I really don’t know what I am getting in to

Published 8:31 am Thursday, June 22, 2017

Pageant week is officially here.

I have heard so much about it, but even before stepping foot in the convention center for the first time, I can tell how completely unprepared I was for what this week would bring.

I went to McAllister’s Deli for a late dinner Saturday evening and was joined by three contestants complete with fancy dresses and crowns and two newly crowned princesses.

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This was the calm before the storm for both them and me, as the events of the week would be ramping up in the coming days. I spent the evening fretting and getting progressively madder at the Florida State baseball team for blowing their first game of the College World Series against LSU.

I can’t imagine what that last evening before the frantic pace of the week was like for the contestants though.

I have talked to a few of them over the past week for various articles and they describe pageant week as fun and hard work, but from the outside I can only picture it as a frantic pace of activity with considerable nerves mixed in.

Two of my articles were the unofficially titled Dummies Guide to the Pageant and a story about dressing room move-in day. I did not realize how much went into the week before writing them.

These girls have rehearsals, events and interviews ever day. They are crammed into a single dressing room with a small table, a mirror and a foot worth of space to hang clothes as they work to prepare for up to four days of competition and various events.

They have to learn dance routines for the show while also getting ready for their individual phases. Each night they have to put on their best face, put on a show and woo judges who will be watching them for any mistake.

I am hoping that by the end of the week I have a better understanding of what goes on with four days of experience in my pocket (key word is hoping, I expect to be extremely confused). As of now, I just don’t get it though.

I have spent my life following sports where the winners and losers are judged by the score or on a more or less set system like boxing where you can usually tell who wins the round.

Watching the teen pageant, my introduction to the events, I could tell who poorly answered a question and underperformed in talent, but I had no idea how to determine poise, confidence, composure or the like. Thankfully my job is manning social media and writing articles.

The judges have been through it and won the pageant. They know what poise, confidence and composure look like, they’ve lived it.

I am just along for the ride and looking forward to seeing the array of talents on the stage.

Brandon O’Connor is a staff writer for The Post. He can be reached at brandon.oconnor@vicksburgpost.com.