“Always smile when you enter a room, dear. It relaxes others AND it lifts the features of the face…Are you an ugly duckling or a swan? Because the choice is yours, you know. Belief IS half of being.” ~ Anne Bancroft from “The Point of No Return”.
Oh…if only prepairing for a competition were so simple.
How did I get here? L’Ingenue…la jeune fille? When you’re chosen to compete in The Madame Rose Palmai-Tensor Scholarship program or any likeminded program, you quickly find that your musicianship and vocal prowess are only a part of the program. They’re not only looking for a vocal musician, they’re looking for a “type”, a “model”, the complete and total package. If you don’t already fit the mold they’re looking for, you had better get with the program. There’s just one question: If you don’t know the name of the game, then how does one “get with the program”? Deep down, I had an idea of what that meant, and essentially it meant I was going to go through a complete and total transformation…from the inside-out and from head to toe…and wouldn’t you know it, the clock is ticking and I haven’t a moment to lose. While this overhaul isn’t a requirement of the Board of Trustees of any of the competitions inwhich I’ve had the honor to participate, it’s certainly in the best interest of all competitors to look and feel your very best; in that it helps to improve your competitive edge, in any and all cases.
1. Body Type: Fit, trim, pleasantly shaped regardless of sex is the desired norm. As a half-joke/half-truth, I was informed that if I could reshape my body to a 36-24-36 frame, that would be “Heaven”…”a dream come true”. No joke. Based on my height, my ideal “target-goal” size was determined to be a size 8…no more, no less. If I dropped below a size 7 or 6 or ballooned above a size 10, I was consider unhealthy, unfit, unattractive and not at all suitable for prime competition. No joke. I was a size 11-12. Not good. So, I enrolled in a self-improvement, modeling course to learn all that I could in order to totally remake and rebuild my life on all levels, from the foundation and templates-up and beyond; or at least to the best of my ability and knowledge, however limited my resources.
2. Beauty within and without: I took this seriously and stepped it up a notch. I began eating as super-healthy as possible. This meant eating only the correct amounts and portions of food, and learning what that meant for my individual needs, and drinking the right amount of pure, clean water. Living healthy and as cleanly as possible, taking proper vitamins and care is essential for healthy hair, skin, and nails as these are all outward signs that your inside is working properly…or not. Did you know that all cosmotologists and beauticians are trained to notice and look for deficiencies to detect early signs of a possible health problem? It’s true. Also, aerobic exercises became my new best friends as I walked, hiked, swam, danced, jogged, played tennis and shot hoops. As an elective, I took Core 1 and Core 2 physical training. My trainer had no shame and was relentless in pitting me and other females against the guys. It’s amazing what you can do when your trainer challenges you in this fashion to reach higher and further than you ever thought possible. This tactic was helpful in sharpening my competitive drive and edge in other areas of my life. I do not love pain, but I wanted to win…so…
3. Media ready: The uber-fab, iconic Zsa-Zsa Gabor once said, “Dahlings, be beautiful! You never know who’s looking!” This is so true, especially in today’s hi-tech world of camera phones, Smart phones, street cameras, traffic cameras, etc. Virtually any camera that can send an image forever planted all over the Internet, Ethernet, UberNet, OtherNet and AnyOtherNet-Net in a matter of a single nano-second can be your friend or foe. Being media ready means sharpening and fine-tuning every single detail and area of your life down to a single strand of hair on your head. Media ready means retraining your posture and the way you stand, as well as retraining the way you sit and stand and stand and sit from a chair, a car, a table. It means retraining your speaking voice, and your poise and appearance from any and all conceivable angles, figuratively and literally. So, I bought three full length mirrors. I didn’t want to, but I knew the image staring back at me could not, would not lie to me. Try it, and be honest and true to yourself. Don’t run from the image you see. Face it, and from a place of self-respect and love, relearn to work with and on what you see with your own eyes.
4. GREAT Grooming: This is an extention of number two above, but you’re taking it several steps further and onward. The best and brightest among us know there’s always room for improvement in everyone. The difference is, the best take action and really go to work on themselves and their projects. Not only do they have a plan, but they execute their plan, carry it out and work it to the fullest. Before I could reach my fullest and best potential, I had to figuratively and literally break myself down, from the inside-out. This included taking a sheet of paper, and drawing a line down the middle to list my strengths and weaknesses. If you’re not a swan as yet, but really want to be one, be honest with yourself and find out why. Write it all down and prepare to build on your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.
5. Color and Contrast…aka Lessons in Scheming: Ah yes, people do believe what their eyes can see, and wearing an attractive color for the right occasion is a definite plus. Your clothes, shoes, proper hair color to match your skin pigment and eyes, proper make-up color choices for day, career-business and evening wear…it all plays a part. Based on my hair, eye and skin color, it was determined my best choices for career and business were navy, sapphire, royal blue, burgundy, forest green and chocolate brown. For contrast, I should never wear a stark or bright white, but rather a soft ivory, cream, or ecru. For evening, I could select from a whole array of jewel tones. For spring and summer months, I could add lavender and turquoise. I was allowed to modestly wear pearls (any shade), diamonds and my birthstone. My best make-up colors were a soft pink-beige foundation with translucent powder, soft ultra-light pink or peach shimmer on my cheekbones with very little rose contour. On my eyes, I could wear only blues, plums, browns, creams and pinks and absolutely no black eyeliner or mascara. I wore soft sable brown, only. On my lips…for everyday, I wore coral pink and a soft but deeper matching lip liner; and for evening…I favored a deep rose, spice, plum or burgundy lipliner feathered and filled in with a soft, hi-gloss shimmer and shine. Eye and lip color…blend. Cheek and face color…blend, blend, blend.
Golden Rule: “Everything is intentional. Leave nothing to chance.” ~ Gianni Versace.
Seriously, I’d spend at least a day or two every week just going over my wardrobe…fixing, repairing, mending, polishing; all of this on top of learning a variety of topics on music and my song material for a competition plus many hours in the library. There’s so much more, but I think you get the picture. The word “sacrifice” doesn’t come close. My hard work did pay off, but that’s a story for another day and time. Til then, shine on you crazy diamonds…til your dreams come true. Love you xo.
(Copyright 2014; Nadine’s Enterprises, Ltd., Aurora Borealis, Ltd., Keri-Lynn’s Music, Inc., ASCAP; and Keri-Lynn’s Official World Media; All Rights Reserved. This content contains excerpts from Keri-Lynn’s yet to be titled, upcoming biography, and may not be copied, reproduced, distributed, broadcast, transmitted, reused, resold, etc. at anytime, in any way, shape, form or fashion without the expressed, written consent of Keri-Lynn, Nadine’s Enterprises, Ltd. and her attorneys.)