Tag Archives: miss social
Photos by: Ned Du
Written by: Jullianne Pham, Miss Social 2016
The Royal Court attended the Tet Sinh Vien Festival at Yerba Buena High School on February 11th. Quan, Savannah, and Alex arrived in the early morning to help set up the MVNCI booth. The ladies gave away Li Xi’s to children that stopped by the table, and they also made arts & crafts with paper crowns along with the children. Several visitors stopped by the booth to take photos with the Royal Court as the afternoon passed. By the time it was 3PM, the ladies went backstage of the high school theatre to help prepare for the Miss Teen Tet Pageant competition! Jullianne arrived just in time to begin preparing the contestants for their competition. The Royal Court felt so overjoyed to see all the lovely contestants again—time flew by so fast from the Miss Teen Tet mixer back in January!
The 10 contestants were split up into their dressing rooms as the Royal Court were assigned their duties. Jullianne and Alex helped the girls in their dressing rooms, making sure that they changed into their right outfit on time to go on stage. Savannah helped with the lights and sound, and Quan arranged the order of ladies from other pageants to help with the crowning segment. Seeing the jitters of the girls as they conversed backstage was so nostalgic for the MVNCI Royal Court—this was the Royal Court almost exactly one year ago! It was different seeing a whole pageant unfold from the other perspective. Watching the contestants dance, do their introduction, walk in their Ao Dai and evening gown, and answer the questions by the judges felt a lot less nerve-wracking than actually experiencing it themselves. It felt exciting and amazing for the ladies to become mentors and older sisters towards the contestants on their special evening—guiding, supporting, and motivating them through all the crazy, scary feelings that the Royal Court went through a year ago.
On Saturday October 1, 2016; Jullianne and Alex visited the Lytton Gardens in Palo Alto to help decorate the nursing home for Halloween! The ladies arrived at 10AM to check-in. Upon arrival, they were led towards the storage room in the back—there were a handful of boxes, containers, and baskets full of Halloween decorations! They were told that they had the freedom to decorate as they pleased in the front lobby and in the back room where the elderly played games and ate their meals. Alex and Jullianne decorated the front lobby first with window decals, scarecrow stands, ceiling decor, and wall decorations. Halloween signs, skeletons, and bats were hung along each wall of the room; while pumpkins, ghosts, and orange & black decor were placed among the tables, table stands, and counters. Some of the elderly even stopped by to give them advice on where to place the decorations!
The night before pageant, I was still running around trying to get everything packed up and ready to go for Sunday, and found out that my steamer wasn’t working; none of my outfits were going to be ready! While trying to review the questions I might get on Pageant day and fixing the steamer at the same time, I didn’t get to sleep until 2am – and next morning I had to wake up at 8am to get my makeup and hair done! While the makeup artist was working on me, I actually fell asleep. My Sunday wasn’t getting off to a great start – I misunderstood the start time and arrived late at the Campbell Heritage Theater – not the way I wanted to start the day, but it made me realize I would have to dig deep inside me to give it my all on stage.
When we got into the theater, we were assigned to our dressing rooms, changed into our white ao dai, and did the first run through of the day. I was nervous – nothing was set up yet, and we had to work as a team to get the correct markers down for where we were to stand on stage for the various parts of the pageant. We did our intro dance and the self-introduction and my heart started pumping fast and I got nervous, spoke very fast and pretty much forgot everything – and this was with nobody in the audience! Rehearsal was over in a flash and we have a little bit time to relax and collect ourselves, eat and steam our gowns before the show. I kept practicing my introduction and questions because public speaking still makes me very nervous. But, I wanted to be a 2014 court member, and knowing that I will have to speak in public, I have to make this an opportunity rather than an obstacle.
After two months of practices, the show goes by really fast; it felt like I blinked and we were at the end of the show. During the show, it felt like a race against time to get changed from one outfit to another. At one point, it felt like everybody was piled into the dressing rooms trying to help my other pageant sisters and I change, but once we step foot onto the stage, our expressions don’t show the craziness but only smiles.
Time to announce top 7, I was the 2nd to last to be called. I was nervous and I was told later that my friends and family were even more nervous then I. When I was called, my body just felt a little lighter but my nervousness never went away because I’m facing what I feel was the most challenging aspect of pageant; the on stage interview. I was so nervous and I didn’t deliver the answer to my question as I had wanted to or even rehearsed. Top 5 got called and I didn’t make it, but I smiled and exited the stage. While I was packing up my things and changing back into my color ao dai, my friends and family tried to cheer me up by texting me, and saying how proud they were of all my hard work – that support definitely helped ease my sadness for my bobble onstage with my response.
The final time for us to come back on stage again, I didn’t expect to win anything, I was ready to walk off stage without a crown. I was shock when I got called to win the title of Miss Social! I was surprised and delighted while walking to center stage to receive my sash, crown and flowers. I felt like I didn’t let my family, friends and sponsor down after all! I was very happy with that accomplishment.
I want to say ‘Thank You’ to everyone who has been there for me and always believed in me. Being in this pageant has built up my confidence more than I can imagine – I can’t wait to share my court experiences with you, and give back to my community.