BACKSTAGE BLOG: Aubrey Carr reports from the Miss Teen Earth national pageant near Las Vegas
Follow along as Aubrey Carr, 17-year-old Golden Gate resident and Naples High School senior, competes for the title, Miss Teen Earth United States, this week in Nevada. She'll give Citizen readers the inside scoop each day on what it's like to be a part of the world's third largest beauty pageant system.
Sunday, July 19:
Hello. Miss Teen Earth United States pageant has finally arrived, and so have I, in Vegas. My flight was on Saturday, although registration was today.
All I can say is I am having the time of my life! There are 57 girls competing total from all over the United States. We had to wake up really early and register. Then we had our make-up done by an amazing team of professional make up artists. They pampered us and we ended up looking like supermodels - who would have thought? :)
After that we had fittings for all the clothes we are getting for this event. I got a green two-piece swimsuit that is all made of soy fiber!!! Also a black dress, a cute blouse, another yellow and orange swimsuit and amazing shoes. All is ecofriendly of course!
They also gave us caps with a crown imprinted and T-shirts that say "I am glamorously green!".
We then had three different photo shoots. One of them was very high fashion, with a color background and props and lights. Then we had our pictures taken with a crown and our headshots done, all in different locations and two great photographers.
It was so much fun, but a lot of work because there are so many girls. There was a one-hour meeting with Evan Skow, the national director, who went over the rules and the schedule. Then whoever was not having pictures taken started rehearsals on the amazing stage! We walked up and down, left to right and backwards and practiced how to walk for the final night and for the cameras that we'll have around that day.
My room is so beautiful. It has a pool and desert view (by the way, we are in the desert, 20 minutes from Las Vegas, and it is so unique - and so dry! But it's beautiful and very different from Naples).
All the teens roomed with a Miss Earth contestant. My roommate is Miss Earth Rhode Island and she is a sweetheart. Miss Earth Florida Michelle Piwko, is also here and roomed with Teen Earth California. Michelle is doing fantastic.
We have eaten so much, but it's all very healthy. Our meals are all in different all-you-can-eat buffets and the cuisine is amazing.
Tomorrow, Monday, we have a surprise event in the morning - I'll let you know about it later- then we have two more photo shoots outdoors and a green fashion show at the mall where we'll model ecofriendly fashions. Later in the day will be the first meeting with the judges at a casual dinner. Wish me luck! And then more rehearsals and more pictures.
Everyone here is so nice and professional. Everything is so well organized. We have very loving chaperons taking care of us, plus we get to have dinner with our families. In my case my mom, my aunt and my pageant director, Sandra Silva.
Of course, everything is very ecofriendly. We have recycling bins around and the clothes we get are made of natural fibers. Even the make-up they used on us was organic!
So, we are having fun, learning a lot, putting together a great coronation show and we are also protecting Mother Earth. See? I am having the time of my life.
Monday, July 20
Today was so amazing! We had our surprise event that morning and I was so surprised at what we did! The night before, we had been told to grab a bathing suit and wear it for the event in the morning. I thought the event had to do with something outside and so did all the other girls. We all packed sunscreen and sunglasses in our wonderful “Save Our Planet” backpacks that the pageant provided. I wore tennis shoes and something light so it wouldn’t be as hot.
Then I found out that we were going to a secondhand store to look for our opening number outfit. Talk about recycling and reusing :) We had an hour to find our outfit and a $10 budget. I found a beautiful blue floral dress for only $4! My queen “sister” Michelle, Miss Earth Florida, got hers for 99 cents.
Later that afternoon, we all went down to the outlet mall for the fashion show. I got to model a beautiful two-piece outfit made from newspaper. It was so cool.
After that, I modeled for Franovik Designs. I wore a gorgeous brown and white full length dress. But get this, it was made out of sofa fabric! If you would have seen this dress, you wouldn’t have thought it was made from a sofa! You can find all the pictures from this fashion show on the pageant Web site.
That night, all of us prepared to meet the judges for the first time, but in a casual environment. I think we were all a little nervous, but it was cool to be able to talk to and get to know the judges.
The meet and greet seemed like it was so short.
I had a great time getting to know each and every one of the judges. Dinner together was so much fun! Later, all the contestants changed into comfy pajamas and brought our four or five recyclable items to the convention center with us where we learned we had to build a dinosaur out of them.
How neat! This was such an awesome way for all 58 of us to come together, bond and make a difference, while having the time of our lives. We named our dinosaur Recyclasaurous.
Tuesday, July 21
We all went to the convention center to learn our opening number dance routine and rehearse for the big night. We took a break and received Primm Valley (the name of our resort) shirts before heading out to the pool for a tree planting ceremony. It was so sunny out that it took a while for everyone’s eyes to adjust. We all worked together to pick the tree up and plant it. Pictures were taken and then it was back to rehearsals.
We also had a make-up seminar and Don Read showed us how to use make-up in our favor. He demonstrated on a couple of us and it was very useful.
In the evening, we got ready for our environmental awareness competition and the optional talent portion. I brought an acrylic picture frame and talked to the audience and the judges and Evan about the frame and why I decided to bring it. I explained that acrylic is a number seven plastic and it is recyclable although many people don’t think so and just throw these type of items to the regular trash bin where it ends up in the landfills for hundred of years.
Then it was time for the talent portion. Everyone did amazing and it was great to see our queen sisters’ hidden talents. I danced a lyrical ballet dance to the song “Get Here,” by Oleta Adams.
And before you knew it, it was time for bed again!
Wednesday, July 22
It came around way too quickly to me and seemed like my adventure was ending. We had personal interviews that morning with the judges for a minute and a half! We had 12 judges. Time flew by so quickly, but I was excited to answer the questions they asked me.
We began rehearsing and finished around 3. All the chaperones watching us told us we looked great and, finally, it was time to get ready for the pageant. I couldn’t wait! I arrived at my dressing room 30 minutes before the pageant started and before you knew it, I was dancing away on the front of the stage. I couldn’t stop smiling. I could see my family and friends in the audience holding support signs and cheering. It was a rush!
The introduction was followed by the bathing suit competition. I had so much fun walking on stage. We went up in two’s and my partner was my friend Logan, from Oklahoma. :)
After that they introduced the photogenic, talent and friendship awards. I’m glad I got to see some of my friends take home a new banner. Then it was evening gown time and again, I couldn’t stop smiling.
After everyone did their walks, we all came on stage with the Miss delegates and the teen top six was announced. I couldn’t believe my name got called! That was such an awesome feeling! So much work paid off!
The top six were called back up on stage for one last question. Then, it was the moment we were all waiting for – the announcements of the element sisters and the winner.
In the Earth pageant system, we have an Earth titleholder and instead of runners up, all the other girls in the top six are winners and assigned an element.
I won the United States Teen Water title! I can’t tell you how happy I was and how excited I am to represent my title as best as I can! My friend Jolie Schamber, also from Florida took home the Miss Teen Earth United States title. I am so proud of her!
We also witnessed how our big sisters in the Miss division got called. Michelle, Miss Earth Florida got a high placement in the top 10. Go Michelle! My roommate from Rhode Island, won the title of Miss Earth United States.
In the end, the experience has changed my life. It allowed me to travel, to meet so many girls doing so many things around the country. I learned even more about protecting the environment. I feel more confident and inspired to do my work and hopefully affect others in a positive way. Everyone was nice. From the chaperones, to each of the girls to the pageant director. I am proud to be a part of the Miss Earth system.
If you want more details or would like to see more photos, please visit the Florida Earth pageants site where there’s a photo gallery and I have my own page, www.EarthFloridaPageants.com
“As long as I stay on COURSE, I’ll be doing the best I can to help save the Earth. It’s my Bible,” says 17-year-old Aubrey Carr.
Local teen vies for queen of “green”
By BRENDA HAWKINS
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
COURSE is an acronym for the environmentalist mantra: conserve output by unplugging, recycling, reusing and saving everything.
From using a dark background on her computer monitor to save energy to carrying a reusable water container and a tote bag for groceries, Carr is devoted to the conservation-oriented lifestyle.
Now, the Golden Gate resident and Naples High senior will use her green platform to represent Florida as Miss Teen Earth Southwest Florida when she vies for the title, Miss Earth United States, July 19-22, in Nevada, and a chance to represent the U.S. at the world competition in the Philippines.
“I really like science,” says Carr, who carries a 3.69 unweighted GPA and plans to become a physical therapist, specializing in sports. “I’m really into protecting the environment.”
To that end, she volunteers to head up the Friends of Lowdermilk Park beach cleanup program as a part of Keep Collier Beautiful and is available for speaking engagements.
The 5-foot-8, 115-pound beauty will have to exhibit plenty of brains to survive dinner with the judges and an on-stage interview at the pageant, one of the three largest in the world, with more than 80 countries participating.
Carr is busy working out the logistics of some very ambitious eco-friendly projects to fill out her resume.
She is looking at the feasibility of installing rainwater catches and solar panels in her school to conserve energy and cut costs, and plans to organize a benefit showcasing student music and art talents to raise the necessary funds and round up volunteer assistance for the project.
Meanwhile, Carr is in the early stages of starting a battery recycling program that would provide easy access to collection centers and events for people to properly dispose of those everyday energy cells that release toxic chemicals in the landfill.
Carr says she gained a new awareness of how endangered the Earth is when she watched the movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.”
“The pageant is an awesome chance to make a difference, to share and to speak out,” said Carr.
Carr will compete in swimsuit and evening gown and will also be calling on her experience in ballet, pointe and lyrical dance to compete in the optional talent portion of the event, whose main purpose is to combat global warming, according to Carr.
“It’s very expensive,” said Carr, who is looking for sponsors. “The pageant provides the hotel, the swimsuit and some outfits, but we have to pay for airfare, food and an evening gown.
“I was hoping someone might be interested in donating a dress. That would really be a good example of recycling.”
To volunteer help for Carr’s recycling project or to sponsor her pageant bid, go to firstname.lastname@example.org.