Survival Tips for Pageant Contestants

Being organized and staying safe and healthy will help make your pageant experience much more enjoyable and rewarding. Here are ten tips to help you during competition and busy weeks full of appearances.

1. Compile a pageant binder. Fill this binder with your pageant paper work, relevant news articles, platform related facts and achievements, journal entries, inspirational quotes and interview questions. This should be a book you can flip through as you focus for interview. It should help to calm your mind and bring you confidence as you are reminded of your experiences, research and accomplishments.

2. Find your outlet for releasing stress. Yoga, gym, biking, running, Zumba, ballroom dancing. There are countless options. Combine your workout time with a little spiritual rejuvenation.

3. Feed your soul. Read books that inspire you. Who are your role models. It would be an inspiration to learn a little more about that person and also give you food for thought during a common interview question (i.e. Who's your role model and why?) . I've been reading, "On Becoming Fearless" by Arianna Huffington.

4. Label everything. Label everything from your shoes to your underwear. Store heavy beaded gowns in flat rubber made containers layered in tissue paper to help keep them safe.

5. Take vitamins and drink a lot of water. Did you know that the average woman should drink about 2.2 liters of water a day? I know it seems like a lot, but dehydration will make you feel tired and can lead to other health issues. Especially considering your demanding schedule, you must take care of yourself.

6. Keep healthy snacks on hand. I know it may sound strange, but when I was competing and balancing school and work, I would keep high protein snacks in the trunk of my car. You can also take snacks with you to your competition. Whether its granola bars, a bag of trail mix, or vitamin water, healthy snacks will help keep you focused and get you through those mid afternoon slumps. It will help give you energy, and keep you from over eating later in the evening.

7. Bring a traveling companion. You're traveling long hours in your car to make those ever important appearances. If you don't have a traveling companion, bring a friend or parent along for the ride. It will help ensure your safety on the road.

8. Keep safety items in your car. You never know when you might have car trouble. Be prepared and keep the following items in your car for safety; hazard triangles, flashlight, jumper cables, small shovel, bag of sand or kitty litter, windshield scraper, blankets, and hand warmers. You should also have a roadside assistance membership like AAA.

9. Use Ziploc bags for storage. Use Ziploc bags to organize accessories. You can put the jewelry and undergarments you need for each onstage competition outfit in a separate baggie and attach it to the hanger of the corresponding outfit. Use larger bags for shoes and toiletries to avoid spills. Other items to include are safety pins, double sided garment tape, small scissors, Velcro and a sewing kit.

10. Do a full run through. You should always practice your make- up and hair prior to attending your pageant. Also, rent a dance studio with mirrors or see if you can get on stage with stage lights and video tape your various phases of onstage competition. What do you see? Make sure hem lines are even, under garments are not showing, and make-up is reading well under the lights. Check your posture during your runway walks and rehearse your talent  in costume with microphones. Rehearse entering and exiting for talent and onstage interview.

It is hard to think of every possible thing you might need. But, try to always be mindful of your safety and health in mind, body and spirit. Adopt organization skills and habits that promote your efficiency and quality of life.

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