Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Top 5 Pageant Tips and Tricks

You would think that by now I would be accustomed to people asking me for advice. I’m not, at all. I still feel weird giving it, but at the same time I realize that if someone is asking me it’s because they trust my opinion. As national’s nears my inbox is getting fuller and fuller. Some questions are recurring and I’ve decided to answer them below.

1. How do you manage appearances while preparing for Nationals?
Do not over exert yourself or else by the time you get to Chicago, you will be wiped out. Make sure your schedule is manageable and affords you plenty of time to do the necessary prep work and keep appearances. The month before Nationals I didn’t make any appearances after July 10, if I remember correctly. I did this to give me time to decompress and to take care of tasks such as alterations, cosmetic appointments, and shopping for last minute wardrobe items. Small tasks such as running to your seamstress takes time, my advice, take as many pieces as possible at one time. You will cut down on gas and headaches. Things can get crazy, but above all else make sure you get enough rest. If you don’t slow down, your body will do it for you, and you don’t want that.

2. What advice do you have regarding interview questions?
Answer the questions. I don’t know how else to say it.

3. I’m having trouble with wardrobe, any tips on how to manage it?
Wardrobe is the never-ending nightmare. My number 1 tip, wear what makes you feel BEAUTIFUL. Pack as few shoes as possible. I love shoes and when I was told to do this I thought I would pass out. However, shoes take up precious space and they make your luggage heavy. Find a couple versatile pairs and make it happen. 

As far as organization, make a wardrobe chart, complete with everything from the type of event to accessories and undergarments. You will thank me when you are packing! Also, as a general rule I always pack a couple extra cocktail dresses and an extra evening gown just in case.

4. How do I work on stage presence?
Video tape yourself and have someone who is brutally honest critique you, whether it is your coach, director or friend. Watching yourself is eye opening. So many things can be fixed just by watching yourself on video.

5. I heard that contestants are really busy during Nationals, how do you stay on top of everything?
Organization, organization, organization. When I got to my hotel room, the first thing I did was unpack and hang all my items on a travel clothes bar in accordance with my wardrobe sheet. I steamed and ironed everything at one time. You won’t have the time or energy to steam and iron on a daily basis. If you take care of it first thing, you will save time and frustration. Being on time is extremely important, so it is imperative that you can make quick changes with little fuss. Also, after every event, I immediately prepped for the next one before I did anything else. It’s been my experience that preparation and organization calms the nerves.

Best,

Ciji Dodds
Miss International 2011

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