Making Your Mark

Sarah Portugal, Executive Director of Miss Solano, and Sara Lopez, Executive Director of Miss Napa County

Sarah Portugal, Executive Director of Miss Solano, and Sara Lopez, Executive Director of Miss Napa County

At every pageant, we hear phrases such as “your year will go by so fast” or “make the most of your year.” What does this really mean? How do you actually make the most of your year? There are probably many answers to this question and many different ways to have a fabulous year and all answers are right! This is not math class; it is a pageant with different people and many different ideas. However, over my years of involvement with the organization and watching successful titleholders, I have observed and learned a few foundational concepts to help make your mark as a titleholder and make the statement above reality.

  1. Do research – It is important for the titleholder to understand the organization she represents in every facet and understand this is a professional job. Research previous titleholders, their appearances, how your program started, your county and what appearances you could do, the strengths and struggles your program has encountered, and even local businesses and programs that could be potential partners. This will give you knowledge and knowledge is power and that power translates directly to your year.
  2. Understand what you want – After doing research, think about what you want from your year, set goals, and use your knowledge to translate to action. April Smith, Executive Director for Miss Sacramento, told all of us when we competed for her that we could be as busy or bored as we wanted if crowed Miss Sacramento. She would be there either way to support us. This statement is so true because there is support for titleholders in any program you compete for, but it is up to the titleholder to make it happen.
  3. Be positive – Your outlook is everything. As you make appearances and begin work for Miss California, you will have many different people helping you. Always be open minded, learn from everyone you can, and don’t get discouraged. Sarah Lopez, Executive Director of Miss Napa County, stated in a practice interview that when she would walk away from pageants she had lost, she would look at the winner and “ask what did she do that I did not do?” Her positivity made such a powerful statement because she did not let the negative affect her. She came back and eventually won several titles and had amazing years. When you are out in the community, people will recognize how positive you are and want you and the organization back for another appearance. You are setting the stage for the girls who come after you.
  4. Have fun – Not everyone can be a titleholder and be in your heels! Enjoy your title. Smile! This organization is full of beautiful, talented, and fun-loving executive directors who want a great year and to laugh with you. There are so many girls next you at Miss CA who could potentially be your best friend. While it is a job, this job hands down will be the most fun and exciting job you will do! Enjoy it!
Sarah with her Miss Solano, Arielle Sumilhig

Sarah with her Miss Solano, Arielle Sumilhig

When you give up your title, you will probably say to the next winner “Enjoy your year. Make the most of it.” Now you also know how to help her do so. It is not every day you can walk into a room and people will look at you and take notice. Give yourself as many opportunities as you can to make your mark as a titleholder. The community will remember you.

Before closing this blog, I could not stop and thank the people in this organization who have helped me along my journey and who taught me what I know. Brittney Henry, April Smith, Maggie Stewart, and the Miss Sacramento Organization put in hours and hours of walking and presentation prep, teaching me how to present myself, and reminding me to never to give up and trust myself. Tiffany Toilette was one woman who gave me a dose of reality and the 1,2,3’s of pageantry. I love her for her realism. She taught me the importance of wardrobe, representing the organization I was part of, and what it takes to be a winner. Tony Moises, Gabino Lopez, and the Miss Solano 2010 judges and committee gave me the opportunity to be a title holder, taught me the ropes of being a titleholder, worked on my interview, and took me on my journey to Miss CA. I could not be here today without them. So thank you to my coaches, my friends, and my Miss CA family.

Sarah Portugal

Miss Solano 2010

Executive Director, Miss Solano