When Luke Pereira entered the Teens Model Star Search in 2011, he never expected to emerge as the winner, much less pursue a full-time career in modelling.
Claim to Fame
When he took part in the contest, he was still a first-year Interactive Media Informatics student in Temasek Polytechnic.
After the unexpected win, the 1.83m model was offered a modelling contract. He turned down the opportunity to stay focused in his studies. But a few years later, he was offered another contract by Upfront Models. That’s when he took the plunge.
Luke has since worked with international brands in cities like Bangkok, Hong Kong and Seoul. He has also modelled for prominent brands such as McDonald’s, Zalora and Pizza Hut, to name a few.
Having been a full-time model for over two years now, Luke says: “The best part of my job, hands down, is travelling”.
In fact, he enjoys travelling overseas for work instead of simply going for vacation. “Instead of just going to famous places, you learn to live like a local, and that’s when you get to experience the most authentic cultures.”
After modelling in different countries, he has picked up several new languages and befriended people from all over the world. He thanks his job for opening up these doors for him.
“If I never got this [modelling] opportunity, I would have never gained these experiences.”
Despite the perks, modelling is not all just glitz and glamour.
On top of early call times and long working hours, models are expected to consistently deliver high-energy performances to meet the clients’ expectations.
Luke says he has received his fair share of criticisms on set, from directors who demand for nothing but the best from him. In spite of the setbacks, he takes them in his stride and views them as learning opportunities to better himself.
The modelling career has also helped him become a lot more independent, especially when he goes for overseas gigs.
“When I was overseas, I only had myself,” said Luke, adding that these experiences really toughen him up mentally – even more so than National Service.
The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly affected the livelihoods of many models and others in the entertainment industry. Many job castings, productions and events are at a temporary halt due to strict restrictions put in place to curb the virus outbreak.
During Phase 1 of the circuit breaker, Luke had no jobs at all. Fortunately, more castings have been held since the start of Phase 2.
Apart from modelling, Luke also starred in an online reality show, Stuck with You. Produced by Refinery Media and Eye Creative, the show was livestreamed on Facebook in June for over a week, eight hours a day.
The show features six complete strangers who’re stuck under one roof. They’re each other’s “stuck-mates” for a week, and they had to complete new challenges which could either make or break their relationships.
Luke was voted a fan favourite in the series.
“It was fun, a very interesting experience. In fact, I am still in contact with all other five of my stuck-mates,” says Luke.
He adds that his modelling experience has prepared him well for the reality show as he’s used to having cameras around him.
He just had to work on being himself on set. “I was more focused on portraying my authentic self while on camera, I wanted to be real.”
Reflecting on his journey so far, Luke says he feels immensely blessed to be where he is now.
“I wouldn’t have expected myself to be modelling, but years down the road, I’m travelling the world, meeting all kinds of people. Honestly, I would say it’s a dream come true.”