Interviews went great yesterday for Hayden Johnson, UNM Miss LA Princess. She's so stinking cute! She's actually the cousin of TCM girl, Desi Templet, so it's been like a family reunion! Hayden is full of personality. She models, she acts, and she sings. She's a triple threat. Sounds like most girls on the TCM team. She fits right in!
Thursday is another full day of interviews. TCM girls, McKenzie, Desi, and Kate. Desi is first up in the early morning hours. She's calm, cool, and excited. I've actually never seen her quite so excited before for an interview. All week long she's been nailing all of her practice questions. She has never hesitated to practice and no hesitation in her answers. Greatest form of confidence I've ever seen from her. Today could very well be her greatest interview experience in her pageant career so far. She could feel it too. After her hair and makeup was complete, we got her dressed and we made the long walk from our room to the interview area. She walked tall, confidently, and gracefully. I could see the people stop and stare as she passed by. Desi was the center of attention in her bright pink interview dress. I told her to walk the hall like she was president of a powerful corporation, just like I had visioned - and she did just that. We arrived to check-in and I gave Desi her last minute reminders. She nodded, she agreed, she made her mental notes. She was ready. There was nothing left for me to do but wish her luck, tell her I was proud, give her a hug, and tell her my usual, "Go get 'em tiger!"
Kate Egan, UNM Miss Colorado Teen, is almost celebrating her first year with TCM. I met her and her mother last year at UNM through Gabriela and Claudia Gonzales. Kate is awesome. She's full of personality and so genuine. I hate to sound cliche but she truly is a genuine pageant girl. She takes deep, deep consideration for every move she makes and considers all the outcomes before she makes a move. Kate has been adapting to the new interview style for a year now and she took to it like a duck to water. She has grown into it and really took the lead to start interviewing more like a "Miss" than a teen. It's been wonderful to watch her grow. Her mother, Lisa, told me that once upon a time Kate used to not like interview. This week, Lisa told me in between our practices, Kate has been asking her to quiz on her interview questions. Now THAT is a new one!
I arrived at her door to warm her up. I'm greeted by a happy mom and then a happier TCM girl, Kate. She's ready. She's ready to walk in and totally slay her interview. This is my favorite part - to have a girl LOVE interview where she once was hesitant. I feel like I've done my job if they are eager to walk into interview and rule the room. This makes my heart happy. Very happy. We go through her mock interview. She nails it. I smile and fight back tears. She isn't ready to see me all soft and mushy - I'm the fearless leader! I'm not weepy and soft! HA! We go through the motions of interview. Ummmmm - yea ... she's ready. She is SO ready!
McKenize Nassar is a very long time client. I've had her since she was a child - no lie before she was 13 years old. We have history. Her mother believed in me and had my back when I needed it and since then - McKenzie is basically my daughter. Her mother, Mary, had no idea that one day when she supported me and my working beliefs, she basically helped make TCM what it is today. McKenzie became The Crowning Moment's first ever Girl of the Year. She earned that. She wasn't just rewarded for loyalty - and the best part is that the entire organization knows that. I show up at McKenzie's door for warm-up and she has been ready since June. When we had our workshop and mock interview, McKenzie literally intimated the panel of judges she practiced in front of. One judge leaned over to me and said, "Erin, that girl makes me feel inferior!" HAHAHA! I laughed and smiled and said, "That is exactly what I planned!"
McKenzie today nailed her warm up just like the rest. I have never been so proud of my group of TCM girls. They have worked so hard all year long and they have proved it every - single - time! I beamed during her warm-up. She was going to hit a home run today. She knew it. So did I! I was a beaming momma! She was thrilled to see interview today. She was ready for "Miss" level questions. She knew how to get the interview to "Miss" level questions and she was eager to do that! I sat back and smiled - that's my girl.
Both teens made their way to interview. They each had a specific game plan for them. They each had a strategy. They each had a focus. They would be different even though on the same team.
All three of my senior girls entered interview and I paced. I hit the stop watch on my watch to count down the seconds. I paced. I paced. I paced more. At three minutes, I looked out the window. When would they exit? One by one they did. Desi exited with a compressed smile, so as to not give anything away. Kate exited with a controlled excitement, so as to not give anything away. McKenzie left with a forced-away smile, so as to not give anything away. (Sense our theme?) My TCM girls rocked their interviews. No matter how it really turned out - and I will see because I will see it on video! - they felt awesome and that is ALL that mattered!
Friday morning will begin with rehearsals and the prelim shows starting. I have four of the six divisions. No telling how it will end but you know - I am so proud of my girls that I know one day they will all get their nationals recognition and until then, we will enjoy the adventure. They will learn the skills. They will have the adventure and together we will have a lifetime of memories.