And our next pinup pageant entrant is [INSERT YOUR NAME HERE]!!
Your time has come, all that work, planning and practice has built up to this moment, you take a deep breath and walk out on stage. But what now?
After all that planning, two main things can happen when you step out onstage; you go through your routine and everything kind of works out, or, you blank and forget everything. No matter what happens, when you go on stage, with enough practice and preparation, you should still remember some parts of your routine.
Go through your poses/routine;
Remember the story you want to tell the audience. Take your time and relax into your performance
Tip: the judges and audience have no idea what your actual routine is. If you do the wrong pose or forget a few steps of your routine just keep smiling and keep going! Do not freak out, pull a stress face or freeze, that’s the only way we will know you goofed.
It may also be beneficial to hold you poses. Some pageants award points for poses and the judges can’t always tell what the pinup on stage considers a pose if they don’t hold it. I know whilst onstage it might feel really jarring to suddenly stop and stand still in a routine but if that’s what gives you points, then do it. Trust me, I’ve made that mistake (more than once) and if it’s what the judges want, give it to them.
If you’re not sure of how long you’re holding your pose, count in your head. A good 5 seconds is what I recommend and its ok to move a little if you really need to (such as lifting a shoulder and tilting your head).
Use the stage:
You are just one person on an entire stage so take advantage of that. Go all over the stage as part of your routine and connect with the audience on different ends of the stage. This will help keep the audiences attention and bet a little bit more interesting than staring at just one spot.
Layers and Levels:
Much like the point above, use stage levels to your advantage. This means that sometimes it can be beneficial to be on the floor, at a mid level (such as sitting on a chair or kneeling) and of course standing. Utilise the stage as much as you can and keep the audiences attention.
I’ve never seen a pageant where the pinup could speak on stage so all communication has to be done through facial expressions. It’s time to over exaggerate every facial expression you can think of; yes, channel your inner I Love Lucy. If your pinup character is happy, have a huge smile. If your character is shocked or embarrassed, really ham it up. If you’re being goofy and cheesy on stage, make those who are lactose intolerant fearful! If you can only use your facial expressions, use them well. I’d always recommend a different face with each pose.
This section merits its own blog post so I will keep it brief for the time being. Don’t forget to use your props if you’ve gone through the trouble of bringing them onto stage. Your props should enhance your performance and not overtake or hinder you.
The best example I can give is watching a pinup contestant go on stage with her picnic basket; she knelt down, opened her basket, pulled a blanket and put it on the floor, then she pulled out her tea pot, then she pulled out her tea cup, then she pulled out her cake, then her fork and then her time was over! She spent her entire routine setting up her scene that her time was gone and she had done nothing. Her props hindered her and let her down.
You don’t have to only interact with your props; you can put them down, and come back to them at a later time. The props shouldn’t overshadow you and take over your performance; they should just help you tell the story.
Interact with the audience:
It can sometimes be fun to really play with the audience. You don’t need to do anything major but sometimes blowing a kiss, or giving a little wave is all that’s needed. If you are part way through your performance and think the crowd is a little quiet, put your hand up to your ear and ask them to cheer for you. It’ll bring everyone along for the journey with you.
Another way of interacting is by making the audience laugh. It’s okay to be silly and over the top onstage so really embrace your own narrative and make people laugh. Of course, if this makes you uncomfortable and you’re not a real comedy pinup, don’t force it as it can come across as awkward. It’s ok to be a glamour queen over a comedy queen.
Make it a point to catch eyes with the judges at some stage of your routine. Eye contact translates to confidence and it shows you are commanding their presence. If the judges are looking down at their notes, try to catch their eye at a later time.
Eye contact with the audience is also a great thing but don’t let them distract you. Personally, I sort of zip my eyes over the crowd as I’m worried I’ll get stuck on someone and awkwardly stare them down. If you can’t look into the audience, do anything but look down at the floor. Don’t look at your feet or look shy (unless it’s part of your routine).
What do I do if something goes wrong?
It happens and it sucks but we just keep going and smiling at the judges. Like life, pageants are full of surprises and not all of them good; if something happens to you onstage such as forgetting a step, the best thing to do is to keep going. If per say, you get caught or stuck in your costume, do not get flustered. Make it part of your performance as this shows professionalism. I remember half way through a performance my skirt got caught in my shoes and I couldn’t get out, all I could do is look at the judges and over act me getting out of the skirt and then telling the skirt off. It was the only way to cover my goof and to get over that embarrassment.
There are also heaps of external things that can go wrong; your music could cut out or Mother Nature could decide to rain you out or blow you away. If this happens and it’s safe to, JUST KEEP GOING! Yes I’ve had music cut out during a few pageants and you continue with your routine. If your routine is timed to music, fill the gap as the music catches up with some more poses and facial expressions.
If, in the case of a real emergency, you get whisked off the stage for a severe safety reason, such as Gail force winds and the tent collapsing, that’s unfortunately it. Your safety is always a priority and the judges will understand.
Start strong and finish strong:
You only get one first impression so enter the stage looking as confident as you can. Let the audience and judges see you and drink you in, personally I like to hold a pose right at the beginning of my routines as it allows me to look at the judges and command my stage presence. The same goes for ending my time on stage, I like to hold a finishing pose and then perhaps sign off with a kiss or a wave. A clear start and end of your routine can help you spread your time on stage.
Tips: You don’t have much time on stage so make every second count. Do not race through your routine within 15 seconds when you have a full minute on stage. Use every minute to your advantage.
When you’re on the stage, the best piece of advice I can say is have fun. Cliche I know but if you just let go and enjoy your time on stage, the audience and judges will also vibe that energy. It’s ok to be nervous, but don’t let it show on stage. If you smile and have fun, that will help your nerves. Keep calm, take a breath and go through your routine as best you can. If you’ve planned well, you can do it! And if you haven’t planned, wing it!
Always remember, no matter how nervous you get or how bad you think you did, there are people in the audience wishing they had your confidence. You just did a huge brave thing by putting yourself out there. It doesn’t matter the results as long as you think you’ve grown as a person.
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
-What to Pack for Pinup Pageant Day – COMING SOON
-Pageant Etiquette – COMING SOON
Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts expressed are solely my own and not influenced in any way.