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Competing for a Dream, Not Just the Title

Starting from the beginning, the baby steps in my journey to the crown... It all began with an application and phone call. And sometimes those small things are all you need to jump start your career.

Life is not about booking the big acting jobs, working with the best agent or having parents with all the connections. (At least not at first) Of course that can triple your opportunity to succeed, but don't you want to know you can build your dream even without the guarantees?

Becoming a success within your field takes hard work, help along the way, passion and the knowledge that you are doing this because you love what you do.

The people who make the biggest difference are the ones you never expect and sometimes can be complete strangers. Like the woman sitting next to you on the train who is a casting director, or the man behind you at Starbucks, who happens to be a film director's assistant. Just reaching out or smiling can start a conversation and once they hear about what you do, well it is all down hill from there.  

I am an actress, model, singer and dancer, also commonly known as a triple threat and model in the theater/entertainment world. After graduating with my BFA in Theater/Dance Studies and Music Performance from Wheaton College (MA) in 2009, I have been going for my dreams ever since.

Interestingly enough, as I was searching through the casting pages a few months ago (and I feel as though I spend my life searching through those pages) I came across a casting application to compete for the 2012 title of Miss New York. As it is my policy to submit to everything I am interested in, or fit the role, I submitted a few photos from my portfolio, a snap shot and briefly outlined who I am and what I am passionate about. After sending it, I did what I always do.... forgot about it. The likelihood is that in 50 submissions you hear back from 8-10 people calling you for an audition. 

A few weeks later I received a phone call. It was an phone interview from the recruiting office asking me questions like: What would I do with the title? Why do you want to compete? Have you ever competed in a pageant before? and ... (this was the odd one) If you had a super power what would it be? (Well considering I am obsessed with being efficient, I told them I would want to fly. That way I could get where I need to go faster and accomplish more in my day. They were a little surprised when I told them that, I guess most girls hadn't equated their superpower to getting more hours out of the day to work. But being the workaholic I can be... it was no surprise to my Mother who laughed for about 10 minutes straight.)

"Who me? Competing for Miss New York? But I have never even applied to be in a pageant before! What do I do?" After the initial shock, my excitement took over and there has been an outpouring of support from people willing to help me succeed on my journey to the crown.

After the phone interview I met the recruiting staff at a sign up/orientation and have quite literally become as excited as a six year old waking up the parents Christmas morning. The pageant may not be until January, but I have a leg up on my competition already. The pageant will be held in Westchester County this January and there is only one other girl from Westchester competing. And she is from down county so I have all of Northern Westchester to myself. It is an honor to compete, and this competition gives me the platform I need to get more involved with my community. I am already getting more work and networking opportunities with my connection to the pageant. I'm getting my name out there and this is going to be the jump start my career needs in the entertainment business.

Please visit my website www.DanielleRicci.com and Facebook fan page www.Facebook.com/DanielleRicciActress to view my previous work and learn more about the pageant.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ali Jackson-Jolley July 22, 2011 at 12:15 AM
Great blog - I can't wait to read your next post!

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