Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Other Ones

Since undertaking this ridiculous quest, the question that I've been asked most often, hands-down, is "what are the other girls like?" Sometimes there are judgements and assumptions attached to the question. Sometimes there aren't.

When I first started rehearsals, I felt like I was undercover. I would stealthily start my tape recorder in my bag and make sneaky notes in between dance numbers. I was like that character in one-too-many romantic comedies. You know the one--the struggling journalist who disguises her identity to get the inside scoop? Sort of like Hunter S. Thompson, but replace the drugs with makeover montages. (See: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, 27 Dresses, Never Been Kissed.)

It helped justify my participation, I guess, both to myself and to everyone else. But those movies teach a valuable lesson. In the end, the protagonist always discovers the err of her ways and comes to the ultimate realization--sources are people, too!

Okay, you know where I'm going with this. I don't think I need to continue this analogy much further.

I will admit that I now have a stock of hilarious anecdotes about this experience--my favourite of which is about one individual who I think may actually be actively campaigning for Miss Congeniality. But every time someone asks me that question, I'm reminded that I am one of them. And every time someone asks that question, I'm reminded that someone is being asked that same question about me.

So, the answer? If you know me, you know what the other contestants are like. They're all different. They can't be pigeonholed. And they don't fit neatly into any stereotype that can be succinctly summed up in a one-sentence response.

I'm still taking notes, though.

(Oh, hey there. Here I am at the salon, fact-checking, while my hair processes. Does anyone else ever do work while getting their hair done? Or does this make me really nerdy and over-committed?)


  1. I'm obsessed with your journey, I know I don't comment all the time but I am happy you're documenting as much as you are! It's an experience I think most people won't know unless they're there.

  2. No one seems to comment anymore!

    Thanks for letting me know. I really think that is the case--it's a window into something that I've always wondered about and am suddenly experiencing.

    Now, it's just time to decide what the next adventure will be. . .

  3. Anonymous8:45 PM

    Ron from VDM asked me if this wasn't a prime example of the Anti-christ of beauty pageants?

  4. Ok in the salon it looks like they chopped off all of your hair... did they??

    And of course the process would change your perspective on the entire pageant. How do you keep the external perspective while being fully integrated into the process you're reviewing? I'm not sure that its entirely possible. I'm looking forward to reading your piece on the pageant.

    Good Luck!!

  5. If there ever is a piece. . .