Pets Ceng: It was a stroke of luck

TAIWAN - A series of accidents.

That's how Taiwanese singer-actress Pets Ceng describes her foray into showbiz.

The spunky, pixie-faced 28-year-old star, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Taiwanese girl group S.H.E member Hebe Tien, scored her big break in Mandopop when she came in sixth on popular reality TV singing competition One Million Star II in 2007.

However, as fate would have it, acting was where she gained mainstream recognition.

Ceng scored meaty lead roles in sci-fi youth drama K.O. Three Kingdoms (2009) and inspirational aviationthemed drama They Are Flying (2011).

K.O. Three Kingdoms was such a hit that producers followed up with two spin-offs - last year's K.O. One Return and the most recent K.O. One Re-act, which was a massive ratings success when it aired in Taiwan two months ago.

Both paved the way for Ceng to become a household name in Taiwan.

K.O. One Re-act premieres on Jia Le Channel (SingTel mio TV Ch 502) this Saturday at 10.30pm.

"It was never in my plan to start a career as an entertainer," Ceng told LOUD over the phone from Taipei.

"Like many of my peers, I figured that I'd just complete my university studies and get an office job.

"Reaching the finals of One Million Star was a surprise. Likewise, it was a stroke of luck that gave me my acting opportunities."

Ceng -who'll be in town this Saturday with fellow Taiwanese artistes like singer-actor Huang Wen-Hsing and rising boy band Spexial to grace Jia Le Channel's free public carnival - said that despite having gained a foothold in Taiwan's TV industry, she identities herself as "first and foremost, a singer".

"Singing is still at the top of my list of priorities," she maintains, adding that she hopes to release her debut album soon.

Drama theme songs

Though she has yet to cut a studio record, Ceng - who published her first collection of essays, Split Personality: Infinite Possibilities last month - is no stranger to lending her vocals to drama theme songs.

Some, like slow rock number Enough Love and sentimental ballad Tears, both of which featured prominently on K.O. Three Kingdoms, even made it to Taiwan's pop charts.

"I feel happy when friends tell me how they love belting my songs at karaoke," she said with a laugh. Ceng recalled: "There was one occasion when I was in a cab and the radio happened to be on.

"Suddenly, the DJ mentioned my name and something about one of my songs peaking at Number 2 on the pop charts.

"That instance, I was so elated that I wanted to leap out of my seat."

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