Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Blog!

It's time to change that name!  Moving up in the ranks and on to other blogs for my year as Miss New York!

Follow my appearances and events and what's new in equality in New York State at

And view photos at

Miss New York Organization Website  

Miss New York Organization Photos  

Thank you for reading and supporting me on this journey!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Miss New York 2010!!

View the post HERE for Saturday afternoon: Fashion Show and Miss New York's Outstanding Teen...

And now on to Saturday night. As we sat at the teen pageant in the afternoon, Hannah and I talked about God's plan and how He has one for each and every one of us. What that plan is, we may find out now, in a month, in a year, never? I believe this to be true, and it allows a peace of mind to know that there is truth in the cliché Everything happens for a reason. Before the show Alyse, Miss NY 2009, gathered us together and encouraged us each to put up a fight and leave every bit of energy on that stage, evidence that no stone had been left unturned. As we squeezed the hand of each girl to the right in our circle (like I did before every musical) I prayed for peace - of mind, of my heart and with the results...and I actually believed it this year.

It's show time!!! With John wailing into the microphone, 20 girls in short jazzy orange dresses and Hannah making eye contact across the way, final night of Miss New York began. The opening number was a blast in front of an incredible [almost] sold out crowd! Right into Top Ten where I was chosen 6th of ..wait for it... 11!! The Miss NY class of 2010 was so strong we had to do a Top 11. Swimsuit production number to "Body Language" and straight into swimsuit where I felt like a million bucks, showing off the hard work with my trainer Ben Yosef of MiBoLife Fitness (and a great sustained tan from Beach Bum Tanning). Quick change to talent. I had been advised to think of Matthew Shepard for 1 minute before my talent and man did it bring out the emotion. As far as I knew, this could very well have been the last timethat I danced on stage. And what a beautiful way to go out: dancing Ashley Becker's choreography to "Imagine." I know I do not have the strongest talent, especially of that Top 11, but the joy I felt from dancing, and the emotional impact of the song "Imagine," was incredibly fulfilling. The next and last phase of the judged competition was evening gown. I bought this dress at the Miss America trade show from Red Carpet Pageant and Prom and knew from the second I put it on that it was THE dress. It just completed my brand--everything that was unique and true about me. Last year, I really believed that I had found ME, but more and more, this year I learned that Claire Buffie doesn't wear long curled hair and a pageant gown; she wears a cropped bob and chains on a dress from the red carpet (not the store, necessarily).

After intermission, the Top 5 was called, and what a relief. I did not take any step of the way for granted this year. For on stage question I was so ready, passionate and excited to talk about my platform. I was asked...about digital imaging and retouching. Now, I love photography, a lot, but geeeez!! That's all that was going through my head because I didn't feel like I got to share my true reason for being there. Back into evening gowns and out for awards; I was nervous but calm at the same time. As they called 4th RU Inga Schlingmann and 3rd RU Jennifer Scacco, I realized I was standing there left with my arms wrapped tightly around 2 of my favorite people from the whole week. 2nd RU Hannah Wright stepped forward for flowers and I turned to Mallory and we held hands so tightly without the ability to look each other in the eyes without tears. When they called 1st RU Mallory Hagan, I realized I was the only one left, and I honestly don’t remember any thoughts or feelings from the next 3.5 minutes.

Obviously from my photos, I look ridiculous, crying and throwing out peace signs to my family, but hey, that’s me. I was overtaken by emotion of disbelief that everything it was actually reality instead of a dream. The crowning happened so quickly and all I wanted to do was hug someone!!! One of my favorite pictures is Hannah and I hugging immediately after crowning because it’s not a polite, congratulate the winner hug, it was a HUG.

That reaction from the girls, with whom I had such an amazing week, was the most extraordinary feeling ever. Seeing, hugging and smiling with my family, my roommates and friends, the board of Miss NY, the judges was exhilarating to feel the immense support I have for this year.

Top 11-Faren Collins (Swimsuit), Amanda Mason, Keelie Sheridan, Jennifer Scacco (3RU - Talent), Mallory Hagan (1RU - Evening Gown), Claire Buffie (MissNY - Evening Gown-Swimsuit-Interview), Hannah Wright (2RU - Talent), Inga Schlingmann (4RU), Kimberly Cantoni, Katie Martin, Jackie Holmes

At the ball afterwards, where I was just so excited to have breakfast food, I was named the Overall Interview Winner as well. That’s where it’s at for me and I’m so grateful that a panel of 5 judges – strangers – were able to see my passion for my platform and for the Miss America Organization.

I believe in the power of these girls and myself to make a difference and I cannot wait for the roller coaster year to begin. Thanks to come as well as updates for what’s next and where to follow my year …
Til next time,
Miss New York 2010!!

Miss NY - Saturday

Well I left off on Saturday and have been in a whirlwind ever since!!!
I am MISS NEW YORK 2010!!!
Buy let's rewind a bit and see how I got there.

Saturday was a great day, but a busy one for sure. In the morning we went to the Colonie Center Mall or a fashion show and meet and greet. The show was sponsored by Red Carpet Pageant and Prom and hosted by our favorite, Chris, Mr. Delaware 2008. We were in gowns and cocktail dresses and I loved my gown!! All the girls looked beautiful and it was wonderful to spend a few minutes (& photos of course) with our families. After the show we had a quick and delicious lunch at Cheesecake Factory, which left me with my only disappointment of the week--no cheesecake! We had to leave before dessert. Hmm maybe that was planned.

We threw on our sashes, grabbed our glow sticks and ran into the audience of Miss New York's Outstanding Teen. These girls (age 13-17) were fantastic and full of energy. Jackie and I were sitting together recruiting for Miss Manhattan 2013 for when we direct our local :). Some highlight performances for me were Alison Stromjng once again presenting a flawless pointe dance, Ashley McDuffee singing and original song and ---- jam skating! Yes, that's right, roller skating on stage-it was so unique.

They all did an amazing job and in the end the results were:

4th RU Shelley Jain, Staten Island
3rd RU Ashley McDuffee, Mohawk valley
2nd RU Shannon Ryan, Empire Rose
1st RU Joelle Bracco, Brooklyn

Miss New York's Outstanding Teen 2010
Alison Stroming!!!!

Congratulations to Kara Jae Kowalski on such a great year as MNYOT and noticeable growth as a performer and a young woman.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Miss NY - Friday

It's Friday which means it's showtime! Today we went to the Children's Miracle Network Hospital in Albany and were given a tour of their pediatric units. I wasn't able to go in the nicu or visit with the 17 year old boy we met because I'm sick, but even hearing the stories second-hand, they're very powerful. It is really important for us to see where the CMN money we are raising goes. We even made some nurses' days by letting them wear the crowns for pics :)

Dress rehearsal went so well, we don't even have to do another run through! Which means we got to have a 2 hour break before showtime. I'm trying to chill out and not think about the competition tonight but that's a tough thing to do! Updates later on the Preliminary Results!!

Prelim Swimsuit
• Claire Buffie, Southeast NY
• Faren Collins, Southern NYPrelim Evening Gown

Prelim Evening Gown
• Claire Buffie, Southeast NY
• Mallory Hagan, Brooklyn

Prelim Talent
• Hannah Wright, Metropolitan (Pointe Variation)
• Jennifer Scacco, Staten Island (Jazz Dance)

And a Happy Birthday to Hannah and Inga!!!

Tonight was unbelievable! As I put on my Facebook status, my head is in the clouds, but I'm keeping my feet on the ground. This entire week has been incredible and a memory that will be soooo very positive in my mind and heart forever. That's really all I can ask for.

Miss NY - Thursday

Thursday was basically just rehearsals all day - OH YEAH and that thing called Interview!! Interviews were great - mine wasn't until 10:05 so, I had plenty of time to get my head in the game in the morning. The panel was responsive and prepared. I felt like they really got to know my personality and most importantly, my passion for my platform and for this organization. And I didn't cough throughout the entire thing!! So at the end I said "And I'm takin' my water with me." as I grabbed my water bottle that I thankfully didn't have to use :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Miss NY - Wednesday

Wednesday is kind of a boring day write about/read about...LOTS of rehearsals! We basically started off the day with early rehearsals in tennis shoes and worked our way up to heels by the end of the night. We took a break in the middle to go bowling and have lunch while shooting another part of the Spotlight Show from Art's (our PR guy) television show. Bowling...ehhh I only got an 88. yikes. But I did get 1 strike!!

Opening number? done.
• "Girl's Got Rhythm"
Swimsuit and Evening gown production numbers AND walking patterns? done.
• "Body Language" (swim production)
• "Don't Be Jealous of My Boogie" (swim)
• "Empire State of Mind (gown)
On-Stage Question and Special Awards? done!

The stage looks beautiful and we have a serious runway! Love it!! This whole part may not be the main reason I do pageants, but I suuure do love walking on stage! We got out of rehearsal early so I'm off to get ready for interview!!!

CONGRATS to Ashley Casterline!! Miss Indiana Swimsuit winner!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Miss NY - Tuesday

6:25 alarm for a 6:30 trip to the gym. Breakfast and it was off to Habitat for Humanity! I love that we are doing more appearances this year -- makes the week so much more fun, memorable, and allows us to really get to know each other better. I've worked on Habitat houses before, mainly when I was little, but man, it's just such a great org. We jumped right in and used those power tools - sawing and drilling to complete the stairway for the house. I did feel quite honored to receive the compliment from the head Habitat guy that I really knew what I was doing with a drill -- yay mom, hope I make you proud! Time Warner YNN did a short story on our day as well - VIEW HERE. Wrapped up at Habitat and headed back for lunch and to freshen up for the Capitol.

Yes, everyone beeped through security. So many crowns. Last year we had a tour of the capitol building, but this year it was even cooler. After many photo ops with a few Senators on the grand staircase, we were introduced on the floor of the Assembly by Danny O'Donnell. <-- awesome. We met so many of our Assemblymen (Bob Barra, Dean Murray and David McDonough from Lon Island) and I think definitely developed some fans :) I also personally met Diane Savino, to whom I had listened at the NY Bar Association "What's Next? Marriage Equality in the state of New York" Really neat experience.

Then to Girls Inc where we hung out with the Miss New York class of 2025! These girls were very cool, especially Jordyn, Miss Southeast NY, who held up "rock on" fingers and said "yeahhhh, we look gooood" during our photo together. I don't know who enjoyed it more - the 6-12 year old girls, or their mentor, Gail!

Food > Rehearsal. We finished our entire opening number tonight! It's hot. It's Kent. 'nuf said. Well, and that Hannah Wright is some sort of weird and freaky, but as cool as they come. And Mallory can DANCE. SLEEP TIME!