The day went by faster than I had anticipated. Anxious and nervous the night before, I only had a few hours of sleep. By 6 AM, I was up to prepare for the day. Knowing that I may not have enough time to eat during the day, I fixed myself breakfast so I wouldn’t starve throughout the day. My mom had helped me steam my ao dai to make sure that they would be ready for the pageant. I then headed off to get my hair and makeup done.
The first pageant I had ever partake in my life, I had no idea what to expect out of it. I’ve gone to other pageants and seen what it was like but never would I have expected to be in one myself. Nothing could have prepared me for the big day. After nine weeks of practice, I still felt nervous. I had arrived late to the theatre and I felt like everything was over for me. All the hard work that I had put myself through, I thought that all hope was gone. However, every single person there that was supportive and told me not to give up and give it my best. Their encouraging words gave me strength to continue and put my heart in everything. Before the show started, we had a run through of the show to make sure that everything would run smoothly. Backstage, each girl was so supportive of each other. Never had I met a group of girls that are sweet and caring of one another. We helped fix each other’s hair and makeup and helped each other change into our outfits.
By 2 PM, the show had started. Our opening dance segment ran smoothly and I felt that each lady was perfect on stage. Next was our self introduction on stage. We were separated into two different sides yet we were able to support each other. On each side of the wings behind the curtains, we were throwing hearts at each other and reassuring one another that we can do it. Each lady sounded confident on stage and had their bright smiles for the audience.
We whisked off stage to change into our color ao dai. This was the most exciting part of the show for me. After nine weeks of seeing each in all black, I was happy to finally see the girls in color. Each ao dai was different and special in it’s own way and I thought that each lady was amazing beautiful in their ao dai. Each girl walked on stage and looked fantastic thanks to our practices. I was worried about my ao dai walk because my train was light and thought that it would not look nice on stage if it crumpled together. Thankfully, my worries were over when I had completed my walk successfully.
The next segment was the evening gown. My gosh, the evening gowns each of us wore were so vibrant and stunning. Each one of us strutted our stuff and put on a great show for the audience. I felt like a model, well, a slower walking model. After we were done with the evening gown segment, we rushed backstage to change back into our white ao dai for the announcement of the Top 7.
Week after week, I kept thinking to myself “How far will I be able it make it into the competition?” My friends and family kept telling me that I will do well and I had nothing to worry about. Being late that day however, made me wonder if I would even be able to make it to the Top 7. I prayed not only for myself but for the other girls as well, that no matter what happens, we will all be happy and still have this amazing friendship. I was surprised that I was the third to be called into the Top 7. I was ecstatic inside, it was beyond my imaginations. I then picked the envelope with a question inside. The night before, I had studied some questions and was hoping that I would not flub the answer. I was confident with my answer when asked the question and just hoped that I can make it to the next round.
Before heading back onstage again for the announcement of Top 5, I remember sitting on the floor waiting for the MCs to call us out. I was sitting there and I remember Mandy feeling nervous. I held her and reassured her that she will do great and I had hope for her. Reassuring her made me tear up, wondering if I can make it to the next round. Little would I know, I was the first to be called for the Top 5. The next part was the most nerve-wracking part. With no idea what the question would be, I kept hoping that I will answer the question without going off on a tangent. Thanks to being on the speech and debate team back in high school, I answered to the best of my ability and hoped that it was enough to impress the judges.
It was time for the crowning moment, the most anticipated part of the show. With so many young and accomplished ladies, we did not know who would be crowned Queen. Each lady in the Top 5 was being crowned and were earning titles, all but me. Truthfully, my heart started to die inside a little bit. Then, the next words came…”And this year’s Miss Vietnam of Northern California Intercollegiate is….CONTESTANT #11!” My emotions were swirling inside, I can see my friends and family in the crowd screaming and jumping from joy. I can see my mom clearly, how proud she was for me and had the biggest smile on her face that I had ever seen in my life. I walked up to accept my sash, scepter, and sparkling crown. Never would I have imagined that I would be given the title of Queen.
Now that I have been given the title Queen, I look forward to all the events and community service projects with my court. I hope that the 2014 representatives will also be able to join us so that we can all embark on this journey together. This next year is one that I will be looking forward to. Regardless of what will happen, I promise that I will give it my all and will not let down anyone in the process. Thank you all for supporting me as well as 10 other beautiful, young, and accomplished ladies!
I hope to see everyone soon!
Queen Christina Truong