Donovan late last year released a song called Big, Beautiful & Sexy — a way of expressing that she was happy with who she was after years of nasty slurs about her weight.
Now 23, Donovan is different person from the shy young girl who won Australian Idol when she was 16 in 2004.
Writing Big, Beautiful & Sexy was a big step in regaining confidence, after she was dumped by her record label, Sony BMG, after one album. She had to work as a medical receptionist to survive.
The song is deeply personal.
“I wanted to write a song that sticks it to that man, to say I’m big, beautiful and sexy and you can’t really pull me apart any more.
“I’ve found it’s helped a lot of people in their lives and it’s a very powerful song.”
Part of her new-found confidence is that the work is flowing.
She was in a musical called The Sapphires, which toured Britain and South Korea this year, and now has the role in Flowerchildren.
Her career is on her terms now after she was hailed a star soon after Idol but then dumped by Sony BMG.
“I’ve learnt so many lessons and had so many things happened that I don’t think many people in Australia would understand how tough it was,” she said.
“There were voices in my head trying to pull me down and everyone not being on my side and it was pulling me apart.
“It got to the point where I took a step back and got a job and realised if I was going to keep working in the industry, I needed people around who supported me and that’s what I did.”
Flowerchildren will open at Theatre Works in Acland St, St Kilda, on August 29.