4 fresh faces to look out for on local TV


This Malaysian actress-model is certainly going places.

Previously a supporting actress in local TV mini-series Keong Saik Street (2012), she scored her first lead role last year as police officer Tan Siew Lan in the Channel 5 crime drama Mata Mata, alongside Nadiah M. Din, Cheryl Wee, Aileen Tan, Paul Foster, Jason Godfrey and George Young.

She is Lush 99.5FM's latest deejay, hosting Morning Lush on weekdays from 7am to 10am.

The bilingual artist also stars as beach patrol officer Jenny in Suria's new series S.O.S, on Wednesdays at 9.30pm.

Also starring Hatta Said, Syirah Jusni and Den Sabari, S.O.S follows a beach patrol team in their work and explores the relationships between the members. Think Baywatch - but with more clothes and no gratuitous cleavage on display.

Sya's double stint is quite an achievement for the newcomer.

When The New Paper spoke to her in July, Sya was still unsure of her projects after Mata Mata.

Contrast that with what the 25-yearold told us last month: "Things have been pretty great for me in Singapore. I'm so thankful that everyone has been very welcoming."

Fans have showered her with gifts, letters and praise for her work on both TV and radio.

They were also surprised that she is so well-versed in the Malay language. Sya, who shuttles between Singapore and Malaysia, said that things have been smooth sailing here.

"Work isn't a challenge because I love what I do - I'm a workaholic," she admitted.

Sya added that her only challenge now is a personal matter which requires her to return home to Kuala Lumpur frequently.

She declined to share more.

In the future, Sya wants to showcase more of her talent, like dancing.

"Who knows, maybe I could take a role as a dancer or be part of an item during the President's Star Charity?" she said.


Four months ago, Los Angeles native Erin Lim came to Singapore to make it on TV here.

Just two weeks after that, the 22-year-old was cast as the OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) exchange student Maia Mendoza in the Channel 5 comedy Rules Of Tham.

The series, which airs every Tuesday at 8.30pm, is about four undergraduates and flatmates who are chosen to be part of a social experiment by two professors.

It also stars 987FM DJ Joakim Gomez and local actress Kimberly Chia.

"I had just arrived in Singapore and was really jetlagged, but my boyfriend dragged me out to meet with a director who was looking for the last person to cast in Rules of Tham. He asked me, so I gave it a shot," she said.

Born to a Chinese-Filipino father and a Spanish-Italian mother, Lim had worked the red carpet pre-show at the Primetime Emmy Awards in 2012 and was also involved in the production for NBCUniversal's Style Network (now Esquire Network) that same year.

She is also the newest member of [the]Collective, a group of freelance TV and event hosts.

The bubbly actress said that she had few problems adjusting here, thanks to her boyfriend, local director Sean Ng, 24.

Lim, a television and broadcast journalism undergraduate at California's Chapman University, met him last year when she visited Singapore on a study programme.

She is already comfortable with using Singlish, rattling off words like "lah", "kiasi", "kiasu" and "ang moh", which she said she picked up from friends and taxi drivers.

She added: "Maia doesn't really understand the culture here, but I enjoy it and I love to experience it, so I didn't find adjusting too difficult.


You may recognise this The New Paper New Face 2007 finalist in theatre productions here.

The 30-year-old has tackled roles like Viola in Twelfth Night, Sleeping Beauty in Into The Woods and Ilse in Spring Awakening, which earned her a Best Supporting Actress nomination at last year's The Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards.

The Eurasian Singaporean of Chinese and Dutch-Portuguese heritage - who last appeared on telly in the 2011 musical drama The Kitchen Musical - will return to the small screen in the Channel 5 sitcom Spouse for House, which premieres on Feb 11 at 8pm.

Spykerman stars as Vanessa de Souza, the single best friend of female protagonist Jessica, played by Hong Kong TVB actress Selena Li.

In the show, newlyweds Jessica and John (Alaric Tay) deal with the struggles of marriage after a whirlwind romance.

Said Spykerman with laugh: "It's slightly different from theatre acting. For example, once I did a scene where I had to storm out of a restaurant on set, so I did just that. When I went back in, I was told that it was okay to just walk out the shot.

"It is slightly difficult but a great experience. For me, it's learning a whole new style of acting. I learnt a lot from (Spouse for House co-star) Irene Ang, who had a lot of advice."

Spykerman is looking forward to more roles, both in television and on stage, adding that she has several unconfirmed projects lined up.

"At this point, I feel like I'm in a midst of a new chapter and that I have more acting opportunities."


As a child, Suria newcomer Nurfarhana Md. Noor had never found the limelight daunting.

Since the age of seven, she has entered many local talent competitions, including One Minute of Fame twice.

Also, as a theatre arts graduate from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa), Nurfarhana is no stranger to the stage.

So it was hardly a surprise when the 23-year-old extrovert decided to take up acting last year.

She landed her first supporting role in last year's Suria drama Rima Hatiku as the bubbly and headstrong Elly, a friend of the main character Rima (played by Shenthy Feliziana). .

This year, she takes the lead as Fasha in the info-drama series #FollowFasha, on the technology issues and challenges surrounding the titular character and her family.

It airs on Wednesdays at 9pm.

"I'm still new, so all I've got are new followers on my Instagram account... and a few comments about people not liking my character in Rima Hatiku," Nurfarhana said with a laugh.

She revealed that her decision to go into acting was a big risk.

She had to quit her multiple freelance jobs - including adventure camp trainer and customer service officer - which she had taken to pay off student loans.

"I wanted to see if this was really for me, and I wanted to step out of my comfort zone. If it works out, it is a means for me to clear my debts as well," said Nurfarhana, who will star in a Suria crime drama later this year.

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