When she joined the New Paper New Face
competition in 2011, she was a freelance actress hoping for some publicity.
Atikah Suhaime had graduated from Singapore Polytechnic with a diploma in media and communication in 2010.
Two years after the modelling contest, she is now a full-time actress based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and signed to Metrowealth International Group (MIG), a Malaysian talent management and production company.
Atikah, 22, told The New Paper: “I was always interested in the entertainment industry and I thought that New Face would be a good platform for me to gain recognition and start a career.
‘Immediately after the competition, Atikah was approached by local boutique Modkebaya to appear in their TV commercials and photo shoots.
She modelled for them up till early this year, when she had to stop due to work commitments in Malaysia.
Her New Face experience was also a factor in her getting signed to MIG.
Atikah said that the CEO of MIG, Mr David Teo, spotted her on photo-sharing app Instagram in June last year.
He had left her a comment on one of her pictures, asking her to send him her resume.
Atikah went across the Causeway for an audition with the company last July.
She said: “When I showed them what I did during New Face, they were very impressed.
‘They were wowed by, the fashion spread Atikah was featured in during the competition that was published in The New Paper.
They felt that she looked like a celebrity and were impressed with her poses.
Since signing up with MIG , she has been busy filming movies and dramas.
The first movie she shot in Malaysia was the comedy Lagenda Budak Hostel, which will be released later this year.
She plays Mila, a good friend of the protagonist portrayed by Malaysian actress Nora Danish.
She has finished filming three movies and two dramas in which she plays supporting roles and is shooting an action comedy series, Dewi Lasak, which will air on TV3 in Malaysia on June 24.
Atikah said she plans to stay in Malaysia to continue her acting career.
She credits New Face ‘“ which she considers her first professional modelling experience ‘“ for giving her the confidence to pursue her acting career.
She said: “It was an eye-opening experience.
I learnt a lot about which camera angles suit my face best, which is important in my acting career.
‘And while she had always been punctual, she said the competition made her value the importance of being on time.
Atikah, who stands at 1.62m, also misses feeling like a model.
She said: “Without joining New Face, I don’t think I would ever have been able to walk the runway due to my, height.
“It was amazing to feel all the eyes on you.
‘Atikah said seeing her friends and family cheering for her during the finals was touching.
Her advice to those thinking of going down to tomorrow’s auditions?
“Go for it! Even if you think you can’t win, you never know what life has in store for you.‘