The big awaited pageant day had come so quickly. It was time to cross out March 29 on my planner to see “MVNCI PAGEANT” written in all capital letters in the box right next to it. After two months of preparation, the big day had come. The night before felt like the night before Christmas as a young child. I woke up numerous amounts of times throughout the night with little burst of both nervousness and excitement.
My makeup was scheduled for 6 a.m. that morning. I had woken up feeling slightly exhausted, but the excitement for the pageant fueled me with energy immediately as I washed my face that morning. I got ready and quickly headed to my make up artist, Heidi Nguyen’s place. I left with not only my pageant look ready but also, with a big smile on my face.
It wasn’t until I entered the Campbell Theatre parking lot that I began to feel the nervousness within my stomach. The rehearsals flew by and the next thing I knew I was hearing, “starting in 5, I need you all on standby”.
I was most excited to start off the show with a traditional Vietnamese hat dance. We had begun practicing the dance since the first day of pageant practice. The dance was the perfect way to start off our time on stage and the crowd loved it. It was truly beautifully choreographed by one of MVNCI’s own previous court member, Mary Nguyen.
Standing in our semi-circle in preparation of the introduction was where I felt the most nervous. The introductions of contestants 1 through 4 seemed as if they flew by and it was my time to go as contestant number 5. My throat began to feel dry and my stomach a little overwhelmed. By the time I hit the microphone, I looked straight through the audience to see my family and friends cheering. It gave me that boost I needed and I began my introduction.
I felt so much love throughout the show from my supporters as we continued on with the program with our traditional ao dai walk and evening gown walk. Seeing my parents smiling from afar gave me the confidence needed as their presence reminded me as to why I was ever on stage.
Next, was the talent portion of the program. It was my moment to showcase everything that my father had taught me about singing and performing. I performed a Vietnamese piece titled “Vien Khuc Vietnam”, a song that depicted the situation of every Vietnamese-American born in the United States. The song was very close to heart and I was so honored to be able to share it with the audience.
The nerves had begun to kick in again when it came time for the announcements of top 7. When I heard my name and contestant number called, a burst of joy was felt throughout my body and the same feeling was reiterated for the announcement of top 5.
When it came to the moment of crowning, I had no expectations. My mind was already so content. The pageant itself was a challenge for myself to test my capabilities and I was proud to fulfill my potentials. The pleased smile on my father’s face gave me an assuring indication that regardless of whether I walked out with a crown or not, he was proud. Little did I ever expect to receive three crowns that night.
It is an honor to be the first to hold three titles as MVNCI’s 2014 1st Princess, Miss Talent and Miss Congeniality. I extremely grateful for all that I have learned throughout this experience. I thank the MVNCI staff for all their hard work towards this organization and production, and for my supporters who have provided me with so much support throughout my pageant experience. I can not wait to see what the future has in store for this year’s court and I am excited to see all that we can accomplish for the Vietnamese community. I am forever blessed.