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What Happens At a National American Miss Open Call

by / Friday, 27 December 2013 / Published in Pageant Interview
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If you’re new to pageantry or new to National American Miss and you’re interested in competing, a NAM open call is a great opportunity to get all your questions answered before pageant weekend and get a sense of how the program operates.  The open call process is used by NAM to introduce you to the program and provide you with all the details you need to get started.  Best of all, these open calls are offered completely free!

National American Miss operates these open calls as their opportunity to learn more about potential contestants as well as a contestant’s opportunity to learn more about the “NAMily.”  According to Hoang-Kim Cung, the 2012-2013 National American Miss, “An open call is mainly an information session where parents and girls can find out what NAM is about, the process, and how much it costs.”  You’ll get a real taste of what the pageant is like with an interactive photoshoot as well as an interview, where the NAM staff will ask a few questions to learn about the contestant.

The Basics

You can expect for the open call to last around 45 minutes.  During that time, the young lady interested in competing will fill out an official application and attend her brief interview in addition to the photoshoot.  You’ll hear about might happen if you win, including the prizes and the exciting trip to California to compete for the national title, which includes a trip to Disneyland!

How to Prepare

If you are serious about competing, attend the open call as if it’s a preliminary job interview.  NAM considers these open calls like a screening process and you want to make a good impression.  Dress nicely and take care in filling out your paperwork.  Doing this will help you during the open call but also give you a small sense of what it will be like state pageant weekend if you qualify as a finalist.  If you do qualify as a state finalist, you will be informed about what to expect and how to prepare for your state level competition.

Benefits of Attending 

Attending an open call can go a long way towards building your confidence.  Since pageant weekend can feel like a whirlwind, being as prepared as possible heading into the pageant is crucial.  At a NAM open call, you’ll understand what NAM is all about, what kind of girls are successful as state and national titleholders, and gain confidence as you get your questions answered well before pageant weekend rolls around.  For more tips, Hoang-Kim Cung runs a Youtube channel with all kinds of NAM-specific info right here!

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About Laura Pennington

I have experience as a contestant, interview coach, and judge for numerous pageant systems including American Coed and the Miss America Organization. I am currently pursuing my PhD in Public Administration and Policy from Virginia Tech after getting my master's degree in politics in 2010. Currently living in NC, I am self-employed as a freelance writer and editor. I believe that interview is a skill that will help you succeed on and off the stage!

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4 Responses to “What Happens At a National American Miss Open Call”

  1. Cassy says : Reply

    I just got a letter and well I have no idea what this is. It sounds interesting but I don’t know what to do. Help. Please.

    • Cassy, I work for the National American Miss organization and before that I even competed for several years. I recommend going to the open call. It’s very easy. You have an interview and you also learn a lot more about what the organization has to offer to help girls ages 4-18 reach their goals in life, whether you dream of being a model, actress, lawyer, doctor, etc. I’m not just saying this because I work for them either. I’m saying it from experience. It was a life changer for me! I was the shy girl that wouldn’t try anything new or talk to anyone I didn’t know and my self-confidence level was very low.

  2. Carissa says : Reply

    I got a letter also, im not really sure if I should do it or not. I mean I would love to but im not sure my parents would have the money, would that be a problem?

  3. Carissa, I would recommend attending an open call if you can. As far as affording it, you definitely want to consider your budget. If you start now, you may be able to get sponsors to help you with your entry. These can be anyone- your hairdresser, dentist, etc. People can even chip in $5-$20 to help you with the sponsor fee. Attending an open call will help you get your questions answered, so I strongly recommend it!

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