anna Leonowens’ Indian help.
She has been a pioneer member of The Instant Cafe Theatre Co. since 1989 and still performs in their revue type shows. She also conducts theatre workshops and seminars for adults.
Jumping JellyBeans’ work with special needs was recognized by the theatre community in Malaysia and they were awarded the Cameronian Awards for ‘Best Community Arts project’ in 2005 sponsored by The British Council Malaysia.
Thanks To : The Nutgraph
Join Adrian Seet as he gets up close and personal with Shanthini Venugopal on Arts Unplugged, Thursday at 11am.
Having Fun with Shanthini Venugopal in the studio