Eyes wrinkling to a squint, stubble growing into a thick, jaws oh so geometric and dropping to form a sexy purse on the lips, arms extending to reveal impressive musculature. The lighting in any photo, always on point. The styling, something you’d expect to tear off a magazine fashion editorial. It would seem like we’re describing some social media-borne wannabe model littering his feed with random snaps often posted to draw many “likes.” Because that’s how people are now these days, is it not? In this case, however, talking about Kit Thompson and his behavior on his Instagram account, it’s just not.
Taking a detour
All these images mentioned, the former PBB star keeps on his curated social media account. It’s obviously for his portfolio, as he now strives to be an actor and a high-fashion model in the States.
“I actually decided to move to New York because I was going to study at the New York Film Academy to learn more about the craft of acting. Until now, I still continue my studies at Anthony Miendl Actor’s Workshop,” the 21 year-old, still shy as he was when he left the Philippines, tells ABS-CBN Lifestyle.
“But along the way, I decided to get back into modeling. That’s when I moved out to Los Angeles after graduating from New York Film Academy. I am currently signed with NTA Model Management in LA.”
Kit is now part of an agency with an almost two decade-worth body of work. The “boutique modeling agency” boasts of having worked with top brands like Nike, Under Amour, Speedo, Bebe, Hollister, Gap, and Levi's. It also does product placements online via its pool of social media influencers.
Of course, modeling—or the spotlight, in general—isn’t really something new to Kit, who has walked at the Philippine Fashion Week ramp and starred in a couple of print projects before joining PBB here. After his stint on the hit reality show, the 6’1” stunner went on to bag more projects including two commercials for Sprite that would air in four countries across Asia. He became a household name on local television as well, with bit roles on Galema, Born For You, and Forevermore.
“I loved every bit of it! Being on set always made me feel that I’m a part of something big!” Kit recalls of showbiz life in Manila.
‘Hard out here’
Modeling, however, proved to more than what met the eye.
“At first I really did not know what I was getting into. After awhile, I began to appreciate the art,” he explains.
Kit loves the glamor of his new solidified career path. Modeling has allowed him to work with the likes of Filbert D. Kung and Doc Marlon Pecjo and then to get featured in soon-to-be-aired print and commercial projects in LA. Here in Manila, he has covered Chalk, Style Weekend, and Scout among other publications.
Yet, Kit is no stranger to the struggles that come with the career, something that often isn’t as lucrative as the rest. Models, not many know, rely on bookings—which they don’t nab easily when they’re just beginning. Payments come in months and even a year after they’ve shot for the project, all while maintaining their face and figure with expensive diets and strenuous workout sessions. Add to that, the homesickness factor they get especially if they’re trying to make it abroad.
“I get homesick from time to time. I moved to the States alone and it wasn’t easy,” Kit muses.
“I do not let rejection ruin my work, instead I try to learn from it,” he points out on the Darwinian principles surrounding his chosen career.
Kit has since learned to manage. “Work and studies keep me busy, I try to work out as much as I can to keep me motivated and the occasional trips to the beach to refresh my mind.”
What else keeps Kit inspired despite the distance? More like, who? Yes, he’s got himself all loyal to Filipina girlfriend Lea Ruiz.
“We’ve been friends for seven years. I met her when I crashed her 18th birthday,” he laughs. “We’ve been friends since then. I already had my eyes on her the first time I met her but I was too young back then. (It) just so happens, seven years past, our paths crossed again and (we haven’t) hasn’t separated since.”
And then there are Kit’s loyal fans, most of whom he connects with online.
“I try to keep my followers up to date with what I am doing daily and professionally. I am currently working on expanding my social media to connect with people more!” he says.
Kit is keen to go further as he tries to make it big in La-La Land. Hence, a return to his native land can wait.
“Right now, I want to give Los Angeles a shot! Who knows maybe one day I’ll be coming back to Manila? But as of this moment, I’m going to stay in LA,” he declares, adding that humility “and never forgetting where you came from” will always keep him grounded as he tries to fulfill his California dream.
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Photographs courtesy of Kit Thompson; photography credits in photo captions