Queen of the night
Writer: Chloe Richie
Vampires. Whatever image the word brings to your head: the classic Count Dracula, Edward Cullen’s sullen face, or a cheesy Halloween costume, there’s no doubt that there’s plenty of public interest in these blood drinking terrors. There’s been Vampire themed books, movies, television shows, and now … a beauty pageant.
The second annual Miss Vamp beauty contest, hosted by DJ and radio host Nocturna, was held at the Hawaii Theatre on Oct. 15, 2011. The event was promoted as “like a traditional beauty pageant, but with a darker edge. Contestants are judged on their unique physical and inner beauty”, according to DJ Nocturna’s advertisement in the Aloha Update. The 15 contestants where judged on a talent piece, as well as an introduction section, a Q&A segment, and a “moon bathing,” or lingerie segment.
The contestant crowned Vampire Queen that night was Tara Tyanes, an actress and student at Leeward Community College. She sewed her dress in the college’s theatre and said the pageant was a blur. Though she didn’t think it would happen, Tyanes shed a tear when she won. Bright, friendly and hilarious, Tyanes was more than happy to describe her experience at the pageant for Ka Mana’o.
Is this your first beauty pageant?
Yes, it was. I have been going to Nocturna events for a number of years, and I was in the audience of the first pageant, because my best friend was in the first (show). Nocturna approached me to see if I would be interested in in being in the pageant this year, because she remembered me from last years pageant. I thought it would be fun. I just did it for fun.
Did you expect you’d win?
I thought I had a good running. I was confident. I thought I could win. If not first place, then maybe runner up, or maybe one of the other standings.
How did you prepare?
Well, for the month leading up to the pageant, I hand sewed my talent dress, the red-velvet, Elizabethan-style gown with the black tulle collar, and I did all of that down in the costume shop here at (Leeward) in my free time. So, instead of working on the shows that were going on at the time, which I would have made money for, I used my time that wasn’t part of school down in the costume shop, slaving away. I had so many pricks on my fingers, bleeding on my costume, and I was like ‘no!!’
Did you need to perform any pieces?
I sing classically, and I used a song I learned from my voice instructor here for a year, Marilyn Kim, she’s retired now, but I learned an Italian aria from the 16th century in her class.
I haven’t seen any videos of my talent performance, but I think it was really well received. People told me they liked it a lot, and I was like ‘oh, OK, good.’ All I remember was going on stage, and being like ‘oh, OK, move your hands, don’t look too nervous, oh no, my voice is shaking, look at the audience, smile! Now look sad.’ (Laughs.) In my head I’m thinking that. I went on stage, and then I went off. The whole pageant is kind of a blur.
So, you where pretty well prepared.
I was. I mean, I didn’t want to do anything half ass, excuse my speech. But, yes, if I was in for it, I was in for it, and that’s just the way I am. If I’m going to invest all this time, my energy, my stress, my gray hairs, I was going to do everything I could to give myself the best possible chance.
How well did the pageant run? Where there any malfunctions?
It went really well. I’m used to being on stage, so I wasn’t so nervous, I was more worried about ‘oh, no what if I forget to move my hands a certain way?’ which is ridiculous, because it (the song) wasn’t scripted. I had a friend here who dressed me, Jonathan Reyn, and I had a friend who does hair and makeup for the shows, Arthur Wilson. He is a hair and make up artist down at the salon (3° Hairstyling). He’s excellent, he’s amazing. I owe it all to him that I was so gorgeous.
Did you know the other contestants?
Tyanes: My best friend was in it as well this year. It’s funny, cause she had told me she wasn’t going to run this year which is one of the reasons I had agreed to (run). I was like, well, now I don’t have to worry about being “competitive” or “running against each other”. I think you run with someone, it’s something you do together. I also recognized some girls from last year who where competing again. I met them, and they where really nice. We had different photo shoots for promotional purposes down in Chinatown. We also had other promotional events. We went on KHON in the early morning. I had to go to Ala Moana at five in the morning. I live in Makakilo, so it was like…(makes comical exasperated face.)
The event was pretty aggressively promoted?
It was. She (Nocturna) wanted it… I think, since this was (at) the first Hawaii Theatre, more traditional, classy, going in that direction pageant, she wanted it to be something that can carry on, year after year, and have a reputation. I guess she’s laying down the foundation of a very saucy lasagna. (laughs)
How did you react when you heard you had won?
Honestly, when I heard that Amber was runner-up, I knew I had won. Is that weird? I just had a feeling. So, it wasn’t, like, a surprise. I guess, cause I kinda had the idea in my head before they called my name. I don’t know if that’s conceited ... I mean, I was surprised. I shed a tear. I did, I was like ‘oh my God, I won.’ You know, when you win a pageant, it’s kind of cliché to cry. But, I got up there, and I was like ‘oh, why is my eye watering?’
I felt so stupid up there. I was like ‘what do I do? I won? OK, I’ve got the flowers, I’ve got the crown, I’ve got a trophy, everyone’s clapping ... What do I do?’ I was totally deer in the headlights.
Do you have any advice for future Miss Vamp contestants?
I think you should have a theme. I think you should have a good idea about what you want to portray. Have a theme, go with it, dedicate yourself.
What quality do you think is important for future contestants to have? Should they be very academic, very talented, very beautiful?
I think they should be very confident. Because, confident women are sexy. And that everyone will understand, I think. No matter what your ideals on beauty are, when you see confidence in a woman, it’s attractive.