Kyle’s Corner: April 2018
As usual, I am typing the blog while I am traveling. I am sitting at the gate at RDU (Raleigh International Airport) waiting for my flight to Houston for my final photoshoot as Mr. Gay America. Myself as well as Mad Angel Entertainment is preparing for my step down on July 1st, I have a different perspective than most titleholders. For those of you that are not aware, I have worked as an international level pageant, modeling, and performing arts consultant... I have also been a national pageant director for the past 4 years with Miss Globe United States. The official national pageant to the Miss Globe World Finals. So, my experience goes from being a contestant, national titleholder, and national director. So, I truly understand the business of pageantry. As a Contestant and national titleholders, I feel one way; and as a businessman and director, I feel another. I would like to take the time to educate those that are unaware of what it takes to run an effective national pageant/contest.
Venue: Some events are held in nightclubs, some in halls & others in theaters. As at the end of the day, you must pay a venue cost. The audience, size, union cost, venue staff, event insurance, wait staff, and misc. help must all be used and are paid for.
Production Cost: Sets, lighting, sound, and the people to run these items are all essential for a beautiful or even average looking production. These people must be paid.
Advertisement: Even though most social media is free. An effective advertising, promotions, and branding campaign consist of Social media, direct marketing, and referrals. All of which comes at a cost.
Former titleholders. To a pageant system, they are your best form of advertisement. It cost directors money to have them there. From booking fees, travel and lodging. Most pageant/contest will only fund for “odd/even” years or just anniversaries to cut on expense. However, to all directors, please note that the way you treat your formers will determine how and when they support the system after their reign.
Prize package. Whatever is in writing must be given regardless of the contestant and audience base. Obviously, pageant/contest owners are expected to have this regardless of participation.
On the flip side of this; Many pageant/contest directors have never competed before and therefore have no idea what it takes to win nationally. Please note the following:
Due to the saturation of the market, there are more pageant/contest choices than there are contestants. We live in a contestant market, not a director market.
Contestants expect all information upfront. Making last-minute changes to the schedule, competition categories, location and entry requirements is a huge turnoff.
You must make your expectations clear to your potential titleholders before they win. Preferably in writing.
To compete nationally a contestant spends a minimum of $5,000 with all preparations, wardrobe, prep team, fees. They are on a budget like yourself.
Lack of accessibility to communicate with you is a reflection of what type of director you will be if those contestants win.
Most importantly, you as the director sets the tone for the relationship, not the other way around. The titleholder responsibly is to follow your lead on what you desire for your system. It is important to be clear.
I think it is important for all to remember that everyone has good intentions and desire the same thing. The success of their reign and the growth of the system.
The month of March was exciting with the Mr. Gay New York America Contest. New York City is truly the city that never sleeps. My hotel was right off of Broadway and near time square. As I tend to be a homebody and not venture out, I did get to see some of the sights and lights of the big apple. This contest was very special to me as it was the first time I got to share the stage with the reigning Miss Gay America, Deva Station. The Miss Gay New York Pageant was held in conjunction with the Mister. It was wonderful to see both the boys and girls battle it out on the same stage. When the evening was completed and all the scores were tallied your new Mr. Gay New York America is Quinn Matthews with his first alternate being Achilles Blackwell. Both proud New Yorkers. Thank you to promoter Thomas Johns for a job well done. They will both compete at the national finals in St. Louis, Missouri July 1st.
One of the amazing things about being a national titleholder is visiting royalty at other national pageants. I would like to give special thanks to Cielo Whitney and the National All America Gent board for allowing me to perform and take the national walk. During this three day event, there was a very special moment that will be the highlight of my reign. All of the visiting male royalty performed a group number on stage together. The energy on the stage and the audience reaction left me speechless. We refer to ourselves as the “National Brotherhood”. This moment in time will be hallmarked as memory as one of my most special moments as Mr. Gay America. Congratulations to Jeffery Abess Kelly, your new Mr. All American Gent. We wish you a very successful reign.
I am ending my month here in Houston, Texas. I am thrilled to have my final titleholder photoshoot with the amazing Tio or “Tio Photography”. I am a firm believer of that you are the company that you keep and if you surround yourself with great people, you too will be great. It was important to me to have wonderful images that will represent the organization and be true to me. I feel that this was accomplished and I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to work with him again. The thing I most admire about him is his attention to detail and the keep it honest and real attitude. He has been not only been an amazing part of my prep team but a great advisor. Tio, I thank you for all that you do.
Three months left and I will be passing my title to the next lucky man. I had the honor of introducing you to the first half of our qualified contestants. We are halfway there. Upcoming preliminary completions are Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida, and Ohio. Please contact us for more information.
Your Mr. Gay America 2017
8thRunner up - Quinn Matthews:
Top 10 at Mr. Gay America 2017
Question: The last time I came to NYC I complained about paying five dollars for a cup of coffee and a banana. But as I was sitting there, I realized there are so many good looking mature men here, and prime location to find my future husband. So tell me, how to afford to live in NYC and finding a husband at the same time?
Answer: Wait?…. you get your coffee for $5 dollars…….I just paid $6.50 the other day…..Well, they call NY the city that never sleeps and it lives up to its name…Living in any part of New York in or out of the city, u can find people that come from all different backgrounds, and that's very much true for the plethora of men that NYC city has to offer. They say that there is something for everyone and here in NY you have unlimited possibilities both personally and financially.
Question: As you are very polished at vocal performance, what is the biggest mistake you see guys make singing that can tank their talent score? And what advice would you give them to correct it? Also, what is worst, a horrible singer of a non-coordinated dance?
Answer: I have to chuckle, ..you should hear me sing in the shower in the morning…The best advice I could give a fellow vocalist is don't pick a song simply because you like it. I think there is a formula that every vocalist should live by, to pick an appropriate song for their vocal ability and to emotionally connect to the piece of music. When you have that perfect connection it allows the audience and better yet the judges to join you on a journey, to be apart of the story you trying to tell. A good Story Teller knows how to play with the microphone and how to express emotion thru stage presence…. I have been involved in theatre most of my life and there are several groups that you may potentially fall into Singers who dance, Dancers who Sing, Just Singers and/or Just Dancers…I can tell you that both are not something that comes easy, like anything, it takes dedication and hard work to excel while one is pleasing to the eye and other to the ear.
Question: You and I are on the show “Gay Big Brother”. Based on the little bit you know of me, what are you willing to do to be part of my alliance?
Answer: Where do I sign up….I love me a good season of Big Brother….like anything we all have our strengths and weaknesses I think our alliance would be complementary to using each others strengths and weakness to get us through challenges and solidarity of the Big brother house.
developing a trust and communication with each other is a sure guarantee to the final TWO
Question: What advice would you give me to be an effective Mr. Gay America?
Answer: I have to think about this question as it can potentially go into several directions. The easiest advice I could give you would read simply “Be the leader you admire, so we can admire the leader that you are meant to be”