Miss Talent 2013 – Pageant Day Experience

The moment I arrived at Campbell Heritage Theater the morning of Sunday, March 3rd, I was beyond thrilled of the day we had ahead of us. Our months of hard work and preparation were finally being showcased to the public, in front of hundreds of people including our friends and family.

I have always loved to be on stage to perform fashion shows and dance, so I looked forward to those segments the most – Opening Dance, Ao Dai, Gown, and Talent. The segment that I was most nervous about was the Q/A portion for Top 8 and Top 5. Oddly enough, although I love the stage, I am completely terrified of public speaking and usually avoid it at all cost. Unfortunately, there was no running away this time. I had prepared for months and the day finally came for me to face my fears. It was show day and it was our time to shine.

The moment the clock struck 4 o’clock pm, curtains were raised, and the show began. I took one last glance at all the ladies standing beside me and the ladies across the stage and thought about our journey together and how far we’ve all gotten. We all started as strangers, but through the endless hours of practices, we’ve become closer than ever before – we were sisters. I looked at every lady and saw potential in every single one of them. MVNCI truly prepared us and brought our best qualities forth, allowing us to discover both our inner and outer beauty. The music started and I took a deep breath. The moment everyone has been waiting for, the moment we’ve been training so hard for; it was the night we will find out who will be our next Queen and Court for 2013.

photo credit: Bill Grayson

The first half went by quickly. Opening scene was great; everyone was in their white ao dais and danced graciously on stage. Then we moved on to our introduction, which lasted longer than I expected. I felt lightheaded and unsteady on stage, as the harsh spotlight beamed at us for what seemed like forever. I remember telling myself that my legs must not fail me and I must keep standing tall and I must smile even bigger to hide my pain. Despite the discomfort of standing, I was proud of myself for delivering my introduction as well as I did.

photo credit: Bill Grayson

The next segment was exciting because all of our ao dais were custom made and chosen by ourselves. This was a chance for each contestant to show their individuality through their walks, displaying their grace, poise, and confidence. I looked at my sisters and they all looked amazingly breathtaking. “They must’ve spent months working on their ao dai,” I thought. Then I thought about mine and laughed at the last minute details I sewed on that morning. Slipping into my completed ao dai for the first time on pageant day was nerve-racking, but I was satisfied with the outcome. Finally, it was my turn to take on the stage.

photo credit: Bill Grayson

Next segment was Gowns. I really enjoyed this segment because each lady was able to show an edgier side to them. I loved my gown, although it wasn’t as flashy as the others. My gown was form-fitting and had some beading along the neckline and waist. At that moment, nothing else mattered; all that mattered was how I felt in the dress and how I will carry myself. It was finally my turn to hit the “runway,” I imagined, as if I was model in a fashion show. I felt like a million bucks as I stood in front of the audience and strut my way across the stage. “This was our last walk before Top 8,” I thought, “I have to make this moment count.”

Intermission came and we finally had a little breather. I remember being anxious for Top 8 announcements and performing my Talent. I quickly changed, reviewed my answers, and met up with my partner to warm up our dance. My partner was still feeling uneasy for dropping me from a flip earlier during rehearsal, but the excitement of performing a dance number made all my fears and pain go away. The scratches and bruises I received that day was merely another piece added to my records of injuries throughout the weeks of practices, so I didn’t think much of it.

photo credit: Bill Grayson

The second half was starting. My partner and I were ready to showcase our performance. My team, including my dance instructor, has put endless hours of practices into this routine and we were ready to wow the crowd. I wanted to choose a dance number that would show my fun and energetic personality as well as having stunts within the routine to link back to my cheerleading days in high school. Swing Dance to “60 Nam Cuoc Doi” by Mai Tien Dung seemed like a perfect fit for me and exactly what I was looking for. The moment my name was called to the stage, I walked out with more confidence than ever, knowing I will hit every move and land all of my stunts, it was the moment I had been looking forward to all night. The instant I did my first stunt, I began hearing “Oooo’s” and “Ahhhh’s.” The routine was over before I knew it. The crowd’s cheer uplifted my spirits, and I walked away proud of the work I displayed.

photo credit: Bill Grayson

Still trying to catch my breath from my talent performance, I walked out in the white ao dai burning in the spotlight once again. The heat was intense, and I was nervous for the announcement of Top 8. The anticipation grew as I was waiting for my name to be called. At last, my name was called, but the hard part wasn’t over yet. I was about to speak in front hundreds of people in the audience, voicing my thoughts and opinion on an issue. I was praying for an “easy” question as the other girls selected theirs. “Those aren’t too bad,” I thought, “maybe mine will be the same.” I selected my question and it was read to me. I was fighting with my nerves to remain calm and collective, but the pressure was on. Within seconds, the dreadful moment was over. I knew my nerves had the best of me once again, but I was proud nonetheless for reaching to Top 8 and answering a question on stage.

photo credit: Bill Grayson
Before we knew it, the show came to an end. Anticipation raised as crowning for the Royal Court of 2013 began. When my name was called, I took a moment to realize that it was me. I took a step forward and accepted my flowers, sash, and crown. Until this day, I am still surprised to be chosen as Miss Talent. I am honored to receive my title and look forward to carry on my role as a dedicated court member for the year.

This has truly been a rewarding experience. MVNCI genuinely cares for every contestant. MVNCI works on team-building and improving self confidence, as well as preparing us for real-life scenarios from dining etiquette to job interviews. These workshops transformed us from girls to ladies. We are now ready to face the challenges life has to offer, and allow our grace and confidence to shine in our every day interactions. Through this pageant, not only have I grown as an individual, but I also created long-lasting friendships along the way. Being crowned that night wasn’t the end, but a new beginning to a new chapter in life, and I look forward to the upcoming year.

Lastly, I would like to thank all of my supporters.  This experience wouldn’t have been the same without the love and support from my family and friends. Special thanks to all of my sponsors, and Chau Nguyen for my fabulous hair and makeup that evening. Also thank you, dance partner, Chi Lam, and dance instructor, Jason Allen for your hard work and patience with me; we now have another year together! I can’t wait for our future performances.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top