[EXCLUSIVE] She’s Got Talent: Head Mouseketeer Charis Ow On Teamwork And New Music

Join the Club! We see Charis Ow from all sides. | Mouseketeer varsity jacket; top (worn inside); skirt, Charis’s own

Project Manager, Concept & Styling Lim Lee Ann Text and Interview Lina Esa Photography Muhammad Zulfikry Videography Keisha Ryman Make-up Kah Yean Hair Courtesy of Leekaja

Bright, fun, bubbly and full of energy, it’s no surprise that Charis Ow landed the role as Head Mouseketeer for this region’s Disney’s Club Mickey Mouse and has been on the uprise ever since. The petite YouTuber launched her singing career in 2018 with her single Supernova, and her career has been on an upward trajectory ever since. From producing singles and being the face of a huge Disney production and balancing shoot schedules with life, we just don’t know how she does it all! She’s amassed young Malaysian fans who just love her K-pop style, the mix of Malay and English mediums and her bright new beats.

A star shining ever so brightly and brimming with talent, Charis Ow opens up to #TeamCLEO about how she landed her role as Head Mouseketeer (hint: It was almost like it was written for her!), what it’s like working with seven Mouseketeers, and how she’s always felt like she’s the ‘Rapunzel’ of her family.

Tell us about your role as Head Mouseketeer.
Being a Mouseketeer, I get to do a lot of cool things on Club Mickey Mouse  that I love such as singing, dancing, acting and even hosting. As the Head Mouseketeer, I am like the ‘big sister’ of the group and I have the responsibility to be a role model to the Mouseketeers, and kids everywhere! The other Mouseketeers are like my younger siblings, and I enjoy being there for them, listening to them, and giving them advice when they need it.

How were you chosen for this role? Can you describe that journey for us? Did you audition? How was that?
Back in 2017, my then-manager sent me a poster to audition for a show that requires me to sing, dance, act and host! I was intrigued but when I read that they were looking for someone aged 18-24 years old, I told her, “I’m over the age limit!” (I was 26 back then) My manager then told me that the production house wanted me to try out anyway so I went for the audition without any expectations.

I sang “Part Of Your World” from Little Mermaid and danced a few K-pop routines, acted and hosted. Two weeks later, I got a call-back!

Fast forward to one week later, they told me I was selected as the Head Mouseketeer and the rest is history!

“We all work together and it helps that [the mouseketeers and I] are close friends off-screen as well. We encourage and support each other all the time.”

Tell us a bit more about your Mouseketeers.
There are seven Mouseketeers in total – Dheena, Erissa, Faiz, Gabriel, Wafiy, Ellya and myself. Every single one of them is incredibly talented, and we do a lot of fun things on the show together, such as singing, dancing, playing games, comedy skits and we get to meet so many inspiring local celebrities.

We all work hard together and it helps that we are close friends off-screen as well. We encourage and support each other all the time. Although I’m the eldest, I find myself constantly inspired by them and for the past three years, I have learned so much from them as well!

What would you say has been your favourite moment so far while filming Club Mickey Mouse?
My favourite thing about being on the show is to be able to spend time with the Mouseketeers. Although we are working, they have always made the experience so fun! We would always try our best and make time for each other. Besides that, we also get to connect with kids who watch our show (Club Mickey Mouse is aired across Southeast Asia!) and families on topics they find relevant and entertaining. It means so much to us and we have done so well that Club Mickey Mouse is the NUMBER ONE show on Disney Channel!

That would not have been possible without the support of our fans and we are so thankful for them. I also love that we get to meet a lot of inspiring local celebrities on the show and learn from their experiences as well.

One of my favourite moments from Season 3 is also the choreography! I think we really stepped up our game for Season 3 and you can even spot me doing stunts, I have never done before. To catch me you can watch our music video “Make Ya Wanna” performance on YouTube!

The sky’s the limit! Charis auditioned when she was outside the age limit but got an immediate callback for the role of Head Mouseketeer. | Jacket, Levi’s; white top (worn inside); pink spaghetti top; red mermaid skirt; shoes, Charis’s own

What is your most favourite part about being Head Mouseketeer?
To be really honest, being the ‘big sister’ does add a sense of responsibility in me but I’m glad that they are very respectful and have accepted me for who I am. Time and time again, I remind the Mouseketeers that I am not perfect, but I’ll always try my best to be there for them! Besides that, I also get to work with the other talented individuals in Club Mickey Mouse and I am blessed to have developed a closer friendship with them such as our choreographer Yuki, who became my K-pop dance cover partner.

What would you say is the most challenging bit of what you do?
Every episode that we filmed required us to do something different, be it learning a new dance move, or a new song, or acting in a new comedy skit. We are fortunate to have great support and training from Disney and our production crew. Plus, we Mouseketeers have great teamwork amongst ourselves, so that really helped make it less like work and more like a fun learning experience!

What is it like for someone to be a Mouseketeer and how has it been like for the whole team?
Being a Mouseketeer is really fun and it has taught me so much. We get along very well with each other and we’ve definitely grown up together over three seasons. With three seasons of Club Mickey Mouse, the audiences are familiar with us, so we do get recognised now when we are out (even when we are overseas!). Our fans are always so lovely and nice to us, and always tell us how much they enjoy the show – which means a lot!

“Our fans are always so lovely and nice to us, and always tell us how much they enjoy the show – which means a lot!”

Have you always been able to dance and perform or do they train you for that?
I have always loved to sing, dance and perform since I was a little girl. It has been my dream come true to be a performing artiste because I simply love entertaining! I never really took classes but I surrounded myself with people who love dancing as well and this helped me to be more active in dancing and I started making more dance covers.

Also when I got casted for Club Mickey Mouse, we train really hard before the season starts – dancing, script reading & acting. I absolutely love that I get to do what I enjoy on Club Mickey Mouse and take every opportunity as a learning experience to hone and develop my skills.

What is your beauty routine? Can you tell us?
I usually start off with a cleanser, toning lotion, facial treatment essence, serum and to seal all the goodness in, I finish off with a moisturiser! During the day, I’ll apply sunscreen and at night, I’ll use an overnight leave-on mask!

What are your top three beauty items that you can’t live without.
Concealer, eyebrow pencil and lip colour!

She always keeps things in check — as a leader and role model she definitely has to! | Top; skirt; shoes, Charis’s own

Describe your personal style.
To be honest, I don’t have a ‘set’ style. My current style inspirations are Jennie and Rosé from BLACKPINK, Aimee Song and other K-pop artistes here and there. Normally, I love to be comfortable during my off-days – you can spot me wearing T-shirt dresses, oversized sweater, and even hoodies most of the time!

Who is your favourite Disney princess of all time and why?
Rapunzel! Instead of asking “what if”, she came out of her comfort zone to follow her dreams – which is to see the floating lights! I could definitely relate to her because I’m like the “odd one out” in my family of engineers, PhDs and Master holders. However, instead of following others’ footsteps, I followed my heart and came out of my comfort zone to be who I am today! Plus, I’m super blessed to have a family who has been super supportive of me and my dreams!

If you had one day that’s completely free with no work or commitments, what would you spend it doing?
Spa and massages! That’s my ultimate self-care thing to do!

We were at your single launch last year! Tell us a bit about your singing career – we hear that your newest single is coming out?
I’m super-blessed to have self-produced two singles so far in 2018 – “Supernova” and “Could This Be Love”. I couldn’t have done it with the generous and kind souls in my life such as Audi Mok, Shazee, Kimberly, Omar K, John Jeeves, Fabian, Sarah, U-Jinn, Caleb, Jiven and everyone who contributed that made these music videos a success! This year, I’ll be releasing my third single in September and it’s going to be about self-love, self-empowerment and just being true to yourself and I’m very excited for everyone to hear it. Stay tuned to my updates on social media to find out more!

What is it like in a day of your life? Can you describe it to our readers?
Every day is totally different. Sometimes, I am out and about, meeting clients, photoshoots, video shoots, attending events and recording music in the studio. Other times I would stay at home, film videos for YouTube, plan my content, brainstorm ideas for my next project, secure collaborations and even work on proposals.

Your life motto?
I don’t have a particular motto in life, but I hold this verse dearly in my heart – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.