In the early hours of Saturday morning in Fresno, all 44 Teen contestants and all 58 Miss Contestants got out of their hotel rooms and made their way down to our first official orientation event: breakfast! After an opening welcome and introduction, each young lady (with their Executive Director and other committee members/guests) began her series of workshops for the day.
My first stop was Voice Recording, where we recorded ourselves speaking a 10 second description of our talent, to be played right before we perform.
Next, it was on to Mock Interview! A group of volunteer panelists, plus Miss California 2011 Noelle Freeman, interviewed us and gave us some great feedback to prepare for “the real thing” later in June.
After my interview, I went to makeup where the lovely Linda Ontiveros offered her makeup wisdom for the pageant. She even had time to give me a “mini makeover”!
Lunchtime! As one of the newest titleholders, lunch was a wonderful time to meet and greet with many of the other contestants, as well as get an opportunity to meet Bob Arnhym- the CEO of Miss California.
I then had my workshop in On Stage Movement where we practiced walking for the evening gown/fitness portions of the competition. I learned great techniques on posture, leg positioning, and foot placement.
Last, but not least, was my Talent Review. I played my piano piece to some volunteers who were checking to make sure it was within the time requirement and that my costume was appropriate.
Next, I had some free time and was able to discuss some current events with fellow contestants and Bob Arnhym (Miss CA CEO). It was interesting hearing others ladies’ views on things happening around the world and learning their perspectives on current issues.
After a wonderful day of learning, came my favorite part of the orientation- a classy dinner full of fun, raffles, and great conversation. During this dinner was when I finalized who my roommate would be during the week-long Miss California competition in June- Miss Kings County, Amber Purdy!
*Miss Kings County, Amber Purdy (my roommate!) and myself
After dinner, all the contestants had a group rehearsal to learn our group dance for the Opening Number of the competition. Through a random lottery, we selected which “group” we would be a part of and I selected the Deltas! This night was the first time all the Deltas got a chance to meet and began working together. These ladies were fabulous, and many who had been to Miss CA before we able to give me some great pageant tips.
*The Darling Deltas!
After rehearsal, we hit the hay and started bright and early Sunday morning. The numerous, fantastic volunteers with the organization led several meetings giving us vital information about the pageant and how to prepare. Following another rehearsal for some dance numbers and on-stage movement (hence the reason for my stunning yoga pant and exercise tee attire), all the Miss Contestants got together for one last photo op.
*Miss California Noelle Freedman is bottom left, center