Leading up to Miss New York USA, contestants are frequently emailed documents that need to be completed, as well as competition information. Upon placing our deposits, one of the first items we receive is the Contestant Handbook. The handbook provided information on the host hotel for pageant weekend, competition attire for the Miss and Teen divisions, phases of the competition, contestant sponsorship, commonly asked questions, and previous prize packages.
Other communication included a contestant contract, which was electronically signed; an invitation to the Pre-Pageant Orientation, which was held on December 7, 2019; ticket information for the preliminary competition and final competition; interview and production forms; proof of residency; sash preferences; and deadline reminders for submitting program photos, sponsorship funds, sponsorship acknowledgments for the program, and pageant weekend hair and makeup appointments.
The sash form was the most fun to fill out! Contestants listed their top 5 choices of titles that would be written on the sash, representing the state of New York. Titles ranged from cities, schools, landmarks, and phrases that represent New York or a city. My choices were:
- Central New York
- West Village
I decided to start with the Syracuse area, since I lived there from birth until I was 21. During my last semester of college, I moved to Manhattan for an internship then moved to the West Village just a few weeks after graduating from Syracuse University. I wouldn’t find out which area I would represent until pageant weekend. Here’s a sneak preview to the competition when I had my sash, representing DeWitt:
As for the interview and production forms, arriving at registration with these forms completed is one of the key components of being a contestant. We needed to bring 7 copies of the interview form for the judges. Some of the questions that were asked in the preliminary interview came from this form. It asked questions such as, Where do you go to school or work? What personal achievement are you the most proud of? What motivated you to enter this pageant?
The production form was used during the swimsuit for Miss or active wear for Teen competition and evening gown. This form was used for the hosts to read information about each contestant while on stage. The format was fill in the blank, so the pageant hosts could easily read about each contestant when competing. Information to fill in on the production form included, She knew she was grown up when ________; One day, she hopes to _________; She considers ________ to be her hero because_________.
Since this is a state pageant, contestants submitted proof of residency documents prior to the competition. This is to ensure that the contestant indeed lives in the state in which she is competing. Items such as credit card bills and pay stubs with an address written on the statement would serve as proof. The documents also needed to be dated within a certain timeframe, in order to prove that the information is current. During pageant weekend, I talked to a small group of contestants between rehearsals about all of the documentation we had to provide. Someone said that people will try to “state hop” by competing in multiple state pageants to increase her chances of going to Miss USA.
What people will do to be a titleholder….