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Interview with Miss New Jersey Earth 2020 – Katrina Albanese

Firstly thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions about your pageant journey for my pageant lockdown blog. It’s been amazing getting to know fellow queens from around the globe.

What made you enter pageants ?

I first entered pageants for a silly reason… I wanted to wear a fancy dress! My reason for entering pageants has changed so much since then. I enter pageants for all of the opportunities they give. From forming friendships, to modeling opportunities, and most importantly, all of the community involvement I’m now a part of, that I never even thought of in the past!

Can you tell us about your journey so far ?

The first time I ever competed in a pageant, I was 19 years old and I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t win. Fast forward 2 years later, I did my research, learned from YouTube videos, and competed in that same pageant. This time I won their highest title! I was then sent to nationals and won their national title! I’ve been competing in pageants ever since. It taught me not to give up, and to work hard for what you want in life!

What made you decide to compete in the Miss Earth USA Organization?

Environmental conservation has always been my platform when competing in pageants. I entered the Miss Earth USA system because it gave me an audience that shares the same passion as me. In this system, I was able to be specific about my environmental platform. I created, “Save the Seas,” because, even though I love all things about the environment, the oceans and seas hold a special place in my heart. I’m so happy there is a pageant system that is focused on helping the environment.

What the best thing that pageants have taught you ?

Pageants have taught me to always persevere. If I gave up after I lost my first pageant, I wouldn’t be where on my way to compete at such a prestigious national pageant this summer! If you set goals, and work really hard, you will achieve them.

What’s your pageant platform and why ?

My pageant platform is, “Save the Seas.” I created my platform because I’ve always had a deep love for the ocean, and marine life. I went shark diving when I was 17, and became a certified advanced open water scuba diver when I was 22. Being immersed in the amazing world underwater is my favorite thing to do. It breaks my heart to see the damage being done to the oceans because of human activity. I dream of a future where I will be diving in a vibrant sea, full of life, not pollution. That’s why I will help, “Save the Seas!”

What’s your dream title ?

Miss Earth, of course!!

If you were to win Miss Earth USA what would it mean to you ?

If I win, first I will cry tears of joy and do a happy dance! Winning Miss Earth USA means to me that I will be able to reach a larger audience to advocate and educate about my platform. I will have opportunities to work with communities that have the same passion of our oceans, as me. I will also have a greater influence on encouraging people to take better care of our environment.

What’s the best advice you have for fellow pageant queens ?

Something I’ve learned while competing in pageants, that also applies to all other pageant contestants, is that you are your only competition. Worrying about the capabilities of the other contestants, won’t make you any better. In fact, comparing yourself to other contestants will only blur your mental state when competing. All you can do is go up on stage, and be the absolute best version of yourself! That is the only thing you should be worrying about.

What have you been doing in the run up to the final of Miss Earth USA?

Since I won my state title, Miss New Jersey Earth 2020, I’ve been educating myself each day on environmental science, and issues. I believe the best asset to have when it comes to nationals is knowledge. I also think it is important to be of service. Due to social distancing I haven’t been able to participate in group clean up events, but I have been going to parks and doing clean ups by myself. Every little bit counts! With all the extra time I have, I also started preparing my garden. I am researching plants that are native to my region. These plants are better for the environment!

What’s your favourite ever appearance ?

Due to the Covid- 19 pandemic, I have only been able to do virtual appearances. It’s hard to choose a favorite, but if I had to then, my favorite one so far has been my radio/ podcast interview with Crown Talk with Byrgundy. I had so many fans ask me such great and diverse questions!

How has the lockdown due to Covid19 effected your pageant journey ?

The lockdown has caused a cancellation of all of my appearances. I’m bummed that I can’t connect with my community in person. Although virtual interview appearances are a great way to connect to people, it’s just not the same as in person. I can’t wait until I can go out with an organization that is passionate about the environment and do a clean up, or some planting! I also can’t wait to bond in person with my fellow sister queens.

What makes a good pageant role model ?

I think what makes a good pageant role model is someone that is true to themselves. People see right though you when you’re trying to be someone you’re not. It is also not good for children to look up to someone like that. If you are genuine, you’ll shine. It shows others that being themselves, is what’s important.

What’s your favourite pageant round ?

My favorite part of pageant competition is tied between interview and evening gown. I love interview because it’s the only opportunity the judges get to know me as a person. Here they get to hear about what’s in my heart, and my love for the environment. I also enjoy evening gown because I feel so confident, elegant, and beautiful on stage.

How do you deal with pageant nerves ?

Funny thing is, I get sooooo nervous before I go on stage, but once I am actually on stage, I feel like a million bucks. Pageant nerves definitely get the best of me sometimes, but I know that as long as I’ve been preparing to the best of my abilities and that I’ve put in a lot of hard work, so I’m confident in my performance.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions about your current title, system and platform it’s been lovely reading your answers. Much Love Charlotte, Ms Diamond South Yorkshire 2020.

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