On March 30th, 2014, at 12:00 AM, I woke up from a two hours nap from a long and tiring practice from the day before. I tried to fall back asleep, but the thought of dancing, walking, and talking on stage kept me turning and twisting. I then decided to get up and prepare myself for the big day ahead of me. I wrote down a list of things to do such as ironing my dresses and continue to keep myself busy to avoid falling asleep. Finally, the clock stroke 5:00 AM, and I silently left my house when it was still dark and rainy outside.
On my way to my makeup’s artist house, Kevin Truong, I made a quick stop at a friend’s house to drop off his ticket.Honestly, I was terrified of driving on the street while most people were still asleep. Before I arrived at Kevin’s house, I stopped at McDonald’s and Yum Yum donut shop to pick up some breakfasts. At exactly 6:02 AM, I arrived at Kevin’s house and was ready to get my hair and makeup done.
At 10 AM, we all presented at Heritage Theater in Campbell to have one last run through before the actual show. To be honest, I was hungry, tired, nervous, but very excited. Although I was as stressed out as other contestants, I remained very calm and quiet to keep myself focus. Once the executive director, Jodie, announced to stand by, my heart dropped and it was difficult for me to stand. I constantly sat down and hugged my peers to prevent myself from collapsing.
The best part that I was looking forward to was presenting my beautiful ao dai designed by Kevin Truong. It was an honor for me to be wearing an ao dai from Kevin Truong because I have been admiring him and his work since 2012. It was a dream come true to not only have met him, but had the chance to work closely with him. I felt so proud and beautiful when I walked out to show the judges and audience what I was wearing.
The scariest part of the show that other contestants could relate to was answering the mystery question. Although I got the question that I had the most difficult time with, but I was very proud of my answer. It was a relief when I saw a few judges nodding their heads as I was answering my question, which gave me more confident about myself.
During crowning moment, I was so surprised when my number was called for Miss. Photogenic. As I stepped forward to receive my crown and sash, I asked myself, “How was that possible?” I was extremely grateful and couldn’t stop smiling. Right when I walked out into the lobby, the crowd walked up to congratulate me. Compliments that I will forever remember are “I was rooting for you”, “You were the sweetest girl on stage”, and “You were my favorite because you were so honest and acted yourself.” I felt like the biggest winner of the night from receiving all the loves and compliments from people who I met for the very first time. With or without a crown, I am the luckiest girl. I have never felt so much love and support from friends, families, and strangers.
Now, I look forward to put hand together with my court to work on projects that we can be really proud of. I hope to make an impact in the community by reaching out to others with what I do and who I am. I am so thankful for this one in a life time opportunity.