Raring to go
Article from the Sun daily (posted on 30 April 2015)
IT is her curiosity and dare-to-try spirit that landed Shir Chong where she is today. One can argue by saying that being the champion of a reality TV modelling competition launched her career, but if it wasn't for those aforementioned traits she wouldn't have been on the show to begin with.
When asked about how she ventured into modelling, this 1.73m beauty said that she has always been interested in the industry and when by chance she saw top model Tengku Azura doing a catwalk, Chong became interested.
Eventually she met one of her mentors who taught her some catwalk basics before she took modelling classes.
"I saw the reality show on 8TV and I thought it was a great platform for me to explore if I'm right for this field. I also told myself that if I'm not suitable then I don't want to blindly pursue it so I took part in the first season but maybe because I wasn't ready then, I got rejected during the audition.
"After my brother encouraged me to try again, I joined season three and surprisingly I won," said the winner of I Wanna Be A Model.
After having made some notable waves in the fashion industry, she again decided to challenge herself by trying her hand at acting. So far, this 27 year-old budding actress has worked with Leon Lai in his directorial debut Wine War, acted in award-winning French director Fabien Duflis' short film, and was the actress in a local short film by well known director James Lee.
Do you get to keep the clothes that you model for?
To be honest, not all the time. There are instances where clients would be more than happy to let you keep the clothes, but we mostly shoot with sample pieces that are flown all over the world for advertising and promotion usage.
In Malaysia, would you say that the fashion industry is tougher on female models or male models?
Not just in Malaysia but in general female models do have more work than their male colleagues because there is a bigger market for women in terms of beauty products, hair products, nail products, clothes and more.
Although we are more in demand, male models have a longer lifespan. It's easy to see mature male models in advertisements but not female ones unless you're so famous that clients want you to be their ambassador.
As an actress, you've worked with Leon Lai, Fabien Duflis, and James Lee. What is one thing that you have learned from these directors?
I find that they're all very observant, driven and passionate about what they're doing. All three of them are also very patient and they're so willing to guide you. While filming for James Lee, he amazed me because on top of directing he was also acting in the film.
He proved that he's not just a director who only knows how to direct but he can also act.
If you're not a model or an actress, what other profession do you see yourself doing?
Maybe a musician or a teacher, I play piano and I really love music and singing too. And seeing how I do enjoy street performances by musicians, so I guess maybe a musician.
What are your upcoming plans?
Definitely more acting I'd say. I also hope to be able to explore more things in order to find out how versatile I can be and just develop myself better.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I think I'd be running a small scale business, and maybe I'll also be an activist. Hopefully, I'll be starting a family as well.
Best feature: Eyes
Beauty advice: You are what you eat
Cannot stand: Carrot
Five most important things: Music, food, handphone, love, and bolster
Her go-to therapy: Cooking