Miss Marin: Decisions, Decisions!

The last week before the pageant is here! Eeek! Everything is going well at rehearsal, but here’s the problem—I change my mind. A lot. I’m the type of person that will go shopping for socks and spend 20 minutes deciding which ones to get. My friends say I’m the worst shopping buddy! 🙂 But, I’m a perfectionist. And that can be stressful when you’re competing to be Miss Marin County, especially when every segment of the competition involves big decisions that could impact my final score.

Since the Miss Marin County Beauty Pageant is a live show, I only get one shot with the judges. The show is about two and a half hours because the judges are judging the girls competing for Miss Marin County, and Miss Marin Outstanding Teen. The Miss Outstanding Teen Pageant is for girls who are ages 13 to 17 while the Miss Marin County Pageant is for girls who are 17 to 24 years old. Each segment of the competition (current event question, swimsuit, talent, and evening gown) are between one to two minutes. The talent portion needs to be one minute and thirty seconds, and if you go over that time by more than five seconds your score will be reduced.

I have put in a lot of thought to everything. For instance, I tried on a dozen dresses before choosing a pretty purple gown. After going back and forth many times, I finally decided to wear my hair down. And while I think I am a strong singer, deciding which song to sing was one of my biggest challenges. For me, choosing the right song is just as important as how you sing it and I knew that I wanted a song that really embodied me and had a powerful message that others could relate to. Over the past few months, I’ve considered “Not that Far Away” by Jennette McCurdy, “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele, and “Take Me or Leave Me,” from the hit musical, “Rent.” They’re all beautiful and relate to my platform of female empowerment and body positivity. Though I loved the other songs I didn’t feel they completely connected with me and I want to make sure the judges to see the real Sabrina overcoming her biggest fear: Being judged.

Finally, with the help of my amazing singing coach, April Grisman, I found a song that makes me feel beautiful and confidant: “Firework,” by Katy Perry. Every time I sing this song the fear of being judged gets smaller. The song is about how everyone needs to break out of their “shell” and let their colors shine! I am also making the song my own by singing it slower and in a cappella. I want the audience to really listen to the words and the powerful message the lyrics send. If there is someone in the audience who has never heard the song, I want them to connect with it, and I feel without background music as a distraction, the audience will listen more carefully. I know there are girls who haven't felt good enough or have been too scared to show who they truly are—the powerful message in this song says “you are a firework” and everyone is amazing in their own way. I want people to listen to this song and believe in themselves.

Along with my song, I’ve also been practicing the current events segment, where the judges ask questions to learn our opinion on what’s happening in our community, and around the country. At rehearsal, Kym McNichols, who is a long-time pageant consultant, has been giving me great feedback and tips. I've had to answer questions about the recent election, what I’d change about the campaign, and what I’d do if I were elected President. I will also get a chance to talk about my platform, which is female empowerment and body image positivity.

I’ve met some amazing people these past few weeks, but want to especially thank the pageant director, Michele Moser, for letting me go through her collection of amazing dresses and helping me choose the gown I will wear during the evening gown portion of the competition. Thanks Michele! Soon, the decision will be up to the judges. This has been an incredible experience, and I keep telling myself  “it’s the journey, not the destination.” Still, I hope I get the opportunity to represent the Miss Marin County and Miss California organizations.