Born in Ho Chi Minh City, and raised in Penang, Vanessa Wu began her journey in theatre from a young age, when she decided that an academic track was not for her.
She left school at 13 and worked odd jobs while finding her way into the performing arts. In 2012, she landed her first professional job as an intern for Shanthini Venugopal's The Jumping Jellybeans, a children's theatre company in Kuala Lumpur. That year, Vanessa was also cast in Bites of Delights, a children's musical theatre production directed by Ghafir Akbar.
In 2013 and 2014, Vanessa worked at The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC) as a production assistant, and was also a stage manager for the opera Carmen and the KLPAC orchestra. She also took the time, then, to act in Joe Hasham's musicals, Broken Bridges and Sinbad, as well as What If, Life Unscripted and Theatre in the Red for “Short+Sweet Festival Malaysia”.
In Singapore, Vanessa performed in Speak Cryptic's The Tribe, as part of Club Malam at SIFA The O.P.E.N. Festival 2016, and collaborated with performance/sound art collective The UFO Project for Neon Lights Festival 2016.
After graduation, Vanessa would like to further her development and training in mask work and clowning.