At the time of the interview, Zoe Birkett was performing in the Thriller Live Brasil Tour. She recently took time out to answer a few questions about being on the tour. Enjoy!
How does it feel to be a part of this iconic show?
Well I’ve been part of this show from the very beginning, nearly 7 years. I’ve left to do other shows but always loved returning to Thriller Live. I’ve always lived and breathed Michael Jackson since I was 5, when my father took me to the Dangerous Concert and I was hooked on his songs and performance from then! I’m also a huge Janet Jackson fan. I take inspiration from them both!
Which is your favourite song in the show?
The structure of songs in the show usually stays the same, however here in Brazil we’ve made some tweaks and added some new songs. My favourite at the moment to sing is “Human Nature”. As soon as it starts and I sing the “Whyyy Whyyy” and at the end it gets a massive cheer which gives me goose-bumps every time, the song was a huge hit for Michael here in Brazil.
Which is your favourite Michael Jackson song (you can name more than one if you want)?
My actual favourite Michael Jackson song used to be in the show, and that is JAM. I also love “The way you make me feel “; I perform this in the show with 5 sexy Brazilian dancers chasing me round the stage……it’s a hard life, hehe.
You are currently performing a lead role in Thriller Live in Brazil. What do you enjoy most about playing the role?
Well I’m the only female singer so I get some fabulous outfits, killer songs to sing, amazing jewellery to wear, and here in Brazil I’ve been getting a wonderful fan base and followers. Everybody thinks I’m Brazilian (possibly due to my hour glass figure) and I’ve been receiving some amazing gifts from designers and fans. I’m currently awaiting a new gown that’s been made just for me from a Brazilian designer, eek!
What do you like most about being on this tour?
It has to be the change, usually on this tour we have UK dancers, singers and crew, but this time we have UK singers and Brazilian dancers, wardrobe and crew, so I’ve had to learn basic Portuguese pretty fast!! Which I’ve loved!! I also now speak in Portuguese during the show, all of my links into the next number I say in Portuguese.
How does performing on tour compare to London’s West End?
Well I did a year in the West End with Thriller two years ago, and enjoyed the stability of going home at night, cooking… having more of a normal life, but the Lyric Theatre is so small, whereas here in Brazil we are doing massive arenas. So it’s more like a concert, and the audiences are SCREAMING, waiting for you to sign autographs and pictures, just like a pop star, it’s an amazing feeling singing to these large crowds!!
You have family and a boyfriend back in the UK. How to you handle not having them around?
I’ve always been used to being away! I moved away from home when I was 16 to do Pop Idol, and my life has been lived out of a suitcase ever since. It’s hard, you miss them, and miss lots of special occasions, but thank The Lord for Skype!!!! My family are definitely used to me coming home twice a year now!
What are your likes and dislikes about touring?
I like to travel the world. The blessing with this business is you get to do what you love and see so many countries at the same time! A negative for me is that it can be quite lonely, seeing hotel rooms after a while and only being able to order room service and not cook can get a bit tedious .
What do you like best about being in Brazil?
The people!!!!!!!! I have to say the Brazilian dancers and crew are some of the nicest people I’ve ever worked with! They share EVERYTHING!! They treat you as family, it’s very special! I also LOVE the music!!! Aahh that samba beat gets me!!
Have you any message to those that are following your career?
Absolutely. Thank you for your support new followers and old, all of the tweets, Facebook messages, letters, gifts over the last 10 years continue to touch me! When I get messages from people saying I’ve inspired them to sing, or dance or act, it makes everything I do worthwhile! I met a girl recently who wouldn’t stop shaking or crying after the show when she met me, she called me her “IDOL” out of everyone in the world. I actually broke down crying with her!! No joke!!!! … Always touched!
Many thanks Zoe and best wishes for the tour!
Follow Zoe Birkett on Twitter
Questions by Neil Cheesman who you can follow on Twitter @LondonTheatre1
Content updated 11th October 2014