When Chelsia Ng made her presence known in the local entertainment industry way back in 1996 with the talent show Asia Bagus!, she continued to remain in the limelight through her acting and her music.
She cemented herself in our memories with roles in the hit late-1990s sitcom Kopitiam, both as an actor (she played salon assistant Rain) and a singer (she sang the theme song Empty Decorations with Douglas Lim).
She was later seen in local sitcoms such as Homecoming, films such as Salon and Papadom, and dramas such as Realiti and Ampang Medikal. During a recent interview, we were curious to know what she has been doing lately.
“I have been focusing more on my music in recent years,” she said. “I also released my first self-penned solo album, a decade after the release of Indecisive’s (a duo made up of Ng and Douglas Lim) Kopitiam Theme Song debut album, Empty Decorations.
“I am hoping to do more acting this year with a few projects lined up. Looking forward to getting back in front of the camera and back on stage.”
Speaking about how much the entertainment industry has evolved from the time she started out, Ng said: “A lot has definitely changed since Kopitiam, and it has definitely been exciting with the rise of online streaming platforms giving industry practitioners more opportunities to create brave and exciting content.
“It is definitely an exciting time for the industry. Extremely challenging, but exciting nonetheless.”
She said some of the projects she has been attached to have been postponed due to the pandemic, although she hopes to resume production soon.
When asked if recent events had influenced her work in any way, Ng – who counts herself as a singer, songwriter and poet – said: “I have been thankfully busy with work the past two years, and have not been writing and creating as much as I would have liked to.
“Being stuck at home has given me the opportunity to catch up on the movies I have been wanting to see.
“The world of film has always inspired me ever since I was a kid. Watching a movie never fails to get my creative juices flowing. So yes, recent events have definitely inspired me to write and create.”
You can see one of her musical creations, On the Brightside, which she has put up on her YouTube channel ChelsiaNgMusic, featuring a video collage of online photos of her friends and family.
Looking back, Ng said there are many things in her life that she would have loved to have done differently.
“But then, I wouldn’t be where I am today, would I? And I kinda like where I am right now,” she says.
Like many other local talents, Ng has also looked beyond our borders to showcase her talent.
“Thankfully, the world is now smaller with technology and the internet, where sending in an audition tape is as easy as setting up your phone on a tripod and clicking ‘Upload’.
“And with so many foreign film and TV productions looking to Asia to discover new talent, it is definitely an exciting time for everyone in the industry. The dream is still alive, and it doesn’t have to be in Hollywood.”
As a person who has been in the game for a while, we asked her secret for surviving in an industry that is always changing.
“The secret is always to love what you do. I genuinely love what I do and am thankful every day that I am still able to do what I love for a living. It is not always easy, and it is not always sunny.
“A lot of people get into it for the wrong reasons, and I guess that is why they don’t stay. When you love what you do, there will always be something rewarding waiting round the bend, and you can bet that
it’s gonna be a whole lot of fun.”