SYCAMORE – Lindsay Cooper has been building her self confidence while preparing for a trip to Hollywood in November.
Cooper, 17, of Sycamore, competed in a National American Miss pageant Aug. 2-3 in St. Charles, where she won an actress competition to secure her a spot at nationals in Hollywood this fall. She’s a senior at Sycamore High School and looks forward to using the pageant to learn life skills and more about herself.
Cooper recently spoke to reporter Jessi Haish about the pageant.
Haish: Tell me a little bit about the competition.
Cooper: National American Miss is a pageant that tries to get people ready for the real world. They have interviews and you have to go on an interview with the judges. They will judge your skills on talking to adults and stuff like that, and so it kind of gets you ready when you have to go out and get a job and have an interview.
They have lots of optional competitions, too, like actress, spokesmodel, casual wear modeling, talent competition, top model competition, but I wasn’t in the modeling competitions. I was more in the actress, spokesmodel, talent competitions. It’s just really good. It helps girls get more confidence in themselves, and it’s just an awesome experience for me.
Haish: How did you become a part of this program?
Cooper: I got a letter in the mail inviting me to come to an open call. At the open call you have to go on an interview and they chose the girls they wanted to be in the pageant. If you got chosen to be in the pageant they’d give you a call. It was my first year doing it, and it was so awesome, I’m probably going to do it for another couple of years. [Aug. 2] was the pageant, open call was in February.
I got fourth place in the spokesmodel competition. I won the actress competition, which is why I get to go to nationals in Hollywood in November. I get to compete in the actress competition and compete to be All-American Miss in the national competition.
Haish: What did the actress competition consist of?
Cooper: They had a list of commercials they gave us before the pageant. You had to pick a commercial, memorize the lines and say it in front of the judges. You could do one or two, and I did two. I did it in front of the judges and won.
Haish: What have you taken away from your time in the pageant?
Cooper: I’ve learned a lot of things. I learned that you need to be confident, and confidence is pretty much the key to anything. And if you have confidence in yourself, you can do anything. I also learned that when you’re in an interview, you shouldn’t constantly say “um,” which I do, but I’m trying to learn better interview skills. I’ve also learned a lot of posture things. I’ve learned to be yourself, which is the best thing you can do. The pageant focuses on inner beauty, as well as outer beauty, but they can’t judge your inner beauty if you’re being fake.