Miss Gay Tennessee America Pageant, Part Four. Miss Gay Middle Tennessee, Giselle Nicole
It takes a while during a pageant for the contestants to change costumes and re-do makeup and lord knows what else. And the promoters don’t want the audience to get restless. It’s during these intermissions when some of the most fun talent of the evening happens. (And, here’s a compliment to the pageants in the Miss Gay America system: they start on time and run like clockwork). Usually at a pageant, former title holders come in as guest performers to take the stage while the competitors are making their changes and the judges are having their pow-wows. These queens are seasoned performers, having been on the pageant circuit for a while, and they are working the crowd. Some of the most amazing performances I’ve personally ever seen were at last year’s Miss Gay America Pageant, where there were several former title holders giving it all they had. Also, during these periods in a pageant the current title holder will perform. For this year’s Miss Gay Tennessee America I’m sure that my pal Suzy Wong will be making a spectacle of herself in the most wonderful way possible. Suzy has decided to donate all her tips for the evening of the Miss Gay Tennessee America Pageant to the Nashville Rescue Mission.
I am also looking forward to seeing Sally Sparkles – her name describes her personality, both onstage and off, what a sweetheart – the current Miss Gay America, and Kirby Kolby, Miss Gay America 2012. I have to confess, Kirby is one of my very favorite performers. His energy is incredible, and he serves high drama. I could see him on Broadway, as either a glamorous female diva, or a dramatic male lead. Watching him on stage is real theatre. (He is also one of the best looking men I’ve ever seen. There, I said it.)
Let’s talk about tipping at pageants. It is important to bring lots of dollar bills to any show involving female impersonators. Their tips are an important part of the performer’s income. They have an enormous overhead to look the way they do, and they work as hard as any entertainers you’ll ever see anywhere. Personally, when I go to a show I usually tip every queen involved. Anyone who is willing to go through the changes involved (literally and figuratively) to entertain in this art form definitely deserves a tip. Get up to the edge of the stage and tip your queens, but if you are watching a pageant don’t tip the competitors. That’s a no-no. But applaud them as loudly as possible. And feel free to cheer.
But for now here is a little moment with the beautiful and charming Miss Gay Middle Tennessee America, Giselle Nicole. (Giselle’s first alternate is Jasmine St. James and I hear she is fierce).
Giselle has participated in 7 pageants, with her win of Miss Gay Middle Tennessee being a step up to the next level. The real women who have been her role models are not movie stars or celebrities, but the women who are in her own family; sisters, grandmother, aunts, and her mom. When I asked her if there were other female impersonators who she especially admired, I liked her answer. “Those that have come before me and have paved the way for me to do what I do today.” There is a real history involved in this art form, and Giselle understands and appreciates that.
Giselle’s long-term plan is to become a superstar and cross over into mainstream media as Giselle Nicole. She has trained in musical theatre in the prestigious conservatory AMDA in New York. This crossover “is looking pretty good. I just wrapped up ‘The Boulevard’, a film with Robin Williams and fellow sister Paige Turner. I also have done some extra work on the tv show, ‘Nashville.’ ”
I loved the answer Giselle gave me when I asked who her biggest supporter had been.
“My dad who passed about two months ago was my biggest fan, mentor, and coach. I know that sounds a little strange but he was. I would talk to him on the days of my pageants and he would give me the best pep talks. We talked about pageants like it was football. I was so proud of him because he was a heterosexual male and had no problems telling me how proud he was of me. He would show my pictures to everyone he knew.”