Well the sparkles have settled and now I finally have a spare moment, I want to write about the wonderful experience that was the Miss Pinup Australia National Grand Finale down in Melbourne!
I want to round off my blog with the spectacular three days I spent finally meeting some very important individuals in the flesh, learning a fun routine together and formally completing the MPA journey for this year.
My National Grand Finale experience began with an early start…A very early start indeed.
I dragged my butt out of bed at 3AM in order to be organised to catch my 6:40AM flight. Now when I say dragged, I’m lying. I was awake most of the night as I knew I would be. Bubbling with excitement and a little bit of nerves about the days that lay ahead!
I caught my first uber to the airport successfully and provided entertainment for many onlooking travellers as I struggled with my 52kg of luggage…just shy of my own weight in fact. Needless to say, there was no need for concern about fitting in some exercise on this day!
I was surprised that despite the early hour, lots of people were noticing and actually commenting on my vintage look and hair styling. Nothing quite like a kind compliment to start the day!
The beautiful Miss Roxie Snow contacted me just before my flight took off, to ask me if I would like a lift from the airport. How kind! I jumped on board the pinup wagon and looked forward to meeting both Miss Roxie and also the divine Miss Rouge Pearl who Roxie had also kindly offered to collect.
I kept myself busy during my flight, surprisingly not looking over poses and what not, but preparing for one of three job interviews I was to have in the week following. Never a dull moment!
The flight went quick and before I knew it, I was graced with the gorgeous dolled up face of Miss Roxie as I touched down in Melbourne. I still owe this pretty a piece of cake for her kindness and generosity.
Miss Rouge was delayed, so we took the time to stop and refuel with caffeine. I also took the time to do a quick mid airport change, eyelash and lipstick application. Hey, I’m a gal on the go!
By the time I was finished caffeinating and dolling up, Miss Rouge arrived! What a little pocket rocket this one is! Just like Miss Roxie, offering to help me with my many bags and assuring me she was used to carrying a million things as a busy mum. Inspiration central right here!
Time had flown by and it was time to swing past Miss Roxie’s accommodation to pick up Miss Wurple and head on off to our first day of rehearsals at Circus Oz.
Arriving and finally getting to meet everyone was so incredibly exciting. It was also strange too, in the sense that it was kind of like we were already old friends in a way. We had all been following each other through various stages of the journey and seen lots of photos, posts and messages from each other.
After all the meeting and greeting was done, we headed inside to get down to business and hastily begin learning the opening number.We also talked about how the grand final would run and cleared up any questions ahead of the big night.
We managed to fit in a quick lunch break, where I began filming the personal thank you videos for Miss Pixie. Although we all put in for a gift from all of us, I wanted to give Miss Pixie a little something from myself to thank her for all her hard work and efforts in organising and running the competition for us. What better, then a whole bunch of thank you messages from all those involved in the grand final! A lot of my actual day job centres around video and it pained me to shoot this on an ipad with no proper audio gear….but I couldn’t fit any of that in with the rest of my 52kg so I had to make do!
We had fun rehearsing into the evening until it was time for a bite at The Noble Experiment – owned and operated by the multi-talented Miss Pinup Australia 2014 Miss Cherry Fizz! It was nice to wind down together over some delicious food and drinks after a busy travel and rehearsal filled day! Thanks for having us Miss Cherry!
I was slowly booting down and the lovely Miss Roxie dropped my luggage and I off at my accommodation. After a quick encouragement call with Dave, I ventured out into the cold to Coles to grab some snacks and supplies to fuel me over the days ahead and retreated home to bed to catch some Z’s before tackling day 2.
This was it! The final day to finish learning the opening number and practice, practice, practice!
My day got off to a good start with hair that I thought had behaved itself and a cute coat to keep me warm.
The day took a slight turn when the coffee man was slow and made us late and sans said coffee…and all my hair fell out.
But fear not! Miss Wurple to the rescue! She fixed my hair AND I managed to pop out and finally get the coffee I was after during lunch! I returned to quickly whiz through all those still needing to record a thank you for Miss Pixie, trying to get them all done while she was out to lunch herself!
During lunch, I also presented everyone with their magic wand gifts I had prepared in advance. For states, I had made cupcakes for everyone….but travelling with 25 cupcakes just wasn’t going to fly! I also wanted to give everyone a little something they could keep to remember their experience this year. The response was well worth the hours that went into make all the individuals name tags and putting them all together. I got lots of cuddles and kisses and thank yous and was so happy to leave a little piece of me with everyone.
We finished of the opening number and with many a cheers and celebrations we set to preparing and practicing our poses for when each category entered the stage as a group at the end of each round. I think everyone’s brains had long switched off at this point, as we were all struggling to remember what we were coming up with! Absolute shocker!
It was definitely time to call it quits, head home and get pretty ahead of the National Meet and Greet. I headed home and touched up my makeup and set to editing the video for Miss Pixie! I was a little late arriving to the Meet and Greet and this was why… Call off the search party guys!
The meet and greet was held at the fabulous Aloha Sailor Bar, beneath The Noble Experiment. Definitely worth a look if you are ever adventuring in Melbourne town. It was nice to see everyone all dolled up and donning their tiaras and sashes while sipping on a cocktail. It was great knowing that all our rehearsing was done and that as this time the next night, we would all be showing off our months of hard work and preparations on stage at the grand finale! Excitement levels were definitely high!
It was also great to get the chance to meet some of the special friends and other halves of those in the competition. It’s so wonderful to see peoples support networks and how they have helped them get to a certain point.
I too, was excited, as my wonderful man was flying in as I was at the meet and greet!
Once I had said my goodbyes, I shuffled home in the cold (but still looking glamorous due to tiara) to eagerly await Dave!
I set about getting my hair into a wet set, which due to my long locks is always quite a mean feat! Not long after I finished, I was rewarded with the arrival of my beautiful man! I was so relieved to finally have him there. My calm during the storm he is! We both got ready for what I hoped would be a good night’s sleep ahead of the big night itself!
Grand Final Day!
I awoke after what was a surprisingly okay sleep. The night before the Queensland state final had been a rough one due to the overwhelming nerves and excitement and also the discomfort of those cute little pink rollers. Don’t let their cuteness deceive you: they are fairly uncomfortable!
So I was happy to feel somewhat rested! Dave and I set about getting some of my props set up and organising how we were going to get them to the venue, walking from our accommodation.
I got a coffee fix and some more supplies from Coles (mostly to meet my sugar requirements for the day. Hello marshmallows and party mix!)
After that, I just took my time getting ready. My hair is always a mission. Sometimes it will miraculously behave. Then there are the times it just…doesn’t. It was going to be one of those days. Poor Dave tried to nap while I cursed at my hair and hair tools. Bless him for ducking out to grab me a coffee and try and keep me calm amidst my hair rage.
Although it took forever, I finished right on schedule and we started our short walk to Circus Oz. Mind you, it didn’t feel so short carting all my stuff with us! All of the props! This is something my Dad would refer to as a “character building” experience.
Upon arrival, we quickly got everything set up and labelled and Dave headed off to wait for show start while I got to practicing the opening number with all my other lovelies!
It was interesting mapping it out on the stage for the first time and we only really had enough time to go through it twice in the venue ahead of show start. There were a few moments of stress but we realised we were all in the same boat and as long as we carried ourselves with confidence and conviction, the audience would enjoy it regardless. I always remind myself that the audience doesn’t know how it’s supposed to look, so as long as you carry out every move and own it, you’ll have the audience convinced and transfixed!
We headed in to all attach our beautiful personalised headpieces that Miss Pixie HAND MADE for all of us and started getting amped up for the show!
To be perfectly honest, from here on out, everything is a blur of quick changes, candy fuel ups and a whole lot of fun. I wish I could remember more of it…but I guess the motivation at the time was to get all the clothes on for the next round, make it out on stage and have a damn good time. And that, I did!
I had a few conversations with my pinup family backstage and many were saying they were happier with their performances at their state event. I had to admit, I did feel the same in some respects. But honestly, I just had such a ball out of stage that it didn’t matter. All the weeks of preparation and planning and hard behind the scenes work were all coming together and for me, that was a prize in itself.
And then, came this feeling of sadness…that it was all over.
Even before presentation, I felt a bit empty…because it was all done. It’s odd, because during all the times of stress and tears, you think it will be a feeling of relief in some respects. Sure, it’s an excited feeling too, because YOU JUST DID IT! YOU NAILED IT! But I was immediately thinking…in a matter of an hour, this formal part of the journey will come to a close.
I guess that right there, speaks for itself in terms of what I have gained from being a part of Miss Pinup Australia and how much it has meant to me along the way.
One thing I do remember and always love seeing, is just how helpful everyone is back stage. Just like states, I needed help getting into my corset (thank you Miss Lorelei Jean) and my suspender clips (thank you Miss Wurple Violet). Anything you needed, someone was there to help. Also, the beautiful Miss Stormy Winters noticed I had been a little stressed throughout the night and stopped me to ask if I was okay. Bless you Stormy, for noticing the slight dull in my sparkle. Damn Stress! Got to thank the beautiful Miss Mae Em too, who also noticed this upon arrival and swiftly gave me a big snuggle!
I got to packing up all my stuff while votes were tallied as we all knew we were required to make a swift exit leaving the venue nice and tidy. I was all dressed in my eveningwear ready for presentation, but that didn’t stop me: I was outside in the car park…in my vintage prom gown…armed with a screwdriver collapsing my props down! Sisters are doin’ it for themselves!
With all the packing up, presentation time snuck up quickly. I was super excited to hear and see the results and it didn’t disappoint! It was so wonderful to see the shock in the surprised faces and the excited tears that followed from a number of the National title holders. It was an exciting moment even for those who didn’t take home a title. We shared in the celebration of the growth of all those awarded and it’s not about the titles anyway.
A huge congratulations to EVERYONE: Title holders AND all the other entrants. As far as I’m concerned we are all winners and our prize is seeing the growth and change in ourselves, and also sharing in the journeys of those on the path with us.
And of course, I can never say enough of a thank you to Miss Pixie: the woman who drives this whole thing. Thank you for putting all of yourself into this for us. We know this means making many a sacrifice in your own life, missing out on a lot of time with your family among many other things. A special thanks to Miss Nasya, Mr Gage and Mr Aaron for lending us your lady!
Upon reflection, I really did undergo a journey that I could never have imagined.
This was different to the few other competitions I have been involved in, in that you really did funnel so much time, thought and effort into your performance. But through this, you learn so much about yourself and also the support network behind you.
For me, it highlighted the important people in my life who care and really wanted to be there to support me. This is sometimes something I have a tendency to forget. It also holds the power to highlight those who maybe don’t care as much as you thought they did and can show you how much things have changed.
For me, the other competitions I have been involved in were a stark contrast to this one because I went from having a partner who clearly wasn’t very invested in it all and didn’t care too much, to having someone who went truly above and beyond to support me.
This time around, I have seen the incredible difference having a supportive partner makes. Dave treated this journey as though it was his own. He was the one encouraging me to push on through the meltdowns, helping me organise my props and ensuring they were polished and perfected and bringing my brainstorms and ideas to life. I honestly couldn’t have done all this without him and I think although it has been stressful at times, it’s those times that bring you together and actually test your ability to work as a team. Well honey, I think we aced it! We are one hell of a team and I love you more than words can adequately sum up! Thank you.
I have had some incredibly supportive friends along the way too. Special mention to Alex, Evie, Elly and Gen for all your words of encouragement and listening to me while I talked about all this for months on end!
My family have been super supportive and proud from a distance too, which has really made me feel quite special and loved. And that is what this is all about.
As I said in my poem: it’s not about sashes, tiaras or fame. I may not have brought home a sparkly crown, a blinging sash or a title from Nationals… What I brought home is stowed away safely in my heart and mind:
I have a new bunch of friends who have all kicked some serious butt and challenged themselves in ways they never imagined. Two days spent with these beauties just wasn’t enough and I am already looking forward to an MPA reunion!
I am more aware of how lucky I am have certain people in my life and am even surprised by how proud of me they all are.
I also have a better sense of my own worth and value and just how much I am capable of. I came into this feeling a lot less secure and questioning my capabilities. By no means am I saying that from now on, I’m gonna get up in the morning, love what I see and never question anything ever again.
But deep down, I know that I am one strong and beautiful woman…and I’m never going to let anyone take that away from me again. Never.