The adventures of Melody Chen

The adventures of Melody Chen

The actress, DJ and host isn't one to shy away from risk and danger. She tells Delle Chan how she's pushed herself beyond her comfort zone.

Melody Chen is the ultimate risk-taker. From equestrian lessons in secondary school, to wakeboarding in the early 2000s and the motorbike lessons she's now taking, the gung-ho 37-year-old is determined not to let fear rule her life.

"I developed a keen interest in sports when I was younger, and that gave me plenty of opportunities to try something new," she says.

Besides the usual running and swimming, she also dives, snowboards and ice-skates.

"It wasn't all smooth-sailing, though! For example, with equestrian lessons, it was scary mastering jumps with my horse. I had many falls, but I picked myself up again and again.

"I wouldn't exactly call myself an adrenaline junkie, as I do have my fears," Melody muses. "However, I'm quite capable of leaving them at the door and going all out when I'm in the zone."

At present, the Kiss 92FM DJ is bent on getting her motorbike license. She embarked on lessons in early 2014 but these skidded to a halt after a mishap.

"It was raining heavily during one of my lessons, and halfway through, I discovered that my bike couldn't decelerate properly.

"I managed to complete part of the circuit before falling off the bike and landing on my side. I couldn't walk for a week after that! I have a slight fear of the emergency brake now, but I'm determined to resume lessons again soon," she says, eyes glinting.

An independent streak

Has she always been such a risk-taker? We ask. "I think that moving out at the tender age of 20 was one of the biggest risks that I have ever taken in my life," Melody shares.

"As an only child, I was very privileged. However, I craved my own space, and didn't want to lead a sheltered existence. I was even willing to sacrifice my relationship with my parents to attain that independence, something people around me couldn't understand back then."

The gutsy lass rented an apartment and looked for freelance jobs to support herself. "I don't regret my decision though, as it has made me who I am today. And thankfully, my relationship with my parents is still as strong as ever," she says.

Looking back, she says she has her dad to thank for her gutsiness.

"My dad always wanted a son, but that didn't materialise. As a result, he brought me up to be strong and independent," she shares.

Adventure on reality TV

Melody's not afraid to try anything new - even if it's captured on TV for the world to see.

In 2006, she took part in The Amazing Race Asia with a friend. One of the challenges was to bungee jump a whopping 134 metres over New Zealand's Nevis Valley - no mean feat, especially for someone afraid of heights.

"I was terrified, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going," she laughs.

"If I were asked to participate in The Amazing Race all over again, I'd agree in a heartbeat! I love the series, and I was thrilled to be called back as a Pit Stop Greeter for the Singapore leg of The Amazing Race 25 last year."

In 2009, Melody also gamely agreed to take part in an ice-skating reality competition, Ice Star Asia, despite never having skated before.

"It was a wonderful experience for me, as I got to train under some of the best Cirque du Soleil instructors in the world. How many people can claim to have done the same?" she asks. "These shows really pushed me to step out of my comfort zone."

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