Those Dreaded Questions

They say “practice makes perfect”, “knowledge is key” and “how you practice is how you perform”.  {Don’t ask me who the proverbial THEY is, but you get the point}.  In any event, that is so true in any competition, and let’s face it – a pageant is a competition.  It is so important for ladies competing in pageants to practice the skills they need to be successful in the interview, on-stage question or platform presentation portions of a pageant.    There are several ways to do this.  You can partner with other pageant friends to do a round robin type session, read one of the many web sites or publications with sample interview questions or take the route of hiring an interview coach like my personal favorite – Pageant Perks!!!

  Two Pageant Perks clients, Heather & Deanna (author)

Think about it, a pageant interview, shouldn’t feel any different than a job interview.  After all you are applying to take on the role of Miss Turkey Leg America 🙂  The biggest fear, I think, about interview and on stage questions are “Those Dreaded Questions“!!!  You spend all this time writing and critiquing your judges’ bio, application and numerous other forms, only to have 4-7 people you’ve never met/seen ask you who knows what, about what they’ve read.  If you’re like me, you’ve often wondered, where do they get those questions, why did they ask me that, what made them think of that?  The answers to those questions, cherubs, are never ending and may never be known.  Here’s what I do know – the pageant interview and on-stage question portions aren’t rocket science, in fact they’re quite simple.  You don’t have to do much really, simply smile and  1) Listen to the question  2) Think about the question and 3) Answer the question honestly, to the best of your ability.

Practice and preparation just help you apply the best methods for YOU to use after you’ve committed to mastering those earlier steps.  You must get to a point where you feel comfortable in front of varied audiences and you must learn how to think beyond to the stated question.  

Through it all just remember, you’re interviewing with and talking to a human being.  Someone not much unlike yourself, with feelings, emotions, education, hobies and a family.  So be yourself and use your brain.  Oh, yeah, but don’t forget – one day you may run into a judge who also happens to be a QUEEN herself.

Heather Thompson, Mrs. Virginia International 2010 and Deanna McCray James, Mrs. District of Columbia 2009 served as judges for the 2010 Miss and Teen District of Columbia International pageant.
Judges of the 2010 Miss and Teen District of Columbia International pageant with the new titleholders – Chelsey Rodgers (Miss) and Alexis Harvey (Teen)

Miss & Teen DC International 2010

This past Saturday afternoon, in front of family, friends, fellow “royalty” and pageant enthusiasts, two dynamic women gave it their all and captured the crowns.  Along with the crowns (and sashes of course) come the coveted titles of Miss District of Columbia International 2010 and Miss Teen DC International 2010.

Chelsey Rodgers, an attorney, who resides in the District, competed against eight women in interview, evening gown, fitness, fun fashion and on stage question to become this year’s representative from the Nation’s Capitol.  Chelsey, who is no stranger to pageants-having reigned as Miss DC USA 2008 and served as the Executive Director for the DC Miss America Outstanding Teen pageant, will go on to compete for the title of Miss International this July. 

  Hope Wiseman, DC-MAOT 2009 and Chelsey Rodgers, Miss DC International 2010

Throughout the year, she will promote her platform of “Building Healthy Self Esteem”.  An alumna of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia and graduate of Howard University’s School of Law, she will partner with the Miss Congeniality Foundation to spread her message to youth in the District.

The next Miss Teen DC International 2010 is Alexis Harvey, a 10th grader at Bowie High School in Bowie, Maryland.   Alexis, who’s platform is “Fighting for the Homeless, competed with four young women in the same categories as the Miss Contestants.   As a volunteer for IMPACT Youth Group and “Worth the Wait”,  Alexis is committed to doing everything in her power to combat homelessness in the Washington Metropolitan Area.