Pinup Pageant Guide: How to Plan a Routine

Righty-o! So you’ve now written your pinup bio, sent in your application and now it’s time to start planning for pageant day. This is one of my favourite parts of any pageant; it gives you a chance to really get creative, get a bit silly and get creative. When it comes to planning, really lose yourself in the process and flesh out your character, idea and story. I’m so excited for you and I’m glad to be apart of your journey.

Find out the basics:
-Start your planning process by reading through any and all pageant material sent to you. Find out how many rounds there are, what the themes are, your time limit, if there is someone to help bring on props for you and the judging guide. Most pageants will tell you all this information early on and it’s a great start.

Miss MonMon and her vintage potato farmer routine for Miss Vintage Kiss 2019.

Themes and Stories:
Whenever I do a pageant, I always work around a certain theme. Sometimes the pageant itself sets the theme eg. Elvis in the movies, vintage surf or summer. Use these themes in your routine and plan around them. If there is no theme, it may help you plan by coming up with your own. Some of my favourite themes I’ve seen in multi-round pageants are Wizard of Oz, Barbie and Disney. Use elements from your theme in your routine rounds and make sure they all link together.
If you don’t want a theme that’s totally fine but make sure your routines on stage tell a story. If you can share a short story with your audience, they will connect with you and find your performance enjoyable. Pinup pageants are unique in that they allow you to really perform whilst on stage as opposed to some pageants where you walk and stand in a certain spot and pose.

Miss MonMon being an over excited shopper … until the bill arrives at Pinup Doll Australia 2018.

The story you tell doesn’t have to be elaborate with a plot twist, character development and a cliff hanger. It can be as simple as a pinup picnic, a fun day at the beach or a glamorous night out.

Planning:
It is now time to combine the time limit with your theme/story. Most pageants give you about a minute on stage; break down your story into sections that will fit into a minute. Keep in mind if you need to pause for poses.
-Plan a strong entry onto stage then move into your routine.
-Remember to move about the stage and not stay in one spot. Use the whole stage as well as levels. See if your routine can take you down to the floor and back up again to add some interest.
-It is in this section where you may also plan your props; make sure your props help and not hinder you. They should compliment your routine, not take over it. Some pageants will have stage kittens to help place and remove props whilst others require you to carry your props on and off stage. This is important information as it’ll effect what your prop is. You don’t want to walk on with a suitcase of things to unpack because by the time they are out, your time will be up.

Miss MonMon in the swimwear category for Miss Dirty Love 2018

-Some pageants will allow you to have your own music. If this is the case, choose a song that compliments your story or helps tell your story. Something fun and hoppy is always recommended as the audience will have fun with your routine. If you can’t have your own music, time out your routine into lots of 8 seconds. As you map your routine, use these time plots to help you get about the stage, hold poses and interact with your props.
-Keep your routine simple. By keeping your story simple and universal, you help the audience connect with you and understand what’s happening. It’s ok to make references to pop culture but ensure it comes across as obvious and necessary.
-Don’t drag on with your routine, if you only have a minute, make that minute purposeful.
-It is in this section you can get really creative with your ideas. You might want to think about a surprise prop, or a reveal of some kind to keep the audiences attention. You don’t have to be elaborate but keep in mind any safety concerns as well as pageant restrictions and rules.
Remember to keep your personality at the forefront of your routine. If you are very glamorous, use that in your routine. If you are a comedic pinup, see if you can put something funny or goofy into your story. Your routine should be quintessentially you and you should shine through it.

Miss MonMon in her Elvis costume during Miss Memphis Vintage 2019

If you are really stuck for ideas, head over to somewhere like Pinterest and look up pageant themes. Something may inspire you such as a Western Theme, representing your cultural background, a pinup garage theme or a gardening theme.
Once you find that theme, further Google poses for that theme and use them in your routine.
Once you think you have a solid routine, write it out onto some paper. It might help to draw the stage and mental map your movements. This will help you visualise the routine from a different perspective.
When you are happy with your routine; it’s not time to practice, put together your outfits, make your props and plan your hair and makeup. All these points will be made into separate blogs so please check back soon.

Interview and Q&A sections:
If your pageant involves a Q&A section, see if they have a list of possible question you may get asked. Most pageants will provide a list or give you an idea of what you may be asked. It’s very very rare for contestants to be thrown into the deep end with something hugely political.
-When planning your answers, remember to be yourself and let your personality shine. If you want to have a giggle and give a silly answer that’s totally ok.
-If your pageant includes a mystery question, (eg. I was part of one where they pulled out a random car part and we had to name it) and you don’t know what the answer is. Be honest and tell a story instead. One girl couldn’t guess the spark plug so she said it’s an emergency hair curler which was hilarious! What an icon!
-When answering a question, speak clearly, loudly and to the audience.

Miss MonMon discussing Endometriosis Australia at Pinup Doll Australia 2018

Talent Section:
If you pageant involves a talent section, play to your strengths. Not everyone can sing and dance, trust me, it can get a little boring with everyone doing the same thing. Pick your brain for other talents you may have and find a way to make them interesting on stage.

Miss MonMon dancing with her feather fans at Pinup Doll Australia 2018.

My favourite moment was during Miss Pinup International when Bambi’s talent was singing and yodelling to the Goat song from Sound of Music. It was epic even though she’s not a trained singer but she just yodelled her heart out and I was LIVING for it; she made it fun, interactive and all us contestants had the song stuck in our head for several days after. Another memorable moment is a pinup contestant showing how to fold a fitted sheet and another doing a fire safety demonstration.
If you are still stuck for an idea, perhaps look at your hobbies. I couldn’t dance after some Endo surgeries but I really loved to knit. So that was my talent; I bought some HUGE yarn and used my arms as needles to give a knitting demonstration.
Find something unique, make it fun and interactive. Be yourself, this section is perfect for showing your personality.

Miss MonMon amongst the amazing contestants for Miss Pinup International 2019 before the Talent Round
Miss MonMon performing her knitting talent at Miss Pinup International 2019

The planning stage is always a lot of fun and it should be fun. If you’re not enjoying it, take a step back and maybe try another idea. If you love your idea and find it fun, the audience will vibe that and enjoy the performance. Find an idea you love and run with it, no matter how silly it may be.
I will be continuing the pageant planning with more blogs including how to plan an outfit, your grooming and props so check back soon. Until then, HAVE FUN!

This post is part of a Pinup Pageant Guide mini-series. Feel free to find more posts from this series here:
-Writing a Pinup Bio
-Sending in Pinup Pageant Applications
How to Plan a Routine
-Planning your Pageant Outfits
-Planning your Pageant Hair and Makeup
-Using Props on Stage 
-Posing on Stage
-What to do on Stage – COMING SOON
-What to Pack for Pinup Pageant Day – COMING SOON
-Pageant Etiquette – COMING SOON

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Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts expressed are solely my own and not influenced in any way.

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