Surviving Pageant Week
The Miss Ohio contestants are arriving in Mansfield tomorrow, so here are some last minute reminders about keeping your head up!
* Stay off the interwebs! No really, STAY OFF THE NET! I'm mainly talking about the anonymous message board, but also this blog. You are the action, so there's no need to go online to see what's going on. It's you! The few scraps of free time you have should be spent resting or looking at current event. Ask yourself, should Miss State need to see what anonymous fans or bloggers are saying about them while they're at Miss America? No! So neither should you at Miss Ohio. You should try to surround yourself with positivity! At the end of the day, call someone uplifting instead of running to the web.
* Don’t let anything intimidate you! Women who have been to Miss Ohio before will know each other and the volunteers. I remember feeling so lost and out-of-the-loop my first two years. Try to remember, none of that matters; the judges don't see what's happening behind the scenes, they just see your level of confidence! So the first few days, just introduce yourself, smile and that awkward, lonely feeling will be gone in no time.
* Just have fun on stage! As a non-dancer I loathed the production numbers. Trust me, I know how easy it is to dwell on, stress out and bitch about the dances, but it's not worth it! Try your hardest during practice, then forget about it. The judges don't care whether you get every step right, they just want to see personality and presence! Former Miss Ohio, Janelle Couts, said the judges told her they liked that she always looked like she was having fun on stage. She was a singer.
* The judges only know what you have shown them! Do not let your confidence dwindle because of things happening behind the scenes and don't worry about a difficult phase of competition yet to come.
* Manage your meltdown! My first year I had a mini meltdown before the parade. My amazing chaperon, Ginny, smiled and said, "I'm glad this happened today, now the rest of the week is free and clear!" She was right; EVERYONE will have their moment, meltdown, illness, issue, wardrobe malfunction, family feud, whatever... Just take a deep breathe and have a battle plan to get through it with class.
* You ARE hot! Pageant week is here, so it's time to love your body as it is. Just get naked! It’s the STATE pageant, there’s no time (or room) for modesty backstage. On Swimsuit day and Saturday, make sure you're not wearing anything that leaves odd marks on your skin. (IE: the lines tight jeans or hosiery make.) Do not try any new products during Miss Ohio week! Only use self tanners and face products that you already know work for you and your super hot body.
* Think "I love this moment" right before you walk on stage each time!
* Don’t take the yelling personally. The staff at Miss Ohio have a lot to take care of and there will be moments of stress. Do not allow that tension to affect you. When you are reprimanded as a group for something like being late, messy or caty, don’t take it personally. Just make sure you are doing what you’re supposed to, follow the rules and don’t become intimidated or lose confidence when Sharon or the chaperons gets tough. That's the last thing they want.
* Remember the Golden Rule! Be positive, say thank you and treat everyone around you with respect. Most people working on pageant week, especially the chaperons and hostesses are volunteers, not your employees. Attitudes will be pushed to the limit but always try to take the high road; be the example. Act how you think Miss America should act.
* Tape photos of friends and family to the wall around your area in the dressing room.
* Honestly just be yourself! It’s so cliché, but true… and I don’t only mean in front of the judges, but also with the other contestants and volunteers. Don’t be polite to a fake degree to the chaperones, or overly enthusiastic at events; don’t participate in conversations or attitudes you don’t enjoy or naturally embody just to hang out with other contestants. Just be yourself and you’ll find other people that compliment you.
* No matter what happens, enjoy the journey! Whether you take the Miss Ohio crown home or not, you will take home a valuable new experience. You will have met new people, learned about yourself and you will grow from how you deal with the outcome, whatever it may be...