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Internship led to career

by Ano Puchalski, staff writer


Life is a juggling act for Meilinda Soerjoko, from Sydney, Australia. This 20-something actress, (actresses do not disclose real age, only age range for work) is a fashion business owner and, until this winter, a public relations major (with a writing minor) at HPU She graduated in January 2005.

Soerjoko’s acting career got its start from her Communication Practicum class. She worked as an intern for the assistant casting director of Blue Crush, the 2002 surf film produced on O‘ahu’s North Shore. Her primary duties were to help her boss, the casting director, cast and coordinate extras, the people who stand or walk past in the background while scenes with the “stars” are filmed in the foreground. She also got to do a little extra standing around, too.


Soerjoko’s experience as an extra on Blue Crush helped her find other acting jobs. She continues to network with the people in the film and television industry and in 2004 alone worked on the sets of FOX’s locally based series North Shore, NBC’s Hawai‘i (now defunct), and ABC’s Lost.

Soerjoko scored her first principal role on ABC’s Lost as Chrissy, an Australian ticket agent, opposite Matthew Fox who plays the role of Jack. (Fox is better known for his starring role as Charlie, the father figure and eldest child on the FOX series Party of Five).

Soerjoko is now a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild, which classifies her as a professional actor, and she is represented by ADR Model/Talent Agency in Hawai‘i.

When Soerjoko isn’t rehearsing lines for upcoming roles, or, before her January graduation, studying for her classes at HPU, she is busy operating her own business, which she calls MINXdeLUXE, a fashion house currently selling on eBay as well as at several local stores. She recently released her new MINXdeLUXE line of women’s underwear at and at the U-Down Store in Kailua. She is working on placing her designs for HPU at the HPU Bookstore.

Despite all she has achieved in the United States, Soerjoko is still considered a nonresident, which makes it difficult for her to accept jobs/roles here without a federal work permit.

“ I have had to turn down jobs because I was between work permits,” Soerjoko said . “I have had three different types of work permits since I got to the United States, and I am now hoping to qualify for an O-1 visa, for athletes and entertainers.”

For her role in Lost, Soerjoko was lucky enough to get her O.P.T. visa (Optional Practical Training) in time for the day of the shoot, and she credits HPU’s Office of International Student Services for helping her get it.

“ I’d like to thank Ann Newton and Lisa Buto,” Soerjoko said, explaining that they got answers to her questions and helped her successfully prepare the application.



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