Finding a healthy balance between your career and personal life is the cornerstone to success and happiness.
That’s one of the most commonly given pieces of advice for people striving for their dreams – it’s also advice that’s often overlooked and met with eye-rolls.
Why? Because it’s so overused that it sounds like a cliché.
When struggling professionals are told to “find a healthy balance”, it can feel as though that advice doesn’t take into account the competitive and fast-paced arena that is the workforce.
But Mayling Ng, entrepreneur, actress, and fitness extraordinaire, gives merit to that claim.
Starring in huge, DC Hollywood blockbusters and further highlighting diversity in the industry, Ng is utilizing her passion for health and wellness at the forefront of her entertainment career.
Mayling Ng has lived all over the world, but despite her ever changing landscape and professional focus, one thing has remained constant – her devotion to health and fitness.
Ng’s commitment to her wellness unwittingly provided the skills and tools that would help her seize opportunities and build a successful career.
Ng’s fitness journey started in her youth when she began training in martial arts.
She continued to develop her talents through adulthood as she became more interested in health and wellness.
In 2004 became the recipient of the Barclays Entrepreneur Award for her Lyte protein restaurant concept and opened three locations in Spain before moving to Singapore where she founded her own fitness and personal training company while becoming a competitive athlete. Her expertise led her to acting.
“I have studied many styles of martial arts depending on what country I was in all my life, which finally led me into film in Hong Kong.
Since then, I have ended up in Hollywood and am now doing superhero movies,” Ng says to GLAMOUR exclusively.
She now lives in Los Angeles and features in many big screen hits – many of which allow her to utilize her fitness talents.
For Ng, what started off as a personal hobby in fitness transformed into a booming career in acting that she never anticipated.
Here’s an inside look on how fostering her passion for fitness allowed Ng to prosper professionally through her passions.
What does fitness mean to you?
It’s my focus first and foremost. It's for my mental health and part of my every day. I base my day around my fitness, just like brushing my teeth in the morning.
It sets me up and it makes me feel strong enough to take on anything.
Feeling my most powerful self and best self is part of my life and it has made opportunities come my way that would never have happened otherwise.
How did you get into acting?
Acting was always a dream, but I never had the confidence to put myself out there and give it my all. I only did small projects once in a while, if they came my way.
Eventually, when I lived in Asia, I was approached to play ‘Svietta,’ a Russian convict Kumite killer in a martial arts female led movie.
Now, I've been in Hollywood over five years and have worked on many action movies, including “Wonder Woman” and “The Suicide Squad.”
I also just wrapped on “The Legend of the White Dragon” which is a fun feature, and now I am in prep for my first female lead in a drama film, “The Journeyman”, opposite Mike Bisping.
How do you prepare for a big role in terms of fitness, mindfulness, etc.?
Depends on the time that I have to prep for the role that’s required of me and what kind of state my body has to be in.
If it's more of a martial arts role, then I'll concentrate more on the weapons side. If it's more for a superhero role, then I'll just come in looking as strong as possible to equal the men.
Then, if there is no action and only dialogue, I get off book completely and I train with my coach to be mentally ready for the challenge ahead and bring my A-game.
Do you have a specific workout routine that you’d like to share with the readers?
The only cardio I do now is training with Kung Fu weapons. Then, I lift the heaviest weights I can doing deadlifts, pull ups, and squats. The more muscle you have, the more fat you will burn even at rest.
How do you think mental health and fitness go hand in hand?
Strong mind, as well as body, is my objective. It's the number one reason that I train. Fitness keeps me balanced and helps avoid stress and negative thoughts. It’s a good way for me to control my hyper focus.
How do your television roles reflect on your personal life? For example, what skills from your personal life have you been able to take onto the big screen?
I am a black belt in Shaolin Kung Fu and certified in 9 weapons, which is halfway into the full 18 mastery.
When I go onto a film set and the character has a sword, whether it’s a broadsword or a straight sword or even double swords, I can do it.
If they want to do a long weapon like a bo staff, a double-handed weapon, I got it! If there’s a fight scene with a soft weapon, like a whip chain or nunchuck, done!
All I need to do is learn the choreography that they want, because I am already trained in the basics of weapons. My hobbies have become my skill set and my work.
With traveling and living across the globe I can hold my own and being on location for many months at a time alone is something I’m happy to do for work.
Many roles that I’ve played are those of a strong independent woman with different accents so with me having been a bit of a nomad, it’s been the best preparation.
When I shot the Scorpion King alone in Cape Town for 5 weeks, I had already travelled to South Africa on my many trips and knew what to expect. I was not only ready, but excited too.
What is something about you that you wish your supporters knew?
I started living my acting dream only five years ago because I just never thought it could ever be a possibility. Now, I'm becoming known as a warrior and a strong woman in film.
So, believe me, be careful what you wish for because it may come true. I'm shocked every day about where I have come – and it's what I wished for.
So, I hope that my supporters realize that whatever they want: if they work hard, they can get it too. Just have the belief.
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