Michelle Chia

Ac­tress-host Michelle Chia tells us how slow­ing down and let­ting work take a back seat has given her plenty to en­joy in life.

Simply Her (Singapore) - - Front Page - BY CH­ERYL LEONG Pho­tog­ra­phy Veronica Tay Styling Dol­phin Yeo, as­sisted by Amanda Tan Hair Jenny Lee/Mon­soon Hair House (Novena), us­ing L’Oreal Pro­fes­sion­nel Makeup Keith Bryant Lee/Ate­lier, us­ing Lan­come Out­fit Alice McCall, from Lula Rock

"I'm en­joy­ing where I am now"

W hen Michelle Chia’s con­tract with Me­di­acorp ended in 2012, she planned to take a break to do the things she’d al­ways wanted, like go­ing through a yoga in­struc­tor course. Speak­ing to her now, I won­der aloud if she did ev­ery­thing on her list.

Her an­swer, un­for­tu­nately, is no. “In the last two years, I’ve re­alised how much of a worka­holic I am. When I stopped work­ing, I had so much free time that I felt lost – I started think­ing of projects to do or business ven­tures to take on. It was dif­fi­cult not to be rest­less – I’d been work­ing non-stop for so many years,” she muses.

Still, the bub­bly 38-year-old ac­tress and host – who started out as a child star when she was six years old – says her decision to take charge of her own sched­ule has given her the op­por­tu­nity to spend qual­ity time with fam­ily and friends.

“When I worked ir­reg­u­lar hours, I some­times got to see my loved ones only once a month, or less. Now, I make it a point to meet up with my friends once a week. I also spend more time with my part­ner.”

Most im­por­tantly, says Michelle, she’s glad she can fi­nally take long hol­i­days on a whim. “Pre­vi­ously, I could only man­age four-day trips at best. But last July, I made a last­minute decision to visit friends in Ger­many and France for almost three weeks – it was so lib­er­at­ing!”

What she loves most about trav­el­ling is her anonymity. Michelle ex­plains: “My life has al­ways been an open book. I’m used to it, but there have been times when I’d ap­pre­ci­ate it if I didn’t al­ways have peo­ple ask­ing me about my pri­vate life. When I travel out of Sin­ga­pore, hardly any­body knows who I am. So I’m able to strike up a con­ver­sa­tion with oth­ers eas­ily.

“Once, I was on a flight to the US, and I met an in­ter­est­ing gen­tle­man who used to work in the mil­i­tary. We ended up hav­ing a good, long con­ver­sa­tion about life un­til we touched down. I also met some trav­ellers from Berlin at a restau­rant and art gallery open­ing. We kept in touch, and when they vis­ited Sin­ga­pore, we met up for din­ner. I have plans to visit them in Berlin soon.”

Rel­ish­ing the fact that she has a flex­i­ble sched­ule, Michelle is happy to be back on tele­vi­sion, co-host­ing the fifth sea­son of Our Makan Places: Lost and Found with Gur­mit Singh. She is also host­ing the wacky new game show,

Si­lence!, with Adrian Pang, where par­tic­i­pants have to com­plete a se­ries of chal­lenges qui­etly. “What’s good about con­trol­ling my own time is that I’m able to pick projects that ap­peal to me. I con­sider Our Makan Places: Lost and Found ‘my show’ as I’ve worked on it for ev­ery sea­son ex­cept one. And when they told me that Adrian was go­ing to be my co-host for Si­lence!, I jumped on board. I’m en­joy­ing where I am now.” SH

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