Hello beautiful people of the USofA!
All I can say is…WOW! The #RoadToNewcomer is well on the way! November played host to our first two preliminaries of the year. On November 5, 2016, we had three extremely talented contest- ants running for the title of Miss Gay Illinois USofA Newcomer. At the end of the night our victor was first year, Mimi Van Cartier from Springfield, IL. Mimi will be joined by both of her competitors, first alternate, Ryan Royale, and second alternate, Jaymee Sexton, at Miss Gay USofA Newcomer 2017. Miss Gay Wisconsin USofA Newcomer was held on November 20, 2016. This pageant also had three contestants and was hosting the Classic and at Large divisions as well. Needless to say, this was a heck of a pageant, as well. At the end of the night we crowned second year, Domita Sanchez as the new Miss Gay Wisconsin USofA Newcomer along with first alternate, Regina Taylor, and second alternate, Alexandrea Diamond. These first six contestants truly embody the spirit of the Newcomer division and have so much talent. December will be a month off from the preliminary season but we will be resuming on January 8th with Miss Gay Lonestar USofA Newcomer.
I am also so excited for January be- cause we start the Miss Gay USofA Newcomer 2017 Top 5 Tour. We will be making 7 stops on our tour, starting January 13 th in Houston and ending on January 20 th in Oklahoma City.
This month I want to focus on the people we bring to nationals as a contestant. Our team is an essential part of our success at any pageant. My Team consisted of my loving husband, my parents, my “dancer”, a close friend of mine, and my dresser. I only brought those with me because they all had a job to do and I knew that they could execute their job perfectly. My husband is my rock and the person I rely on when things may be getting stressful. For example, as many of you know, I was late for interview check-in. I was extremely upset that I had made this mistake but my husband told me to focus that energy into my two remaining categories because “you cannot change the past”. This really helped me channel my energy and hone in on my skills for both categories. My parents had very important jobs. My dad was my prop master and prop mover. He really went above and beyond with everything he did. My mom was the eye. She looked over everything and made sure that if anything was not quite right, she would let us know and help fix it. Of course, my “dancer” was an integral part of my talent and he was so committed to make it a success, I knew that he would not let me down. My friend from home actually held several positions from being a prop in my talent to helping me “fly”. I know I have one more person to go over but I want to put a pause right here. The people I brought with me from home all had purpose. They were also committed to my dream. They were not going to just agree with me. They were not going to stay silent. They were not going just to have fun. They were working. Many time’s I see girls bring people with them, whether it’s their friends that drove with them or even their dresser, but the ground rules were not set and unfortunate things ended up happening. Make sure that the people you are bringing NEED to come with you. Unnecessary people lead to unnecessary accidents.
Finally, my dresser. My dresser was my timekeeper. My dresser was my makeup artist. My dresser was my hair artist. My dresser was my therapy. My dresser was my everything. I can honestly say that I would not have won without my dresser. I often see girls directing their dressers and telling them what needs to be done. When you’re at nationals, you should not have to tell your dresser what to do. They should be either a seasoned dresser or make sure you let them know of their duties while backstage. I NEEDED to trust my dresser 100% of the time. Even when she was still working on my hair when I had 2 people in front of me for gown and I still didn’t have a gown on. I trusted my dresser so much, that I was confident that she would NEVER let me down. With all this said, really invest in your dresser. Make sure that you book your dresser now and not leave it to the last minute. There are many seasoned dressers, make sure that the person you choose is the right fit for you and your needs.
Thank you for continuing to read these articles with me. I really want my girls to be prepared. I want to wish you all the happiest of holidays and a very happy New Year!
Vanity St. James
Miss Gay USofA Newcomer