Mesha Toor: Triple threat

From one of Mesha Toor’s photo shoots (Photo by Kuna Lu)

Acting, dancing and modelling – Mesha Toor does it all. She’s a triple threat, and she’ss also a former fashion designer.

But getting to where she is today was not an easy journey. Toor has had some trouble getting more gigs throughout her career, yet she is still continuing her path to her dreams.

Toor graduated from the Art Institute of Vancouver with a fashion design and merchandising degree. Then she studied acting for film and television at the Vancouver Film School. From the start, Toor knew that she wanted to pursue a goal in the arts industry, leaning more towards acting. However, being a South Asian woman, a career in arts was unrealistic. She felt that her life was pre-planned, being born in an Indian family. Ideally, she was expected to make a career choice that has a high success rate and high pay in the future: being a doctor, lawyer, nurse or engineer. Wanting to become an actress, model, dancer, or singer was considered unacceptable and frowned upon.

“I did not want to be like every other South Asian girl,” says Toor. “We have to find a guy, get married and have kids, or I would have to choose a career as a doctor, teacher or lawyer. I am not wanting to do that and take that path. There’s gotta be more to life that just that.”

Toor started her journey taking part in pageants. Her first was Miss World Canada, which was held in Toronto. She had placed third. From there, she slowly began to make herself a name. She was asked to do a photoshoot for Mehfil magazine and from there one shoot became two and so on.

Toor’s career in acting started taking off when she was offered a role in a small independent film Footsteps into Gangland, which helped her with the exposure needed to get to where she is today. Afterwards, she received a small part in an Indian film, Best of Luck, and she was surprised about how much people noticed her, even with a small part.

Being a model helped her with recognition within South Asian community. This has led to many up-and-coming young models seeking her out for help and tips on how to become successful within the industry. She began a modeling program, called Model Mechanism, which has become a success in helping and discovering young talented women.

“I had designed a workshop and posted it on Facebook,” explains Toor. “From that, I had gotten one student and then another and so on. It just built from there, and then everybody in the community began to know about it. It all started to grow quickly and successfully.”

After all the teaching, and being behind the cameras, Toor took a job at Sunny’s Bridal Boutique located in Surrey. This had helped her get to know more about the bridal industry. It was overwhelming, but had helped her within the modeling and fashion world.

Toor began walking the runway for Sunny’s Bridal and had become their showstopper at the Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) show in 2016. 

“ I remembered being on stage and loving that feeling,” says Toor. “All you see are these bright lights. I was nervous. My heart was beating so fast. All eyes were on me, but something just snapped. It’s just the best feeling you could ever experience. You’re in this whole other world. I got to be someone else, a side none ever gets to see.”

After all those nights walking on that runway, Toor was featured in Vogue UK. It was such a tremendous feeling for Toor as she was featured in a well-known magazine, especially being a South Asian women.

“My dream is to be on the cover of Vogue USA,” Toor says. “I had no idea Vogue was going to be at VFW. I remember when the show was over, I kept looking on the site and then finally I saw Sunny’s bridal and mine was the first picture. I was shocked. I never thought my name would be attached to anything related to Vogue. Even a few of my students were featured. Sunny’s bridal was the show to be in.”

Toor has taken the time to explore her options within the arts industry by travelling, and still has dream and goals, like many young talented children. She hopes to continue to pursue her dream in acting and modelling, and hopes to be able to get more South Asian women out there in the world for everyone to notice.   

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