Television is a fickle medium. A series can be axed after two episodes or at the peak of its popularity.
Fortunately for actor Chloe Bayliss, though, Doctor Doctor is now into its fourth season and going strong. The series is set in a country town and follows the exploits of Dr Hugh Knight (Rodger Corser). Bayliss plays the role of devout Christian Hayley who has just had a baby with her long-time boyfriend Ajax (Matt Castley).
"People just seem to love the show, which is really nice to hear," Bayliss tells Weekender.
"People from all over the world are tuning in and sending us messages, and they're already hounding us about wanting a season five. We hope that that's the case and we hope Australia is loving this new season. We're very excited about it."
Dr Knight is shedding his nice guy image in series four. Hayley also finds herself at a turning point in her life.
"Hayley this season is really fun. There are some new things she is trying to explore and she has grown up a little bit," Bayliss explains.
"There's lots of changes and challenges between her and Ajax, and also having baby Jimmy and trying to figure out her place in the world.
"I feel like she has followed this path of get married and have a baby and suddenly she goes 'Oh, is there anything else out there for me?' It is so fun for me to play around with Hayley's character and towards the end of the season she learns a new skill - I won't say what it is - but it was super fun to have the opportunity to train for that."
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Bayliss moved from Port Macquarie to Lambton at the age of 14 to study at the National College of Dance in Broadmeadow, initially living with her grandmother. Her parents and siblings joined her a year later, settling in Eleebana (they recently moved to Newcastle East).
She had just been accepted into a dance company in the US when, at the age of 16, she became seriously ill and spent months in hospital suffering from seizures and fluid retention. Then her kidneys started to fail. She was eventually diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease.
Bayliss released En Pointe, a tell-all autobiography, last year. Written for young adults, it's deeply personal, covering coming-of-age issues as experienced by a teen confined to a hospital bed.
"I've been very happy with the response to my book," Bayliss says.
"The first couple of weeks after it launched were a bit stressful but seeing the response and hearing people's stories allowed me to go 'OK this is a good thing' and just run with it because it seemed to be helping people.
"I'm hearing some really horrible stories from people who have been going through things that I think are much much worse than anything I've been though."
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Her book has been resonating with people for many different reasons. Bayliss has heard from young dancers who have had potentially career-ending injuries through to people with an autoimmune disease.
The disease ended her dancing career but opened the door to another. Bayliss is a Helpmann Award nominee and was a finalist in the prestigious 2016 Heath Ledger Scholarship. Her film credits include Michael Petroni's Backtrack (Tribeca Film Festival) and Driftwood Dustmites (Berlin Film Festival and New York Film Festival). Her television credits include Reef Doctors, Dance Academy and Deadly Women.
Acting is her passion and her career but dancing will always be her first love. Bayliss was in Newcastle earlier this year teaching at the National College of Dance, the school she attended as a teen. She also spent some quality down-time at Port Stephens with her partner over Christmas.
So, what does the rest of 2020 have in store?
"There are lots of really cool things happening," she says.
"I have a couple of things lined up for the end of the year but I can't say anything just yet. I'm always auditioning, always rehearsing and talking about other projects. It keeps me very busy."
As for her health, Bayliss has no complaints.
"I am feeling well, I am, but it's one of those things were you just have to manage it, and stay on top of it, and stay healthy," she says.
"With the recent bushfires there has been an even greater need for blood donations. Australian Red Cross Lifeblood needs 29,000 blood donations a week so get down there and donate."
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