GET ready to meet the newest girl next door.
Dunsborough talent Maleeka Gasbarri has made her debut on long-time family soap opera Neighbours, bounding onto the screen as Cat Rogers on Monday night.
Gasbarri said she was lucky enough to land the role after attending a course in Perth run by The Australian Film and Television Academy.
“I had pneumonia at the time; I was so sick I almost didn’t go,” she said.
One casting agent in attendance was from Neighbours, who upon seeing Gasbarri in action said she would like to give her a role in the series.
“I filmed my audition tape in Dunsborough and sent it through to them,” Gasbarri said.
”They said I had gotten the role and had to be there in two weeks to start filming.
“It was a bit overwhelming, but I was so excited.”
Gasbarri’s role is a guest one, running for just over a month on screen, but the show has already commented that they want her back.
“It all started when I was eight, which was funny as we never really watched TV, but I said ‘Mum, I want to be an actor’,” Gasbarri said.
The young actress has appeared in a variety of drama productions throughout the South West, finding her roots in the Jam Pact and Wild Capes theatre productions and work shopping her skills with fellow South West talent Myles Pollard.
She has even written and directed her own film, which was short listed at Cinefest.
“My little movie was a pretty intense one,” she said.
“It was cool to do, it’s nice to have that that understanding outside of acting.”
Acting is where her heart is for the long term, and Gasbarri is excited to see what the future holds.
“I’ll see what comes along,” she said.
“I have an American agent now, hopefully I’ll get to head over there in January 2016.”
Until then the South West remains her home, particularly with an increased number of films set to be shot in the area in the next few years.
“If I receive an audition for a South West film, I’d love to do it,” she said.
Gasbarri planned to celebrate her Neighbours debut with a big family gathering viewing party.
“All my family is coming over, they’re pretty psyched about it,” she said.
“My friends have seen me in the preview for the year and they seem to be just as excited about it as I am.”