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Friday, July 24, 2015

What Pageant Workshops Don't Tell You

Many pageants have workshops during pageant weekend, but they really just seem to brush over the main competitions, they don’t really go in-depth with their personal tips, advice, and things learned. Well, here are a few things that I’ve noticed that they miss:

1. Eye contact is essential.
Line up your stuffed animals and practice eye contact! Or grab a few family members to play along and watch for your eye contact. Eye contact with your judges is one of the most important things to do while on-stage because it demonstrates confidence and helps you connect with the judges.

2. Posture is also important.
If you think you are standing up tall, stretch a bit further - lift that chin, relax those shoulders when pulled back, and create a bit of a curve in that back to lift your chest even higher! That’s where you want to be. Stage lights and staging make everything much bigger…hence big gowns, big hair, big/obvious earrings etc. Your posture has to be on point - show that you can walk with confidence and hold your head high!

3. Think about your pageant’s needs and reflect that.
If your pageant is all about the everyday girl, then you should reflect that on-stage and in the interview room. If your pageant is more fashion-forward, then you should reflect that. Figure out what your pageant wants, if it is in line with what you want, and then compete to win. Sometimes one particular pageant system may just not be your type and that’s ok. The wise thing is to recognize it and play to your strengths. I see countless girls compete at one pageant for years and years and they never try anything else - hey, I didn’t know any better either until someone told me. Don’t get obsessed with one system and get stuck there. Weigh your options and move wisely. 

4. Wardrobe does matter.
While it truly is not about the cost of the gown, it should reflect who you are as a girl and what the pageant is looking for. For example, if you had never seen someone win the national pageant in a cocktail/short dress, it probably wouldn’t be wise to wear a short dress. It just isn’t the look they are going for in that pageant. If everyone wears their hair big or a particular color of shoe, then it is probably for a reason. Your wardrobe selections should be wise and should reflect an understanding of what that pageant looks for in a titleholder. Don’t be naive.

5. Judges are everywhere.

You think walking around the hotel lobby in your PJs is cool? What about yelling at mom in the elevator? Seriously, judges are everywhere, even if they don’t mean to be - I’ve had to run to my car before and spotted the worst attitudes in the parking lot and garage elevator. I’ve gotten hungry during a late night of judging and ran down to the hotel restaurant to grab something and saw moms and daughters in sweats and acting impolitely to hotel staff. While judges are not actively walking around with score sheets, you are giving your judges an honest look into what you are really like and who you really are. Behave wisely - take your drama home and deal with it there.