Krista Yovanno, Mrs. Ohio America 2004 and co-director of Mrs. Ohio America; Kimberly Miller, Mrs. Ohio America 2010; Michelle Moore, Mrs. Ohio America 2002 and co-director of Mrs. Ohio America, and Rhonda Shappert, Mrs. Ohio America 2005 and owner of Winning Through Pageantry®.
So you‘ve decided to enter a pageant. What are pageant directors expecting from you?
Here is the short list of what directors expect from contestants:
Behavior and appearance will be professional and respectful at all times.That includes rehearsals, parties, and down time when you are walking around the hotel or event area.
All deadlines will be met without constant reminders from them. This includes financial payments, paperwork, ad pages, ticket orders and all other logistics they inform you of.
Contestants will be on time for all activities. FYI, on time means arriving 15 minutes before the scheduled time.
Take personal responsibility for your own pageant preparation. The director’s main focus is to create a wonderful pageant experience for ALL contestants and share the information equally among everyone. Your questions about the competition should be answered by the director either in the paperwork they’ve produced, through group orientations, or a quick email or phone call from you. They’re not your coach. Some directors will coach their state titleholders to get them ready for nationals; but that is an entirely different topic. Be respectful of their boundaries and time.
Titleholders are expected to follow through on their obligations. If you’re unclear about what is expected of you as the queen (i.e.: rules, appearances, time commitment, further competitions and financial commitments) ask before you agree to compete in the pageant.
A pageant director is no different than the owner of a traditional business.They’re responsible for all the logistics of finding a facility for the pageant; securing judges for the event; putting together sponsors and prizes for the contestants and queens; advertising; creating all rules, paperwork, and judging criteria; hiring a staff to help run the event; arranging for entertainment and an emcee; and marketing the pageant to find contestants. WOW! That’s a lot.
The more you understand and appreciate all that directors do to create this opportunity for you, the more tolerant and patient you’ll be when things don’t logistically flow as smoothly as they could. Directors put out thousands of dollars in advance and countless hours into the pageant they’re producing. They need a certain number of contestants to financial break even, and to make a profit. Yes, making a profit is important for the pageant’s continuation.
The director is your primary source of information regarding their pageant system. It’s appropriate to ask general questions about the style of clothing worn for this pageant, the schedule, financial obligations and qualities that the pageant seeks in their titleholders. Specific questions like: is this the most flattering dress on me, what should I do with my hair, and is this a good answer if the judges ask me this question are all questions that a pageant coach, or similar professional can help you with. Not the director. I would enjoy working with you if you feel you’re ready to take your pageant preparation to the next level.
What directors are expecting and wanting are ladies that are professional, respectable, accountable and responsible to represent not only themselves with pride, but also the pageant system in which they are a titleholder.
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Being professional, respectable, accountable and responsible are qualities that carry over into all areas of your life. I’m a firm believer that how we handle the small things in our lives is how we handle all things. Be a person of your word and always remember, your actions speak so loud people can’t hear what you’re saying.
Rhonda Shappert is an expert pageant coach, an iPEC Certified Professional Coach, an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner, and a member of the International Coach Federation. She created Winning Through Pageantry® to partner with pageant contestants and their support people to provide complete pageant preparation, achieve winning results in life through pageantry, and to Succeed From The Inside Out®. She has over 30 years experience in the pageantry world as a contestant, judge, emcee, staff member, mother of daughters who compete, Mrs. Ohio America 2005, and has held multiple titles at the local, state and national levels.
Rhonda graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelors degree in Musical Theater from The Ohio State University and has performed on stage in 15 countries on the Asian, European and American continents. This mother of three home educates their children and has been married 21 years to her husband Stephen, is the former mayor of her community, and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Virtual Academy. She and her husband perform original contemporary Christian music. Their music CD entitled Cana is available through www.cdbaby.com/cd/shappert or on her website. For more information on Rhonda, visit www.WinningThroughPageantry.com .