Being cast in Jacky Cheung Hok-yau's musical extravaganza Snow.Wolf.Lake has been a dream come true for Singaporean recording star Kit Chan Kit-yee. It was an honour to be chosen from hundreds who auditioned for the multi-millon-dollar production which ended earlier this month. But, more than that, Snow.Wolf.Lake gave Chan a chance to pursue her greatest love. 'One of my first loves was in theatre. When I was in school, we had a lot of theatrical performances. After I left school to be a singer, I kept in touch with my principal who always reminded me, 'don't just be a pop singer, you have to get back to theatre',' Chan said. 'It's what I have always aimed for and I'm very glad to get the chance to do it. It was like realising a dream.' It might come as a surprise that Chan was actually trained in theatre, although she says the two years she had were 'not as much as [she] would have liked'. From her school's amateur productions, Chan graduated to singing jingles after her A-Levels in 1990. A year later, she enrolled in the drama school at the LaSalle-SIA College of the Arts in Singapore. Drama school gave her a taste of the West End when she had a month-long attachment to some of the leading theatre companies in London. That stint convinced her that she wanted a career in the entertainment world. Spending three months on Snow.Wolf.Lake has re-awakened her desire to expand her singing pursuits to more theatrical productions in the future. 'It's never left my mind really. When I left school, it was not entirely because of my singing career. I felt I was not learning enough there. I had three options: either I go abroad to further my drama education, or there was also a chance to release an album, or I go to London to try out for Miss Saigon,' she said. 'I talked to a lot of people. They all told me that when you're young, you should give it a go at a pop career. For theatre you can do when you're older. It's almost better when you're older because it requires a lot of stamina, and experience and all that.' In Snow.Wolf.Lake, Chan played Yuk-fung, a third fiddle to the love affair between Wu Long (Cheung) and her younger sister, Ah Suet (Sandy Lam Yik-lin). Although the role is viewed by many as the secondary female lead, Chan does not mind in the least. In fact, it was the role that she felt was more challenging. 'I think Yuk-fung's role suits me a lot. I'm very happy I did this role. A lot of people made very positive comments on it.' When Chan first auditioned for the musical, the production team had not made any decisions as to who should play which part. They asked Chan which role she would be more interested in and instinctively, she felt herself drawn to the introverted elder sister. 'I thought it would be more challenging for me to play her. She hides a lot of emotions. She doesn't always say what she feels but it's always there. It's always very hard to convey that unspoken thing. I thought that was going to be fun to do.' Chan found the whole experience stimulating anyway, because it brought back old memories. Knowing that the stage team was going to be mainly people from the commercial Canto-pop music scene, she was not quite sure what to expect when she first turned up for rehearsals. 'But when I went, I knew I was going to enjoy myself a lot. Normally in the commercial stuff, they have segregation: you know, artists one lot, dancers another, and so on. 'But they made us sit in a circle. Immediately I knew we were doing the theatrical approach. The whole stage management team was from the APA [Academy for Performing Arts]; everything was so disciplined. That's what I miss most, the discipline. I enjoyed it very much. For the first two months, I totally forgot I was a pop singer. I thought I was a student again. It was really nice.' Chan's performance in Snow.Wolf.Lake won her rave reviews from critics as well as her colleagues - not the least of which came from the opening night when she bravely sang on despite the fact that her microphone failed during her best solo. 'Oh dear, that was terrible,' groaned Chan at the mention of opening night. 'But you have to go on. Once I had accepted the fact that nobody was going to save me, I decided to forget about it and enjoy it. I think that if you enjoy your performance, your audience will enjoy it. They were probably as terrified as me, because your audience kind-of sympathises with you. I was very impressed with the audience; they were great.' But one thing Chan was glad about was that she insisted her parents attended the second performance and not the opening night. 'They wanted to come for the opening night and I said, no. That would have been really awful,' she said, laughing. There has been talk that Snow.Wolf.Lake might be travelling and Chan is looking forward to doing that - and also other productions - if her schedule permits. Right now, however, she seems tied up for the rest of the year. Immediately after the musical's run at the Hong Kong Coliseum, Chan was back in the studios recording the songs she did in Snow.Wolf.Lake. Although a live recording of the whole musical was initially planned, an apparent breakdown in negotiations between PolyGram, which represents Cheung and Chan, and Rock Records, which represents Lam, is said to have stalled that project. After a rest at home in Singapore, it will be back to the pop grindstone for Chan when work starts on her fifth Putonghua release in Taiwan next month. Her record company plans for her to release her debut Cantonese album by the end of 1997. 'Being in the musical has boosted my self-confidence a lot in the Cantonese album. Before that I released albums here, but not that many people listened to [Putonghua] albums. Now, people have heard of me,' she said. Chan has tried her hand at writing two songs for her own albums - both in English. She has tried to write in Chinese but found it did not work. It hardly matters, she felt, because she was not aiming at a songwriting career. 'Writing is something I like to do, like a hobby. I don't want it to become a job because I think there must be terrible pressure for songwriters. They have to accommodate commercialism and everything and it isn't fun anymore,' she added. 'I write a lot of stuff, poems or lyrics, and sometimes . . . it just happens [for me]. In the performance area, I already have so many things I want to do.' Chan is planning to use the rest of what she has been writing, mainly poems on her thoughts, in a book she hopes to get published soon. Editorial work has almost finished on the project and she is awaiting some illustrations that will complete it. 'Most people would think they are very bad,' Chan said with a self-conscious laugh. 'But in interviews and conversations when I mentioned them, everyone asked me why I didn't sing them. I don't want to sing them. But someone else mentioned that I should share [the poetry] with the people who really liked my music, so I thought, all right. We're just going to do it as a fun thing, and not hoping to make any money out of it.' Despite her busy schedule, Chan said she was going to miss her days on Snow. Wolf.Lake 'a lot'. 'But I know I have to do this [pop career],' she said. 'After this show, it has made me more sure I cannot just have a pop career because there will be a part of me that will always miss the theatre. I think a large part of me belongs to the stage.'