A young mind has the power to conquer the world. Just like Jitesh Nikam, who has conquered the fashion industry with his perseverance. Now he is planning to do the same in the entertainment industry with his talent. He has been in the modeling industry since 2017. At an age of 25, Jitesh has been persistent enough to do everything he could to achieve what he dreams of. Moreover, Jitesh’s positive approach towards life makes him stand apart from others. Here’s more about his modeling journey and his plans.
During the interview, Jitesh told that he never really thought of getting into modeling. It was just an opportunity that came to him knocking at his door. Also, he was clear that whatever will come his way he would do it with dedication and put his 100 percent.
“I randomly just auditioned for an assignment. The lucky part for me was I was very clear about one thing, whatever comes my way I will do it very seriously. So that’s how I auditioned and got through my first assignment. My first show was for Vikram Phadnis. Then, I did Lakme Fashion Week and never looked back.”
Apart from modeling and acting, Jitesh is a dancer and has trained many people in his hometown, Nasik. But he did not choose dancing as his career because he always wanted to do something which could give him his own identity. He knew that with modeling and acting he can create his own identity. While he was in his hometown, Jitesh did a lot of traveling regularly from Nasik to Mumbai.
“The central idea was I loved performing, be it in any format like dancing, acting or fashion modeling. I love performing overall. In the initial 6 months of modeling, what I did was, I used to audition and again go back home. And when I got through the audition, I came back to Mumbai. So yeah I did a lot of traveling. Down the line, what happened was, I wasn’t able to actually handle it. To travel that much and study and do whatever I was doing at that point was tiring. So, then I decided to move to Mumbai.”
Jitesh mentioned that he never had any plans for his life. Back when he was a child, he wanted to be a pilot. Later when he grew up, he never thought of becoming something. Although he was very clear that he will grab any opportunity that comes his way and will work hard for that.
“When I was in 10th or 11th my friends were like I will do this or that. But as I said I never had plans. I was like, the first ticket(opportunity) I will get I am just going to board that flight and will never come back. So that was my agenda back then.”
Talking about rejections, Jitesh said that rejections were always there in his career. Though it did not affect him much since he did not have any other plan. Initially, when he started he used to get modeling assignments frequently.
“Every month I was doing a lot of stuff, shoots, shows, fashion weeks, this and that. Then down the line what I felt was after a point of time, once you start adapting the whole process of any field, all these things happen to you. You get rejected and sometimes you get shortlisted and you get through it. Everything is on and at last it does not happen. So it kind of gives you a mental toss, like why is it happening like this.
I faced rejections and for me, the sad part was that no agency wanted to sign me at that point of time. Every time I use to approach them, they used to say that you are a very ordinary-looking boy. Also the features that you have are similar to the other 5-6 models.
We don’t want another person with the same body type and same looks, there is no variety in you. Getting work and then getting rejected is different, but the agency is rejecting you to take you up as a talent, which was disheartening.”
Jitesh told that he never joined an agency since then. As every artist has his own story or journey to share. So, one thing that Jitesh knew was his journey will not be easy and will definitely differ from others. Being a confident person, Jitesh knew that one day or the other he will succeed. Jitesh has been doing freelance modeling. Therefore, he feels if he would have joined an agency, he would not have had the liberty to experiment. But his advice to all newcomers in the industry is to first join an agency and learn the basics.
“Assume there are five agencies in the market and every agency is having a different set of models. So a new model actually needs to analyze everything and then target the correct agency with the correct portfolio. I would say, freelancing is going to be difficult at the start. If its only limited to fashion then yes, it would be difficult.”
We often see that men are shamed for grooming, so Jitesh’s take on this was that men also have a side where they want to take care of themselves. Also, there is no harm for men to feel good about themselves.
“I feel if I love doing something for myself, I am not answerable to anyone for that.”
Talking about financial stability, Jitesh said that several sources of income are important. Fashion can just be your hobby. There was a time when Jitesh had a lot of work and times when he had no work. That is when he realized how important it is to have several sources of income.
“One should have a good planning of their finances if they don’t have another source of income. In Fashion, I would say a secondary source of income is very necessary. Because living a model’s lifestyle is not at all easy. You have to do grooming of your skin, hair, body and once you add of all this it becomes a very heavy amount.
In fashion, everything you will pay will be more for yourself. The investment that you have to do for yourself is due every month, every week. You need to eat well, take care of yourself and that’s how you will look good and get work. Living this life is not at all easy.”
Jitesh has worked for many brands. Also, he has walked at fashion weeks for designers like Manish Malhotra, Shantanu-Nikhil, Rocky S and Narendra Kumar, Masumi Mewawalla, and many more. Sharing his experience, Jitesh says,
“Working with big designers is that they are very particular about everything they want. Be it their vision of making of how they imagined a model to look. So what I love about working with designers is their vision part, as they are very clear with that. Seeing around all this, you as a person will also grow. I have worked with different kinds of designers”
When asked about his acting career, Jitesh mentioned that he started it a year back. He has been doing acting workshops and is learning the craft.
As everyone says, if you come from a fashion background acting for you would be difficult and I somewhere agree with this. As I have also experienced it at a point. Because what happens with fashion models is it’s too stiff, fashion is all about your looks. Acting is not about how you look.
Acting is all about what you are doing and how you are doing. Like for me, it was kind of a task to break out from that zone. When I use to go to all these workshops, a lot of people use to say- You are too much about your looks, your body is like this and posture is like that. This came because of fashion. While shooting or walking the ramp I had a certain body posture. I technically started becoming like that.
So I have been auditioning for a lot of web shows. But I am waiting for something that fits my visions. To grab the very first opportunity in acting, I feel is not a very good idea. Because acting is what I love and want to do for the rest of my life. So, I will wait for the right kind of role or right kind of project which is going to make my identity in a certain way.
Jitesh expressed his desire to work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali in the future.
Jitesh is not associated with any social cause as such but he makes a lot of donations to the children of sex workers, for their education and betterment of their life.
If I will grow in my career, I would definitely start up something for them. They don’t have a choice, because this is something which happened to them when they were born. So that is the reason I would love to do something for them. Like providing them a good education, a better lifestyle something of that sort.
In the end, sharing what impact modeling had on his life, Jitesh says,
“For me fashion has kept me focussed throughout. As fashion allows me to take care of myself more than I would have taken care otherwise. Right now I am in a really focussed space. The whole career that I have chosen has given me a lot. Here you not working everyday but working to get work everyday. So yes it kind of gives you that ease but then that ease is also with a plan. You are always having a plan.”
Interviewing Jitesh was fun yet inspiring. I hope while reading about Jitesh you will get inspired and will work towards achieving milestones in your career, just like Jitesh.