Good Morning America and welcome to the first entry of Judas’ Journal! Allow me to introduce myself to you all. As stated my stage name is Judas Elliot but for those of you who may not know my given name is Thomas Curry. I am 27 years of age, originally from Charles County Maryland and I currently reside in Jacksonville Florida where I have lived for about 3 years this upcoming October. I have the distinct pleasure to be on show cast at several locations here in Jacksonville and Daytona beach which include Incahoots, Metro and Hamburger Marys! I have been performing as a male lead for almost 7 years now and first started out in a small town known as Morgantown West Virginia at club Vice Versa. West Virginia was where I also attended WVU for 4 years and received my bachelors degree in Communication Studies and Advertising.
While attending WVU, I had been performing for about a year or so when my life changed as I was introduced to the pageantry world. My first experience of pageantry was the Entertainer of the Year system which really opened my eyes to what my full entertainment potential could soon be! It was 2012 and I made myself a promise that the following year I would be up on that stage competing along side other male leads I never even knew existed! (I thought I was the only one in the world at the time) Fast forward to 2013… I had just competed for Mr. Kentucky EOY and won my state preliminary and it was off to nationals! A small town boy like myself, who traveled all the way from West Virginia… I quickly found out that I didn’t have a fan base nor did people even know who I was or what I was capable of. It was quite the experience for my first go at a national pageant and the end result was 3rd alternate. I had never been so hurt and upset in my entire life. I had spent so much time, effort and money… blood sweat and tears into my package and I didn’t really even place. My hopes and dreams seemed crushed and I honestly thought pageantry just wasn’t for me. However, I took most of the year off and then 2014 came around and 3 weeks before nationals, I decided I was going to try again… the end result 2nd alternate! I went up a spot! In my head I knew I had done something right because I didn’t go down I had gone up! That next night I yet again made a promise to myself that I was going to return home and prepare to compete for Mr. EOY in 2015 one last time and I was going to give it everything I had because after all… It was my dream to be Mr. EOY. Fast forward to 2015… I had given every ounce of energy into this package and could not have been more proud at what I had put together… all the contestants were standing up on stage as they began to announce category winners! Presentation, Prince Cole… Evening wear, Judas Elliot… On stage Question, Judas Elliot…. Talent, Judas Elliot… Swimwear, Judas Elliot… at this point I was still quite nervous they weren’t going to call my name. And then it hit me… and the winner is JUDAS ELLIOT. I had done it… I set out in 2013 to accomplish a dream and it had finally come true in 2015! I was on cloud 9! For the rest of 2015 and all the way to the very last day of my reign in 2016 I had accomplished so much and traveled near and far all over the United States representing the title of Mr. EOY and could not have had a better reign then what I made of my first national title.
After my EOY journey had ended in 2016, I wasn’t too sure as to where my pageantry career would end up. I weighed out my options… AAgent, USofA, Continental… but then at the end of the year in 2016 I was introduced to a rebirth of a national system… Mr. Gay America. I was quite intrigued at being a part of the rebirth and essentially the FIRST Mr. Gay America since before it was names Mr. Gay All American. I quickly researched all there was to know about what exactly they were looking for in becoming Mr. Gay America and I had made up my mind that my next goal I wanted to achieve would be this. I gathered up my team… rehearsed, practiced, stoned… did everything I knew to do and had learned over the years of competing in EOY to ensure I would come out victorious. And then I saw the lineup of contestants… Jeffrey Kelly, Mykul Valentine, Michael Lamasters, Kyle Haggerty, Patrick Myikles… all of these performers whom I was friends with and some of my idols I looked up to in the art of male performers. I quickly became nervous and asked myself if I was good enough to stand amongst them… but something I have always told myself “If you want to be the best you have to be beat the best!” Fast forward to July 2017, the night of nationals! We all brought outstanding packages and we were decked out in our gold and were ready to give the ultimate showdown in male pageantry! I had some minor setbacks that day but alas… the top 5 was being called! Mykul Valentine, Kyle Haggerty, Jeffrey Kelly, Michael Lamasters and last Judas Elliot. I had made the 5 and just needed to answer the question as best as I could and then it would be all over! After completing every category we lined back up and here came the results… Presentation, Judas Elliot…Red Carpet Fashion, Jeffrey Kelly…Interview, Kyle Haggerty…Talent, Judas Elliot… On stage question, Kyle Haggerty. Then came the placements… 4th alternate Michael, 3rd alternate Mykul, 2nd alternate Jeffrey… Kyle and I had made it to the final 2 spots! So much was racing through my mind because earlier that day I had felt so defeated and I managed to make it to the final two and then it happened. 1st alternate… Judas Elliot. I felt a moment of defeat but at the same time I felt so accomplished for placing as high as I did. For the next month I took a break to reflect on what direction I wanted to go in for the 2018 season and I had once again made a promise to myself that I was going to give Mr. Gay America one more try and give everything I had to hopefully be victorious because I set out to achieve a goal and I was not going to stop until my dream became reality.
As 2017 came to a close and the months flew by as 2018 had began, that was when the sketches, rehearsals, meetings, flights, fabric selections and all that in between had also began. I felt as though the months were flying by and every time I turned around I was on the road to another destination determined to perfect my 2018 America package. 1 year later… there I was again, standing on stage with an entire new group of talented gentlemen fighting to be the next Mr. Gay America. The night was such a blur and by the time I turned around we had reached the announcement of the top 5… My’kel, August, Vincent, Simba and myself had all been fortunate enough to win over the judges approval to advance on to the final category, on stage question. When it was my turn I answered my question from the heart and felt extremely confident in how I had answered my question but in return I knew we were all hungry for the win because every one of our answers were very well recited and heartfelt! My adrenaline started to race as we were being called out for the final results… here we go… Overall presentation, Judas Elliot… preliminary group awards for group 1 interview, Judas Elliot… group 2 August Edwards…. Preliminary group awards for group 1 red carpet, Simba Hall… group 2 Scott Chalaire… preliminary group awards for group 1 talent there was a tie, Judas Elliot and Simba Hall… group 2 Vincent Debeaute. Now for the moment of truth, we went right into placements. 4th alternate, My’kel… 3rd alternate August… 2nd alternate Vincent… and 1 year later I stood exactly where I had the first time I competed for Mr. Gay America. My nerves were shot and all I kept saying to myself was that I did my absolute best and presented a package that was my strongest to date… and then it happened!! 1st alternate, Simba Hall! I had done it, all my hard work, long nights, the stress, the tears, the anxiety, the preparation, the frustration…. My America competition journey was finally complete!! “Your newly crowned Mr. Gay America 2018 is Judas Elliot!” I was in utter shock that my team and I had pulled it off. It is a night that I will most definitely never forget!
Fast forward to today as I write this journal entry. In the last 30 days as Mr. Gay America I have had the opportunity of a lifetime and my reign has JUST BEGUN! I have traveled to Texas for Mr. Gay Texas America where 2 talented gentlemen qualified for MGA 2019… I have traveled to St. Louis for Mr. Gay Midwest America where my 1st and 2nd alternate national competitors qualified for their spot in 2019 and lastly I traveled to Oklahoma for Mr. Gay Oklahoma America where again 2 amazing gentlemen qualified for nationals in 2019… so a total of 6 boys thus far have earned their ticket to compete for nationals in St. Louis next July and I couldn’t be more excited to share this journey with them to help in their preparations!
I am extremely blessed to have won the symbol of excellence title known as Mr. Gay America and I CANNOT wait to see where these next 11 months take me. Until my next entry, Good night America!