Sunday, February 6, 2011

Here's how we did it...

This is part of a conversation I had yesterday...
friend: " need to take a class on it, though."
me: "I have about $15,000 in scholarship, so that's definitely something I can look into at NYU."
friend: "But let's be honest, didn't it cost you $15K to go to Miss America? The dresses, the talent....?"

Thanks to my incredible! Now did I wear about $15K at Miss America? Perhaps! But just take a look at how it all happens in the lovely descriptions below :) (yes, total nerd alert. But a very thankful nerd at that!)

Evening Gown
Back in September, I met Carry O'Neal from Regalia Magnificent Apparel (Orlando, FL) at the Jovani headquarters in NYC to pick out this dress from the Jovani Couture Collection. It was the first day the dress had arrived - no one had even tried it on yet! I knew it was THE dress and they just said ok! We won't even photograph it for the website and it will be seen on you first at Miss America! (Alterations by Debbie Smith at Red Carpet Pageant and Prom - Alisha Hill shoes from Regalia)

Miss America provides each contestant with a few swimsuit choices sponsored by La Blanca and shoes by DSW. (Alterations by Jody Pelletier)

My personal training was provided by Ben Yosef, president of MiBoLife Fitness. I paid for my gym membership and he donated his services for free, working me out 3-5 times a week from September to January. Extra cardio and great studios for rehearsal space for talent all took place at New York Health and Racquet Club who gives Miss NY a year membership for free!

Red Carpet Pageant and Prom (Wayne/Sewell, NJ) sponsored my talent outfit: a custom made dance costume by Jody Pelletier (Atlanta, GA). I flew down - first class for free on AirTran, Miss NY's flight sponsor, and Jody had made 2 different mock-ups based on our phone discussions and photo sharing of Miley Cyrus/Dancing with the Stars costumes. I tried them on and later that night, came back for a fitting and feather planning!

My heels were provided by Phil LaDuca of LaDuca Shoes, thanks to the introduction of my amazing choreographer, Laurie Kanyok.

All of my choreography fees for Laurie and some rehearsal space was sponsored by Break the Floor productions, owned and operated by Gil Stroming (Alison, MNYOT's older brother).

My music, "Bye Bye Blackbird," was a custom arrangement and creation by Jeremy Roberts. The Miss NY organization paid for this track, much thanks to the Evening with Miss NY, put on by Ronnie Kroell in November.

On-stage Question 
This one is Red Carpet Pageant and Prom in Wayne, NJ, I found this GREAT red dress-asymmetric, texture/structure, totally me-it was a size 14, and the only one left from a designer who had closed his line. This is where Debbie Smith really impressed me. She did not just alter this dress, but practically remade it! You try taking a size 14 dress down to a 4, belt included! Amazing.

Off Night Dresses 
Tuesday preliminary, I wore a gorgeous Sherri Hill, ice blue crystal empire waist chiffon dress borrowed from Red Carpet. And Wednesday preliminary, I wore my white, Miss NY state dress, a Jovani dress originally from Red Carpet.

Cocktail Dresses 
One visitation dress was my on-stage question dress, in addition to 2 other fantastic cocktail dresses altered and sponsored by Red Carpet. Also, my up close and personal dress that I also wore at the Eiffel Tower appearance and my Miss America send off was provided by Red Carpet.

Debbie (alterations), Chris, me, Trish (owner Red Carpet), Lynn (Wayne location)

Cosmetic Sponsors
My tanning, custom airbrush, and iSunless to take during the week (and spray Miss VA and AR) was all sponsored by Beach Bum Tanning.

Hair by Vartali Salon - color by Michael, and cut by the owner, Vartan.

Skin treatment by Dr. Virgil Hatcher and Violeta, aesthetician, at Chelsea Dermatology.

Tooth whitening and contouring from Dr. Goldstein in Atlanta, GA.

So what did I pay for? 
With the $1,100 from Miss America (so really I didn't pay for much...) that each contestant receives, I bought a set of HD makeup and brushes and lip gloss from Sephora, accessories, 1 new pair of black shoes, parade attire (except the shoes sponsored by DSW of course), all the extras (adds up!!!) and my interview outfit.

My interview dress is by Lauren Gabrielson. So awesome to be able to walk in my Miss America interview as Miss NY with "Made in Manhattan" on my tag! Although I paid for my dress, Lauren has offered to let me wear her dresses any time for appearances. I tried on an army green dress, asked to have it made in blue and when we received it, something was just I talked to Lauren who gave me the options of altering the blue for free or just exchanging for the green, which I went with. And LOVED!

And I flew to Vegas VIP first class, for free, with free baggage including the overweight one, thanks to Miss America luggage tags, on AirTran Airways!

When I got to Las Vegas, I was totally ready because I had incredible preparation from our Miss NY board and family, specifically Leigh-Taylor Smith for interview, Paul, Kenny, Gene, Ken and Diane and many of their friends on mock interviews, Hannah Kiefer for mocks, and Kandice Pelletier for motivation, styling (intro to Lauren Gabrielson) and talent/presentation.  Of course my family is hugely supportive and made this entire experience possible, emotionally and mentally; my parents in particular have granted me incredible security during my year as Miss NY in order to make the most of every opportunity to serve my community and spread our message.

Now you can agree that I'm one of the luckiest girls on earth!

No comments:

Post a Comment