Today is an awesome day!
Today we get “back to our blogging roots” as we pledge to offer you a brand new blogpost every Thursday aimed at helping you on your pageant journey. Many of you first discovered The Junkies through our blog – and we thought we’d return to this format once a week for those of you who prefer to learn through the written word (fyi – we still have a podcast available every Tuesday for those of you who prefer hearing straight from titleholders themselves).
In this blog, the topic we’ll be tackling over the next several weeks is called… Wait for it…
I apologize in advance to those of you who are offended right now…
I do mean that phrase in the nicest way possible… And I totally understand if you can’t read this article around your grandmother… But let’s be honest – There are parts of pageantry that are just “crap” and it’s my goal to help you learn how to deal with it.
The first topic within the category of “Pageant Crap” is a doozie… Today, we’re talking about “Pageant Coaching” within the Miss America system (Yup! I’m jumping head-first into the deep end of the pool!).
For the record – the Miss America system has a very specific policy regarding pageant coaching that most other pageant systems don’t have… In fact, it’s written in the contract! Should you win a local pageant, here’s what the contract states (fyi – this is the most recent version I’ve seen… Just stick the name of your local title inside the blank spaces):
- 5.5. Appointment of the Miss _______________ Organization as Exclusive Agent and Representative. Commencing with my selection as Miss _______________ and throughout my Year of Service and until my successor is selected or appointed, I irrevocably constitute and appoint the Miss _______________ Organization as my sole and exclusive agent, representative and attorney-in-fact with the authority to…….
Do a whole bunch of things… which are all listed in your contract… including this specific part about pageant coaching…
5.5.8 determine the best method of preparing me for the next level of competition. I understand that the organization does not endorse nor promote the use of individuals nor businesses who act as pageant coaches, etc., whether they are paid or offer services at no charge. I agree to work with my organization and refrain from the use of pageant coaches in preparing me for competition.
Here’s the deal.
I get it. The Miss America Organization is unlike any other in the fact that we are run by a community of volunteers who give up their time, talent, money and energy, to train young women to become the best pageant contestants they can be.
Many – And let me say that with emphasis – M A N Y volunteers in this organization have worked in some shape or form of Miss America for DECADES. They’ve invested a GREAT DEAL of time, talent, money and energy into the system and that should be commended. Heck – more than commended – it should be celebrated and appreciated in the highest way possible!!!
Therefore – given the longevity of the program and the time-honored history of outstanding volunteers, what do you do when one of the following situations happens to you…?
- You and your local organization are not on the same page (meaning – he/she wants you to do something/wear something/sing something that you don’t want to do)….
- You and your local organization have what I like to call, “conflicting personalities” – and you just don’t “click” with each other…
- Your previous local director was ok when you worked with someone on a specific area of competition – and you formed a great relationship that you’d love to continue – but now, you feel like you can’t because now your new organization doesn’t approve…
- You know your local organization means well, and he/she is the nicest person on the planet, but it’s pretty obvious they’re not able to offer a significant amount of preparation in every category that you need (for example, they’re GREAT in talent and interview, but he/she has no clue how to teach you how to walk in a swimsuit on stage)…
- Your local director has perhaps bitten off more than he/she can chew and doesn’t seem to be offering the kind of help you need, when you need it… And you feel like you’ve been put on the back burner…
And those 5 situations – are just off the top of my head!
In truth, you could probably come up with a million more thoughts as to why an outside influence (like a coach) might be warranted! And they might be completely justifiable thoughts, backed up with examples, and facts, and first-hand experiences!
However, regardless of your situation… Here’s what I know…
People who think those thoughts above are looking at pageantry out of a specific paradigm. And it’s the wrong one.
Pageantry is not what you can GET from an organization… instead, it’s about what you can GIVE to the organization.
Most titleholders thing of themselves as “the boss”… after all, you’re the one on-stage, you’re the one raising money and the profile of your local title in your community… But I’m sorry… You’re not the boss.
Instead – Being a titleholder is a lot more like being an intern…
– Interns are hired for limited periods of time (and usually, they aren’t paid)
– Interns often learn how to do specific tasks, in order to receive feedback to discover what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong.
– Interns don’t act like they know how to run the company – they’re there to learn from people who’ve been doing this a lot longer than they have.
– Interns take their experiences with them and use them in the future, regardless of whether or not they ever get a paying job with the company they’re serving.
As a titleholder – when you think of yourself like an intern instead of the boss, you’ll approach EVERYTHING differently when it comes to your pageant journey!
When you’re an intern – and you don’t agree with your supervisor, the best thing to do is to ask why that decision is being made. When you’re an intern – and you need to learn something your supervisor doesn’t know how to teach you, the best thing to do is to come to the table with some potential solutions that make your boss look good! When you’re an intern – and your supervisor doesn’t give you the attention you need, the best thing to do is ask if there’s someone else in another department who can help you.
Too many contestants think of themselves as “the boss” and not “the intern”… But don’t misunderstand your role.
It’s your job to learn from your local organization. And if you don’t feel like you’re getting adequate support, it’s your job to bring it up to your superior as an intern would… Get clarification, gain understanding, and bring solutions to the table, if/when you disagree. And do it in a polite, respectful manner that makes your boss want to listen to you.
Don’t run off and “do your own thing” because he/she “doesn’t get it”.
That’s the quickest way I know to NEVER get hired for “the big job” you really want.
Do you have further questions about pageant coaching? Do you agree or disagree with this post? Email me at Thepageantjunkies@gmail.com and give me your thoughts – I’d love to hear from you!
Stick around… There’s more “Pageant Crap” to be discussed next week! 🙂