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Buildup for Taking the Stage

The preliminary competition for Miss New York USA began on January 17th, 2020 with interviews, and today, January 18th was the first day on stage! I double checked my bag multiple times to ensure that all of my competition attire was packed and made my way downstairs for breakfast.

I pigged out, and maybe shouldn’t have, considering that I would be wearing a swimsuit in front of hundreds of people in just several hours, but everything looked so good. I had scrambled eggs, home fries, a bagel, a red velvet muffin with white chocolate chips, and apple juice. I did not have the breakfast meat or fruit, since I’m allergic to strawberries, and the fruit was mixed.

As the Teen contestants made their way downstairs for breakfast, the Miss contestants concluded their breakfast and made their way to the buses, which would take us to The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College. I was so excited as I picked up my bag from under the bus and entered the arts center. We were directed backstage, and everything was clearly labeled, directing each contestant. This was really helpful, since backstage was like a maze with tons of dressing rooms. Pageant staff was in the halls directing us, as well. The first sign in the hall was pointing Miss contestants in one direction and Teen contestants in the other. Once the contestants in each division moved in the right direction, there were more signs, which were organized by contestant number. I kept following the direction of my contestant number, 107, until I found my dressing room, which I shared with contestants 106 and 108. 

After dropping off my bag, we went into the theater as we received instructions for the day and logistics for the show. A couple of helpful tips that were provided during this session pertained to the swimsuit competition and contestant buttons. When competing in swimsuits, we would wear sarongs, which would be taken off, while we are on stage. It’s easiest to tie it in one knot, so it could be easily removed in one pull. However, if the sarong gets stuck or someone double knots it and has trouble unknotting it, just keep going. It would not be the best look to be fumbling with the knot during our limited time on stage. Our contestant buttons needed to be worn at all times on this day, including the swimsuit for Miss and activewear for teen competition, as well as the evening gown competition. With so many contestants, it can be easy for scores to be mixed up. I would be wearing my button with the contestant number on the hip of the swimsuit and evening gown. If it were my time to compete, and the host said a name other than mine, but I began walking, I would mess up the scores, since I would be getting judged as someone else, and someone else could be judged as me. In the occasion that this happens, when the contestant hears the wrong name, she should not walk. She should stay put, make sure her hip is turned outward, so the hosts could see her contestant number, and wait until her name is announced.

During this meeting, contestants gradually left to go to hair and makeup. I constantly monitored the time for my hair and makeup timeslot. We had time to rehearse the dance, contestant introductions, and walking on stage, as we would when competing. As rehearsals took place, contestants, who had been in hair and makeup came into the theater with their hair in curlers and a full face of makeup. I was so excited when it was my turn!

Hair and makeup was in another theater, and each of the hair stylists and makeup artists had a station setup on the stage. I walked up to the stage and checked in. Upon checking in, I was given a raffle style ticket, which I would redeem for my false lashes. False lashes were an additional expense for the hair and makeup package through CIA Agency. I had never used false lashes before. 

My hair stylist and makeup artist were two of my favorite people that weekend! I had pictures on my phone of what I wanted to have done. They worked their magic, and I had my hair up in curlers and a full face of makeup! I was given a time to come back for lipstick touchups and to finish my hair. 

Now, it was time for my lashes. I went to another station, where I redeemed my ticket. There was an overwhelming number of different lash styles. I asked a staff member working at that station for recommendations, but it was entirely based on personal preference. Sometimes, when I have seen others in false lashes, they appear so thick and unnatural that they look like caterpillars. I thought a good option for me would be the lashes that were called wispy, since they would be long and thin. I sat down as a CIA Agency staff member began to apply my lashes. She started by holding them against my lash line to determine the best place to locate them. Glue was applied to the false lashes, then they were placed on me. It felt really weird at first, as if each eyelid weighed a pound. It took time to adjust to that and also feeling the lashes scraping my eyebrows when I blinked. 

I left hair and makeup, and it was time to eat off my lipstick at lunch. Lunch was chicken tenders, eggplant parmesan, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, and cookies. Shortly after finishing lunch, it was time to go back to hair and makeup. This applied to most of the contestants, since we needed our lips touched up after eating. 

I saw my assigned hair stylist and makeup artist, who touched up my lips and removed the curlers. I was very happy with the outcome.

It was time to go to my dressing room and put on my black cocktail dress for the opening dance number and contestant introductions, because it’s almost time for the doors to open for the competition!


2 thoughts on “Buildup for Taking the Stage

  1. Such a tight schedule, with so much to accomplish! It must have been more exciting by the minute. Nice picture! The lashes look natural! Waiting to see what happens next…


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