Zeeshan Ali is a fashion model who followed his gut feeling to pursue his dream. This young hard-working personality was working as an IT engineer before getting into the industry full-time. His struggles during the initial day of his journey have made him stronger and more persistent. Let us know more about Zeeshan’s modeling career so far.
Talking about how he started modeling, Zeeshan told that while he working as an IT engineer, he participated in a fashion show. He received a good response which boosted his confidence. So, he decided to take it further.
“I thought of giving modeling a try and then after 2 years, I moved to Mumbai. I participated in a modeling contest and was titled as the first runner-up. So from there, I got the confidence that I can do something in this field.”
If modeling did not happen at that time, Zeeshan was planning to do an MBA and was thinking of working as a manager in a corporate firm. Zeeshan told that his family was very supportive of his decision. He had faced a lot of ups and downs in the initial years of his career. Adding to this, Zeeshan says,
“For newcomers until and unless you have an agency, it is very difficult. You feel confused and need a person for guidance. Being a freelance model it was very difficult for me to get a job. The agencies were not taking me because I was very unpolished. I have struggled a lot as I was doing the work in bits and pieces till the starting of 2018. But I did not stop giving auditions irrespective of whatever happened.”
The turning point in his career was when he did a TVC for the brand Fogg which is on-air for three years now. Their people noticed him and started approaching Zeeshan. When asked how he took criticism at that early stage of his career, Zeeshan told that he took it in a positive way.
“Whenever I used to go for a casting and all people used to look at me and ask ‘are you a model?’ I received a lot of criticism. I felt bad. But thought to myself instead of feeling bad about it, I should work on it. Then I started working on how to be stylish and how to represent myself. Because at the end you have to market yourself. They are going to hire you for your personality. If I will go in an unpolished way, why will they hire me? So, I took it in a very light way. I am very grateful to all those people who criticizedme. Because of them I am standing here.”
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When asked about equal work opportunities for both male and female models in the fashion industry, Zeeshan mentioned that females have more work opportunities in fashion. But the commercial opportunities are somewhat equal for both.
“In fashion there are lot of female clothing because of which they have more work. Also, beauty and jewelry add up to more opportunities. If you are a male model then in fashion you have a really limited amount of clients. Although in commercial and acting zone then there are a lot of work opportunities for both.”
To stand out in this competitive industry, Zeeshan said that one should be fit all the time. Also, keep working on your mental, physical and spiritual health. In commercial modeling performance of a model is a big factor.
“If I give 20 auditions, I get selected in only one. Now you can see the amount of competition. So keep on doing this because if I do not, then certainly I am not getting any job. If a model has to stand out then they have to work hard. Also, he has to take rejections as an opportunity to become something better. All those rejections will lead to somewhere good eventually. Just do not stop working on yourself.”
Zeeshan while talking about facing rejections told that he has been giving auditions for TVCs since 2014. Elaborating further, Zeeshan says,
“2014,15,16,17 I did not crack any auditions. You can imagine the level of frustration and rejections I have gone through. I always thought maybe I am not a good commercial model. I was thinking maybe it is not for me, but then I also kept on trying.
So, one day what happened was, I gave four auditions and thought I did well in three of them and messed up in the fourth one. I was expecting calls from those three, but rather than calls from those three, I got selected for the fourth one. One with the least expectations. It was an international shoot. I went to Serbia which boosted my confidence to another level. There were around 600 people who gave the audition and I was the one who got selected. Since that day to today, I have done around 30 to 35 commercials. One should have that positive attitude.
While discussing how social media is getting people to work in the industry, Zeeshan said that it plays a major role nowadays. As casting people have started asking about your social media handles. They judge according to the posts and see the lifestyle to get an idea of the basic personality of a model. He feels that a model has to post to attract brands.
“Nowadays, a lot of brands are also approaching these influencers as they attract the audience. I think it is the next big thing and after 5-6 years down the line, no one knows what will happen. People will look through social media rather than audition I feel.”
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Zeeshan talking about his future goals revealed that his main goal is to get into acting full-time. Also, he has been giving auditions for web series and TV shows. Zeeshan is inspired by Shah Rukh Khan and told that his movie Badshah was the one that motivated him to pursue acting.
“You know when you are in your teen you watch a movie and get influenced by it to take up some step in future. While watching Badshah that thought came to my mind but I never focused on it. I gave modeling a try for the particular reason that modeling is the only way to get into acting. My ultimate goal is to become an actor. Though I started small because I had no contacts, so I just wanted to earn for living. Now I am creating a path for myself towards acting.”
Read: “Life is full of hurdles, you have to face them one at a time with grace and dignity”, Krish Kapoor