Amelia Henderson is a 25-year-old Malaysian actress, model and TV host based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She’s mixed-raced; with Scottish and Malaysian Indian descent!
Her most recent acting role was for TV3 where she starred as Lana Analia in Romantika 4 Hari 3 Malam opposite Sean Lee. Another notable role was when she was the host and face of GOASEAN Channel for ‘Go Travel’ – a joint-venture of Astro and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – from 2015-16.
She's also a treasured Enfiniti Academy alumni and has starred in two of our past theatre productions – Seussical The Broadway Musical and Citrawarna! Enjoy a short video snippet of the interview below.
Tell us about yourself.
Hi, my name’s Amelia Henderson! I am an actress, TV host and model.
Would you like to share any projects that you’re working on right now?
Well, I have a bunch. My most recent project was for TV3 called Romantika 4 Hari 3 Malam which aired from March to April. I have another drama coming out soon on Astro called Cik Ayu Mee Sanggul. We’re about to start production on another drama that’s going to be for Slot Akasia on TV3.
How did you first hear about Enfiniti Academy classes and what made you realise that performing arts was your passion?
I started working in the Entertainment industry when I was very young; I was only 10 months old when I had my first commercial. I had heard about Enfiniti from ‘Aunty Tiara’ [Tiara Jacquelina], which is how I fondly refer to her. And then, I started taking dance classes here, and eventually, I fell into the whole musical theatre thing with Enfiniti. Then, we did Seussical The Broadway Musical which was so much fun. So, I had spent a good portion of my youth here at Enfiniti.
Why are the performing arts important to you?
I think it’s a form of self-expression, but I also started at a very young age. It’s become a very defining characteristic of mine. I love to sing, I love to act, I love to dance. I started as a kid and it was my creative outlet. And now it’s my career; so that’s pretty crazy!
What were some challenges that you had to overcome to pursue your passion?
I think with any type of creative pursuit, the most important thing that you need to do is that you need to constantly work on your craft. Because times are always changing, the industry is always changing and you have to make sure that you’re ahead of the curve. I think it’s important to remember that, as much as you are a professional, you are working in the industry, you have to constantly be learning as well. And whilst that may seem like a challenge, it’s really not because it’s important that you continue improving yourself and this is relevant regardless of what industry you're in.
What have been the highlights of your career so far?
So many highlights! I’ve been very, very, very lucky! I’ve met a lot of people who have helped me along the way. One of them is Aunty Tiara, she’s helped me so much! One of the highlights was where I did this thing with Aunty Tiara called Citrawarna [in 2015!]. It was in Dataran Merdeka and was so much fun. She asked me to play the Citrawarna bird, which was really cool. And we got to fly out and everything, and in Dataran Merdeka: how Iconic is that! Definitely, without a doubt, one of the highlights!
What has Enfiniti Academy done for you or taught you in the past that you carry with you now?
I think they’ve given me, and so many other youths, a platform to develop their creative strengths and I think that’s very, very important because it builds confidence y’know. You get to dance, you get to sing, you get to express yourself. With performing arts, the act of performing on-stage and connecting with an audience.
I think Enfiniti Academy has given not just me, but ALL the students that they’ve ever housed in this studio space, the opportunity to develop their creative skills. I think this is very important whether you’re working in a creative industry or not because you build confidence. It helps you learn how to connect with other people, how to express yourself in a creative way, which are all important building blocks.
For a holistic, better life in the future. These are skills that you can put to use regardless of whether you end up in entertainment or not. So that’s what it helped me with. Obviously, I went down the career path, so these things are very, very important for me. Having the experience of being on-stage helps when you act, even in Film & TV. But these are very amazing and important things that I've applied to every single day of my career that I learnt here, at Enfiniti.
Other than Citrawarna, have you been a part of any other Enfiniti Academy show?
Yes, of course! We did Seussical The Broadway Musical, which was so much fun! I remember being very nervous about that, because I think out of the 3 things that I was doing in performing arts (Acting, Singing, Dancing), I always felt very nervous about singing in public. It wasn't something that I felt like I put the most time and energy into. In my head, I was predominantly an actress, followed by a dancer, and then last was a singer. Out of the 3 things that I did, I would say [dancing] was not the one I was most confident in.
So for Seussical The Broadway Musical, I played Maisie The Bird and I had this solo number with dancing and everything. Maisie is a dancer, if you know the character well, but also I had to sing. And there was this last high note that was really high and I remember that Aunty Tiara – she was so sweet and so kind that she burned me a CD (this was back in the day la) with like a bunch of vocal training techniques. She passed it to me and she was like "Just go home, listen to this CD and practice.”
She was always there giving us positive reinforcement, and, surprisingly, I went home and I practiced my tiny little heart and lungs out, and I did it! I was really, really proud of myself!
How have the performing arts helped you with your emotional wellbeing and/or physical health? What has the expression of performing arts done for your soul? How does performing arts make you feel?
Well, as I said earlier, regardless of what industry you find yourself in in the future – whether that’s something more business-related or creative-related – it’s very important as a human being that you hone your creative expression. And everybody has it, we all have something that makes you want to sing or dance – even if it’s karaoking with your friends. These things can be very good for the soul because “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, as they say.
Finding some time to allocate to yourself and give to yourself for you to develop your own skills, outside of just specifically one arena is very important to becoming a well-rounded person.
So finally – especially growing up in Malaysia – most people do not understand the importance or benefits of performing arts education. What would you say to them, based on your experience, of why performing arts education is important?
I think it teaches you. Okay, so when people hear ‘performing arts education’ they think that “Okay, you want to learn dance so that you can become a dancer”, or “you want to learn singing so that you can become a singer”, or “you want to learn acting so that you can become an actress.” And this is not necessarily true. There are so many things in acting, singing or dancing class that are skills you can apply to any setting that you might find yourself in the future.
For example, through dance, acting, singing is where I learnt discipline. That’s where I learnt it, in dance class, which is crazy. I didn't even end up becoming a professional dancer. I also learnt how to conduct myself better in terms of performing on-stage and everything. All of which you can then take and apply towards any interview in the future when you want to get a corporate job. These are all very important skills but you need to practice “connecting with other people”, “being able to present yourself really well” and “being able to feel confident in your own body” instead of feeling stiff or awkward. They may not seem like big things, but adding everything up makes you a more well-rounded human being.
And these are all really important skills that you can bring into a corporate career in the future, even if you never want to do entertainment ever again. I think it's very important to build up all of these additional skills. There is no downside to learning how to do a new skill. Especially for performing arts, we’re such social beings that it’s very, very important to hone all these skills.
Thank you so much Enfiniti Academy and Happy 10th Anniversary!!
(Note: Answers have been edited for clarity and length.)
At Enfiniti Academy, we wanted to share that we are extremely proud of Amelia and all that she’s accomplished over the years with her career. And we’re very happy to celebrate 10 years of producing outstanding, creative leaders!
ALSO! Since it’s our 10th birthday, we're offering a special 10% discount for all who enrol in ANY module from our HYBRID Performing Arts Certificate Course – up to Jan 2022! 🤗
For those working a corporate job, we’ve developed an engaging & immersive drama-based corporate training programme called Enfiniti PLAY!