A lacklustre career here and a desire to experience a new culture has driven former MediaCorp actress Apple Hong to Beijing.
The 34-year-old, who was born in Malaysia and is a Singapore permanent resident, moved to the city of opportunities about a week ago. She is staying with a friend while she looks for an apartment there.
In a phone interview from the Chinese capital on Sunday, Hong told The New Paper she has experienced many ups and downs in her 12-year showbiz career in Singapore.
There were times when she received a lead role - the last one being the 2010 Channel 8 drama, Mrs P.I, where she played a housewife detective - but these have dried up in recent years.
She attributed these to bad timing and bad luck, and the move, she hoped, would boost her popularity.
"Some artistes get interviews and go on the cover of magazines after filming a drama. If an artiste is featured in the media, the public will naturally turn their attention to her," said Hong. "But I've never had much publicity when I finished filming a drama..."
She added that MediaCorp's focus seemed to be on its crop of up-and-coming artistes.
"They want to capture the younger audience, so they have young artistes like Ian Fang and Kimberly Chia... It's bad luck that I'm not on their list (of artistes to groom), but I believe I create the paths that I want to take in life, hence my move to Beijing," she said.
Her contract with the organisation ended last October, and she subsequently worked on a per-drama basis.
She said she didn't renew her contract because she wanted the freedom to manage her eatery business, Xiao Bar Wang, in Kuala Lumpur.
She also wanted to move to China in search of greener pastures.
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