One of my favorite children's books, "The Little Engine that Could" has a very important message that I try to remember whenever life has me down, or i think i can't do something. I repeat to myself (in my head of course) "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...." even if I don't quite believe that little voice in my head.
Last week, I was having "one of those weeks". Things weren't going as I had planned or hoped for, and I was feeling a little like giving up. Like there are so many more beautiful girls out there, why should I even bother??? Nothing in particular made me feel this way. I suppose we all have those days. My boyfriend and I were planning on travelling to Duncan B.C. for the "Rockabilly's Rumble". A photographer I work with suggested we come over and enjoy the music, cars, food, and festivities. He also suggested I enter the pinup pageant. Now.... I'm not big on contests. So I originally waved off the idea. I wanted to go to enjoy myself, not stress about competing. And who knew who my competition would even be??? I was hoping to go, get some photos taken with some hot cars, enjoy a weekend away, and have a good time.
I mentioned the pinup pageant to my boyfriend a few weeks before the "rumble". He also thought I should enter. Again, I rolled my eyes and forgot about it. Like I said, I HATE contests. However, with the "mood" I was in last week, I started to think, "how are other models getting published signing contracts with agencies, and 'getting ahead'?". The more I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that these girls had been, and continue to put themselves "out there". In contests, pageants, emails, self promotions, etc. I have no problem talking to people, being in front of crowds, making connections, and in fact, I have made a lot of connections over the past year. But the thought of entering a contest on facebook, or a pinup pageant, and facing rejection, or failure...well...it terrified me. So I never did it.
The day of the rumble, my mood was the same. I still had no interest in entering, and had made my mind up that I would't do it. I was sure I wasn't going to win. Besides, my hair wasn't how I wanted it to look, my lipstick kept smudging and my damn false lashes just weren't sitting right. Ya right....like I could win a pageant. We rode to the fair grounds on my boyfriend's motorcycle. We were early to arrive. We were met by Randy Allen of Powder Puff Vixen Photography, who originally told us about the event, and who I've also been fortunate enough to shoot with a few times. One of the first things he asked me was, "are you going to enter???" I shrugged it off with a "meh". He then proceeded to tell me what the prizes were. A write up in a Vancouver Island magazine, a feature in The Pin Up Magazine out of California, a photo shoot on site with a car of my choice, a gift certificate to Rockabilly's clothing as well as other goodies. "Hmm..." I thought....."this could be a chance to be published" (something that I had been working towards this summer.)
I looked around. I was the only model there at the time. Or girl dressed in pinup attire for that matter. I continued to look around. I saw the Roadmen Car Club whose cars I had shot with in Seattle with Roy Varga. I even recognized a few of the guys who had come up! The winner of the contest was based on audience applause. I thought to myself...."maybe???" On a whim (and much encouragement from Randy and my boyfriend), I decided to register. I felt a lump in my throat and butterflies in my stomach as I filled out my information and got my name tag.
As more and more people started to arrive, the butterflies kept multiplying. More girls were showing up and registering....and not just any girls, BEAUTIFUL girls. Models from the island who I knew and admired, as well as gorgeous girls just starting out, and girls who were with BIG groups of friends and family! "CRAP" I thought to myself...."can I un-register??" The fear of failure was creeping back in. Then I remembered that little blue train. "I think i can, I think I can, I think I can" I said it over and over again, and pushed down the fear and the self doubt.
At 2:00 when they called the girls to the stage, I thought I was going to be sick. But then I decided, "its too late to back out now, better just give it all I've got". I stood in front of the crowd and when my name was called, I used every ounce of confidence I had!! I shook my booty, did a dance, and struck a pose. The crowd cheered, and I had fun (like I said, I have NO problem being in front of a crowd. I'm not exactly shy.) When the top 5 were called (out of 10 contestants) I was sure I would be out, but thought "hey that wasn't so bad...I had fun!!" But my name was called! I had made it into the top 5! Then the 3rd place winner was called....not me....second place....not me. "Damn" I thought. But then they announced the winner. "RUBY ROXX!!!"
ME!!! I did it!!! I entered a contest, even though I was terrified, and I WON!!!! I know for some, a pin up pageant is a small triumph, but to me it was so much more. For me it meant facing my fears! Trying something new! Getting published for the first time! And above all I was proud of myself!
At the end of "The Little Engine that Could", after the train makes it up the hill, he goes chugging down the other side saying "I thought I could, I thought I could, I thought I could". At first I didn't think I could do it....but it just goes to show, that without trying, you'll never succeed!
Please stay tuned for when the photos from the shoot are published in both VI magazine and THE PINUP MAGAZINE. I can't wait to share!
NEW!!!!! A video was made of my win, and the photoshoot that followed for the magazine article!!! Watch the video here!!