As I sit down to write my 2nd edition of "The Blair Essentials," I find myself going through the exact same process as I did about 4 weeks ago. I pulled up the Miss Gay America website, and I read every December article that is available. There is so much we can learn from our predecessors, and I believe that history on any level is important. It is truly an honor to be a part of the Forever Miss Gay America sisterhood. Each titleholder has left an indelible mark on the system, and I am so excited to see what this year has in store for me. I have heard myself announced as "Blair Williams, Miss Gay America" every weekend this past month, and I must admit I kind of like the ring of it J.
November has brought many real life ups and downs. We had to say goodbye to our faithful dog Roscoe after 17 years, and we had to have a new furnace installed at home (ouch). But we also got to celebrate the birthdays of several great friends, play hosts to Deva Station and his husband Mark for a weekend, and open our home to our chosen family for a somewhat traditional Thanksgiving feast. We also bought a "new-to-me" second car; so now I can accept all those bookings without fear of leaving Bob stranded at home without a vehicle.
I have also managed to lay the foundation for what I hope will be a successful and memorable year for the Miss Gay America organization. I have been busy working on new costumes, hair, and music so that I will be primetime ready for all of my upcoming bookings. In December alone, I will be at my home bar of ClubOne Jefferson in Savannah, and I will also have the pleasure of traveling to Phoenix, AZ; Jacksonville, FL; and Charlotte, NC. I'm so incredibly thrilled to get out on the road to meet people and talk about this family that I get to represent all year.
I have had the opportunity to speak to many promoters and potential contestants as well. Our promoters are busy scheduling their contest dates, and we have already welcomed a new promoter and pageant, Austin Payne - Miss Gay Virginia America, for this season. We are definitely gearing up for another eventful year!
While my "father/daughter" weekend with L & T isn't scheduled until January, I have been busy reviewing the MGA Job Description, Promoters Handbook, and Prospective Promoter Package. I have also been answering "what / if" scenarios provided by L&T so that I will be prepared to hit the ground running when the preliminary season starts.
Moreover, I got to collaborate with Robin Davis of Robin Joy Photography on an amazing photo session. You have seen a few of the results of our work on Facebook, and I am looking forward to sharing the rest of the pictures with you over the coming months. Robin was patient and kind (and I think she may be a magician too). Her work is top notch, and with a little assistance from Chi Chi Bonet Sherrington, I think we have produced some photos to be proud of. Oh, and I can't forget Layla Fox who worked so hard to help me look my best during the shoot. Thank you all for everything. It was without a doubt a real team effort.
The holiday season has always been a special time of year for me, I love the spirit of giving and camaraderie that it brings. As a child, my mother raised my 2 sisters and me to be kind and respectful and giving, And while we didn't have a lot of money or material possessions, we did have a lot of love and support. I always felt encouraged and loved and supported in anything that I wanted to do. That included coming out as gay and later as a female impersonator. Unfortunately, not every young person has that experience, and I am certain that my MGA family can help. I am pleased to announce that this year, I officially will be partnering with The Trevor Project to raise funds for and awareness of their much needed services.
The mission of The Trevor Project is to end suicide among gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people. Their vision is to create a future where the possibilities, opportunities and dreams are the same for all youth, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition to fundraising efforts at each of our scheduled prelims, I will also be announcing other ways throughout this year that you can help me give to an organization that works everyday to save lives and change futures. I am going to call "our" effort "MGA ©s Trevor." Together, I know we can make a difference in the lives of young people who struggle with sexual orientation and gender identity conflicts.
Finally, I am also going to donate a portion of the proceeds we raise at each prelim to a local LGBTQ youth organization (local to the geographic location of the preliminary pageant). If you volunteer for a youth organization or know anyone who does, please email me at email@example.com.
This month, I actually received a "Dear Blair" question, which I am happy to share. If you have a question for me, please contact me at the above email address or message me on Facebook.
Hello Blair, Good Evening
My name is Sophia Loren Whitney and I am new to the female impersonation business. I started out in February and it's been great so far. I'm competing in my first America System pageant in January. Would you happen to have any advice regarding the business and tips for a beginner?
Hi Sophia. Thank you for the message. I am so excited that you are choosing the America system. As far as getting ready for your 1st contest, I would suggest that you visit the www.missgayamerica.com website, specifically the "About MGA" tab. There is a wealth of information here that will assist you in preparing for your first contest. It is critically important that you understand the rules and the competition categories as you put together your package. Each category, including the scoring system used, is clearly laid out. Your task is to make sure you maximize the possible points available in each sub category to get the best overall score you possibly can. Consistency is key.
MGA truly is a family, so remember to also get to know people and enjoy the experience. I have lost more contests that I have won, but I always came away a better entertainer and competitor from the experience. And I have made some amazing lifelong friends through this pageant system.
As far as the business goes, always remember why you wanted to perform in the first place. If you connect with what you are doing, the audience will too. Stay humble and open to learning new things from your peers and mentors. I always say once you stop growing and learning, then it is time to retire . Work hard, avoid the drama, and always carry yourself in a manner in which you can be proud of. If I can be of any assistance at all, please continue to stay in touch. Best of luck, Blair
I started this article with a mention of the Forever Miss Gay America's and the incredible legacy they have left. So before I conclude, I wanted to thank some of my MGA sisters who have gone out of their way to check on me:
· Blaze Starr: Thank you for your spirit and your love and your graciousness.
· Sally Sparkles: Thank you for the random texts and messages. I love you!
· Victoria DePaula: Thank you for that special phone conversation on the eve of final night. It meant the world to me.
· Nicole Dubois: Thanks for the kind, thoughtful messages.
· Charity Case: Thank you for your humor and genuineness. And special thanks to Jimmy for reaching out to Bob.
This holiday season, I challenge you all to speak a little softer, love a little harder, and give of yourself a little more.
“We cannot become what we need to be…by remaining what we are.” – Max DePree
Miss Gay America 2015