Genuine, passionate and inspirational - 20 year old Michaela Hartley from South Australia is one of the most beautiful soul we've chanced upon at The Shophouse. Here's what went down during our one hour conversation!
Michaela Hartley, Adelaide
Words by Syafiqah J -- Images by Amiera Raushan
What brings you to Singapore?
I'm in Singapore because of an event called Lion City Gathering - it's the biggest Parkour Gathering in Asia. It is amazing because I get to meet people from all over the world and there are number of events organised, including several competitions! I'm not competing this year but I definitely will next year!
Oh yes, I parkour and do stunts for a living. I have a certificate for personal training so I'm qualified to be a fitness instructor. I've been working as an instructor for Bounce, a trampoline park originated from Australia, for quite some time now!
Anyway, I love Singapore and decided to extend my stay here at The Shophouse. To anyone who's reading this and is considering to stay at this particular hostel, please do because you will get aspects of various cultures - its truly multicultural. I've been here for a week but I feel like I've travelled to three different countries already!
Pursuing a career as a stuntwoman at the age of 20 years old is pretty unconventional so why and what made you choose this path?
I woke up one morning and decided that I had to I do something major for myself. Firstly, I did one of the hardest thing in my life which was to end a five and a half years relationship with my high school sweetheart. It was painful, and still is but if we are still together now, I don't think I'd be sitting here in Singapore. It was only after the breakup that I moved to the city and started pursuing parkour.
I knew had to pursue things for me and that was when a gateway of amazing parkour/stunt opportunities opened - I've appeared in a couple of TV shows and worked on a Buzzfeed video for Bounce. I've even been on the local papers!
I did apply for university and I got into the degree of my choice - paramedic science but in the end decided to pursue something totally different which is professional stuntwoman. I'm glad that my parents have been so supportive of my decision. Oh, they're amazing! They've always been big on the saying "do what makes you happy" and that is simply what I did.
I strongly believe that all women (and men too!) should pursue something for themselves. If your partner is supportive of you then go ahead and do it. Even if your partner is supportive of it but you feel like you have to do it on your own, then by all means.
I think we live in a day and age where women are very much liberated - we have plenty of opportunities to do what we want if we believe in ourselves. I did boxing for eight years and that is very male dominated but that did not bother me. I went on to try parkour and stunts which are male dominated as well but I refuse to let that stop me. In fact it pushes me to work harder.
If you have a calling, never be afraid to pursue it.
What a lovely chat we had with Michaela! We hope to have you back soon, perhaps for next year's Lion City Gathering - we're rooting for you to win if you're competing! Check out Michaela's amazing moves in this Buzzfeed video, we're impressed! https://www.facebook.com/BuzzFeedOz/videos/2027416954156657/ and follow her on IG @mickyyhartley.