Another Fashion Week is looming large, and vanity is out of the closet for the model brigade. While female models have always had much newsprint (and ramp space, dressing room space and magazine covers) devoted to them, the men are still screaming ‘legitimacy’ for their careers.
Rochelle Pinto is a fly on the wall on a male model’s typical day.. and comes away with much to report
Meet Sahil Shroff. Poster boy of the Indian modelling scene, with a famous alter ego.. Mr HCL (remember the endorsement?). High on drool-quotient, with a recent haircrop and an easy smile, Shroff is also armed with a masters degree in E-commerce and IT. And now he has his eyes firmly set on acting. Promise of good behaviour extracted, he allowed us to document a day in the life of a male model.
A male model’s diary
8.30 am Wake-up mechanism — half hour of yoga and meditation. “If I’m feeling sore from yesterday’s Tae Kwan Do session, I skip yoga and hit the breakfast table,” 9.00 am Breakfast hour — A bowl of fruit stuffed with bananas, watermelon, pomegranate, grapes followed by a glass of vegetable juice.
“Because I eat a low-carb dinner, I wake up starving, I could literally eat my arm in my sleep. It doesn’t sound too appetising.. but it’s healthy.” 9.30 am Dressing up — Shower followed by grooming. “Now that I’ve cut my hair, it literally takes me eight minutes in the shower. Of course, when I had long hair, it was a different story.”
9.45 am Audition prep — “Experience has taught me what works and what doesn’t. I usually have to trudge to the suburbs because most of the auditions take place there. Fighting the traffic takes me an hour and a half, but I can multi-task on my laptop, and leave the maddening traffic to my driver.” 12.00 pm Working the look — Change of clothes.
“I usually wear a pair of shorts or skinny jeans. Sadly, looking good and being comfortable don’t always go hand in hand. Auditions, shortlisting, negotiations.. the work is endless. It creates a lot of anxiety, but I’ve learnt to deal with it over the years.” 5.00 pm Work out — Yoga, running, Tae Kwan Do with trainer Farooq Mistry and weight lifting at the gym. “Working out gives you a kick of energy and it does wonders for your physique. Tae Kwan Do works off about a 1000 calories per session.”
6.30 pm Diction doctor — Hindi lessons with Vikas Kumar of Strictly Speaking. “I know I’d probably be able to get by with my current accent, but I don’t want to be typecast as an NRI chocolate boy.” 7.30 pm Social space — Friends, family.. and books. “I don’t mean to sound boring, but I’ve really taken to reading.” he says apologetically. Girlfriend? “ I’m not one to kiss and tell.”
After hours, he is a closed chapter. Ever the gentleman, he escorts his guest to the elevator. So does he have a busy day ahead of him? He shoots one last grin as he’s closing the door. “It’s not the hardest job in the world.”