Kyle's Korner - November 1, 2018
October was a life-changing month for me.
During the first week of the month, I had the opportunity to appear at the Miss Gay America Pageant in New Orleans, Louisiana. Forty gentlemen from across the country all collimated to compete in the largest female impersonation competition in the country. Some would think that all I had to do is show up, look great, and just be pretty the entire week; that was not the case. As I feel I am an expert on all things pageants, I worked administratively the entire week. More specifically, I had fun prepping the contestants for the interview competition, working with the national judge's panel, and funnily enough, re-tieing more tie knots than I have ever tied in a lifetime! Needless to say, I was very amused how these female impersonators live their lives as men and most do not know how to tie a tie properly.
All of the gentlemen were so handsome in their interview attire, but the thrilling part for me was to see how they transition from handsome men into beautiful "drag queens". When I would look at them in their suits I would think "he is far too handsome to put on a dress". There were also some competitors that I know only as what they look like in their female alter-ego and I had never seen them as a boy. Let’s just say that I had many embarrassing moments introducing myself to people I knew and did not recognize.
The judge's panel was outstanding. They are truly experts in their field and knowledge of pageantry. During my two days of administering the interview competition, I learned from the judges that understanding and knowing the job of the title is so important and you must be authentic within the process of presenting yourself. Although I have always known this, I was very enlightening to hear five different points of view on this as well.
Sadly for me, the week was cut short. As New Orleans is a wonderful city, it is also in the lines of hurricane season. New Orleans still has not fully recovered from hurricane Katrina many years ago. So when we got word that a hurricane was on the way, everything had to be cut and moved up. My heart went out to Miss Gay America Suzy Wong for her moment being cut short, the hard decision of safety had to take the forefront. As the finals night of Miss Gay America had to be moved to Friday afternoon at 3 pm, I had the pleasure of performing and assisting with crowning and at the end of it all, my new queen is Deva Station from Ohio. Congratulations to her and I look forward to working with her all year.
The middle of October was just as exciting, as I was invited to perform and take the national walk at Mr. Gay USofA held in Houston, Texas. Twenty four men from across the country competed for this title. USofA is always an exciting contestants because is very talent competition focused. The talent ranges from large production numbers, solo vocal performances, an amazing pole dance artist and an aerial silks presentation. There was something for everyone here! The club-wear fashion category was also a sight to see; everything from leather, lace, jumpsuits, muscle shirts, ripped jeans to all things sexy was featured on the stage.
The highlight of the week was hanging out with the national titleholder brotherhood. The national winners from All American Gent, Entertainer of the Year, Continental, National Showman, Global International, Sweetheart International, and Universal Latino were all in attendance. Even though I was the ‘old man’ of the group, I realized that I am still young at heart. As I will be retiring from the stage after my give up in July 2018, I am excited to see the future of male lead entertainers and competitors. After a week of tough competition, all the guys brought their national level packages to the stage and Dione Kelly of Florida walked away with the title. Congratulations to him and his team for a job well done.
Closing out the month I had the honor of representing Mr. Gay America system at Mr. & Miss Black Universe held in Atlanta Georgia. Black Universe pageantry is one of the oldest and prestigious black pageants in the country. I have always referred to this pageant as "The Fashion Show". It is very different than "America," where there is a high focus on clothing and fashion and all categories are weighted equally. Sitting in the audience I thought to myself New York Fashion Week has nothing on this event. The boys really battled for this title and when it was all said and done, Mekhi Dickerson became your new Mr. Black Universe; congratulations, job well done.
Finally through all of this I made a life changing decision. As most of you all know, I have been an international pageant consultant for the past 26 years. Working with my female and male competitors, who compete nationally and internationally, I have been highly successful. However, I realize that I must move onto the next chapter of my life. I have retired from full-time pageant consulting and passed my business on to new and fresh blood. I made this decision to focus on new business ventures, continue the success of my reign as MGA, find a life partner, and start a family. I feel some sadness, but at the same time excitement for what the future holds for me.
As I will have my first official preliminary pageant, Mr. Gay Oklahoma in November, I feel that I have done and accomplished so much during the first quarter of my reign. To all of the gentlemen heading the MGA way, my advice to you is the following:
1. Make the decision on what preliminary competition you want to do early;
2. Be committed to what you are presenting, do not second guess yourself;
3. Make sure your clothing fits properly. It does not matter what you spend on clothing if it does not fit well;
4. In interview, have a vision of what you want to accomplish as Mr. Gay America;
5. Be true to yourself and present the best version of you.
Much Love and Respect,
Your Mr. Gay America 2017
Michael LaMasters - 4th Alternate Mr Gay America 2017
1. Michael you are one of "The Angels" revered to be one of the dominate and beautiful of the male lead family. Please identify who has the following:
Michael's Responds: - Best Interview: Myself, lets face it, I love my family but do they speak English? LOL jk…but seriously I do interviews all day for a living so I better win this category lol.
- Best Talent: Hands down Angel himself. This man has such an eye for detail and one of the most creative individuals you will ever meet. He can make anything look expensive and is the only one who performs in a show cast for a living.
- Best Fashion: Fer, He is such the handsome Daddy, and I don’t mean father figure lol. I really like his style and fashions.
- Best Swimsuit (answer this carefully...LOL): Can we just say The Angels dominate this category? I’m going to call it an even tie since many of us have won this category…but if we are going to have a tiebreaker lets just remind everyone I won the category most recently, both nights at Mr. Continental so I’m stealing this trophy too…lol….
2. As you work professionally in the insurance industry please respond to the following. Should your company offer lost damages coverage for losing a national pageant, and if so, what should that coverage entail and pricing for premiums?
Michael's Respond: Chyle yes, I have lost two Nationals this year. I want my money back lol. Compensatory for 50% of what you put into your package, and 150% in punitive damages for the all the people and comments and opinions we have to deal with after a contest lol. As far as pricing, well you got me there because I’m sure someone would set up a go fund me to pay their premium anyway but I won’t go down that road today…insert painting finger emoji.
3. You and I are working out at the gym. You are spotting me on Flat bench Press. You see a guy trying to get your attention that you have been wanting to meet for months. OMG, he is about to leave for the locker room, and I am in mid-set.... what do you do?
Micheal's Responds: First of all, congratulations for signing up at the gym, I never took you for the working out type. Secondly, we don’t do a lot of bench pressing in CrossFit so maybe I can help you with your bar muscle ups? And I hope you paid attention to the coach because I'm already in the locker room waiting for him in a strategic, semi-exhausted pose to get his attention. Sorry not sorry, I will throw you a water bottle on the way out and tell you “no pain, no gain” and don’t skip tomorrow just because you are sore…well, I’m going to be sore tomorrow too…wink wink….
4. What advice would you give me to be the best titleholder during my year of Service?
Michael's Responds: Be humble and approachable. Meet as many people as you can and make the most out of the year you can. Remain visible to the public by supporting, attending, and uplifting all the divisions of male pageantry. Own your brand and your truth and do everything you said you wanted to do this year. You only get one and there is plenty of time to rest later. You don’t need the advice as you know what to do, so just be a great MrGA!