A celebrity’s life can look glitzy and glamourous from the outside.
But is that really true?
Is their life all about showing up in front of the screen and earning a lot of money?
Well, not for TVB actors and actresses, according to Christy Chan, a former TVB actress.
Former TVB Actress Claimed She Was Paid Just S$5/hr When She Started Out
This is Christy Chan.
Coming in within the top ten for the 2012 Miss Hong Kong pageant, Chan joined TVB shortly after.
She remembered being sent to Vietnam to shoot for a 10-episode show.
Because she was a newcomer with “no bargaining power”, she was paid HK$28 (S$5) an hour for the shoot.
That’s equivalent to working part-time at McDonald’s, to be honest.
She said that if the company didn’t feel that the talent could bring more benefit to the show, they’ll not entertain any bargaining.
If, however, the talent can bring along with them some benefits, they would be willing to fork up to HK20,000 (S$3,598), she added.
When she joined TVB, she was also taking acting classes.
Contrary to popular belief, her bargaining power did not increase even after she had completed her classes and became a full-fledged actress.
She revealed that after signing a full-time contract with the station, her show price remained low and she had to work every day.
Recounting the events, she said that to TVB, she was merely cheap labour:
“I was basically cheap labour, filming children’s shows, travel shows and working as an extra. There was no worry that I’d have no jobs. I was bringing in HK$20,000 ($3598) to HK$30,000 (S$5397) a month, but my physical condition was really bad.”
The Toughest Job In The World
When her contract ended in 2017, Chan left TVB to become a full-time influencer.
She was also allegedly frozen by the station six months before her contract ended, prompting her decision to leave.
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She admitted, however, that she had learnt a lot while working for TVB as an actress.
As she had said, there was no lack of jobs and she had to take up as many of them as possible to make a living.
However, she still felt that her journey with TVB is “more bitter than sweet” and said that “it’s the toughest job in the world”.
Other than being a full-time influencer, Chan is also co-hosting ViuTV‘s cooking show, Beauty and the Feast.
As for any regrets leaving the broadcasting station, she said that she doesn’t have any.
While fellow pageant contestants are now rising stars in TVB, she said that she’s probably making more money than them right now:
“I’m earning more money than 90 per cent of [TVB’s] artistes.”
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