Actress Felicia Chin announced on Thursday (Jun 23) that she will be leaving Mediacorp to pursue other interests. Her last day is Jun 30.
The 37-year-old Chin told CNA Lifestyle in a phone interview that she would be taking up a full-time job with a faith-based platform called Hai Hao Ma, which delivers content in Chinese.
Hai Hao Ma, which made its debut in January, has featured numerous other celebrities including Li Nanxing, Moses Lim, Chew Chor Meng, Belinda Lee, Olivia Ong, Rayson Tan and Peter Yu.
According to Chin, the platform is run by the non-profit organisation that also runs the website Salt and Light. “It’s a Christian company but more importantly, it has different platforms that give stories of hope,” she said. Chin became a Christian in 2015.
Chin has been well known by TV audiences since she won the Star Search talent competition in 2003; in April this year, she won her 10th Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes trophy.
In the late 2000s she ranked among the “Seven Princesses”, a name coined by the media for a group of sought-after young actresses in the spotlight. In 2010, at the height of her career, she decided to take up full-time studies in business. She returned in 2013, dropping her stage name Chen Jing Xuan and reverting to her birth name, Chen Feng Ling.
Chin said she had been mulling her decision over since the start of the year. “A lot has been happening” in the world and in her life, leading her to think about “what’s speaking to me right now”, she shared with CNA Lifestyle.
“I’ve always been passionate about what I do as an actress or when I’m hosting programmes – I always seek meaning in what I do. I think that will always stay with me.
“At the same time, I think being in a new environment that is going to spread messages of hope and light speaks to me. I love what I do; at the same time, I’m also seeking new challenges. I hope to grow as a person.
“I think this will help me grow as an artiste as well,” she said, adding that she won’t be leaving the industry entirely. “I still wish to continue to act and host if there are suitable opportunities.”
And, at her new job, “I’ll probably be hosting, presenting some content. I hope to produce some programmes I’ll be interested in as well. I’ll still be in front of the camera, but at the same time, I think I’ll have some creative freedom to produce things I’m interested in. I know that on social media, there are a lot of different channels that lift spirits and encourage. I feel it’s sometimes a bit lacking for the Chinese community. So, I hope to make a little contribution in this area, and take what I’ve learnt through the years and have a positive impact.”
After a 19-year television career, “It’s nice to get out of my comfort zone”, she intimated. “It’s sometimes scary because change is scary.” Not to mention that she’ll be taking a pay cut, she said with a laugh.
But, “I think it’s also important to do what speaks to my heart right now. I’m just taking a courageous leap of faith.”