'I can relate to Pearl from Muvhango'
"Playing the role every day helps me to deal with my own personal problems" - Jo-Anne
BREAKING into mainstream television is a struggle for many young actors, but for Jo-Anne Reyneke it was fairly easy.
Reyneke portrays Pearl, a girl with a beautiful smile in the SABC2 soapie, Muvhango.
While many of her peers are still searching for a break to launch their careers, the bubbly actress has already found her feet.
She says her Muvhango role launched her. For any young actress, landing such a role in an established soapie is a feat.
Reyneke is very grateful for the opportunity because thousands of actors find it hard to get a job even after university.
"I did drama at high school and went to college. I was fortunate to get roles in theatre, such as The Game and Sheila's Day, before bagging a role in Muvhango," says the young celebrity from Unit 13 in Mbali, Pietermaritzburg.
The role of Pearl, the receptionist at Mukwevho Holdings, began very small. When she first started, she only spoke two or three words per scene.
She describes Pearl as a go-getter, a hard worker, but a very insecure person who loves status.
"She started off saying very little. Then the writers created a serious role for Pearl. It was difficult to play Pearl at first. As soon as I understood the role well, I made it mine, " she says.
Reyneke says she finds it difficult to play Pearl, but it is nevertheless therapeutic .
"Pearl is a lively person who is full of life. Playing the role every day helps me to deal with my own personal problems. Sometimes I arrive on set not feeling too well, but once I get into the character, I feel better."
Reyneke says the biggest storyline that is coming up for Pearl is the introduction of her family on April 3.
Pearl's mother, Selinah Mdluli, is played by seasoned actress Lucia Mthiyane.
"Viewers will be introduced to Pearl's family, which is black, though she is coloured. This, the biggest secret her family has kept for 23 years, will be revealed. I can relate to this because it is almost similar to my own life."
Asked whether theatre or television is more important to her, Reyneke says: "I love both. Theatre polishes you since you spend weeks getting your character right. Television is good for building your brand. I still fancy a role where I will speak English, not Zulu."
At 23, she still wants to learn and grow in her craft and she hopes todo film and more theatre.
"I have not done theatre in a long time and I am craving to do that, so in a few days I will be auditioning for the children's playJack and the Beanstalk."
Apart from acting, she is also a soul and rhythm and blues singer and will start performing in public soon. She has just found a band that she will be working with.
"I grew up listening to classical R&B because my mother loved this music. This is the genre that I would like to pursue. I am a good singer too," she brags.
Two years ago, Reyneke appeared on SABC1's Khumbulekhaya, a show in which people search for their lost families.
She wanted to meet her father, who is white, and whom she had not seen since she was a toddler.
Reyneke appealed to her father and her siblings to get in touch with her. She also appealed to her father's siblings to touch base with her.
She says she decided to go on the show because she wanted closure.
"I know my mother's family and I want to meet my dad and his family too," says the lovely Reyneke.