[BEHIND THE SCENES at the Mr and Miss Williamsburg Pageant]
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Well, it’s over. I lost, of course. Maybe this will be the blow to my confidence that inspires me to join a corporation and abandon all hipster aspects of my former self! Well, doubtful, but I am making the decision right now to retire from the pageantry world forever.
So, Thursday night, I got a g-talk message from Misha who was panicking because two of the 10 contestants had dropped out. She asked if I knew anyone who would be willing to step in, because well, the people who actually applied were not up to her hipster standards. I almost recruited one hip Williamsburger to help her out, but he dropped out Friday morning. Whatever, I tried.
Contestants were instructed to get to Supreme Trading at 6 for a run-through, but only three from the Miss side and two from the Mr showed up. Where were the others? “They’ll get here later. They have… stuff to take care of,” Misha sketchily replied. Someone made a joke about how they probably had jobs or something, but we immediately ruled out that possibility, it being Williamsburg and all.
Misha fielded our questions before we did a run through of how events would proceed. She also instructed us not to tell anyone from “the press” that the whole applicant process was rigged! Sorry, Misha. Welcome to the 21st Century where ordinary people and seasoned journalists alike can blow your cover in the blogoshpere! Also on the list of things not to talk about was the Colt 45 story (fabricated publicity stunt) and the fact that almost all of the contestants were Misha’s friends from college. The reason why Misha tapped me was because the folks over at FREEwilliamsburg feautred my blog and her pageant two posts away from each other. The only time I had spent with her was half an hour at Beacon’s Closet and an hour at a photo shoot for the NY Post (Note: Judging from their article on the pageant called “Sillyburg,” I think I need to make an addendum to thing hipsters don’t like #4) Being described by arrogant yuppies.)
Being the only semi-legitimate candidate, I probably should have won by default (not that I wanted to win or anything because that probably would have prompted an identity crisis such as that which occurs to hipsters when you ask to take their photograph without providing a reason.) but most of the other candidates were actually really good. Sarah (cute Asian) should probably be on American Idle and Gina (helmet) was pretty awesome with her Yoga moves. But it was obvious that her talent, which consisted of listing things she doesn’t like, obviously came from my blog (although she convincingly denied this accusation). The guys were all awesome, especially Vince! I mean, making jorts on stage?? Best talent ever!
I didn’t meet the last female contestant, CJ (at least I think that’s her name) until half an hour before the show started. She brought in a bunch of fruit and stuff wearing a blue American Apparel romper, so I figured she was like, hired help or something. I didn’t think that anyone competing in the pageant would dare wear an AA outfit after Sheila’s wise comment on Gawker:
“Also, I used to study fashion and costume design, so if we find a Gawker-approved contestant I can totally help with your outfits. We need to get beyond American Apparel for this one.”
But sure enough, the onsie-clad late arrival introduced herself as a contestant — a last-minute stand-in called desperately by Misha. We immediately acknowledged our rivalry, at first as a, we’re in this ridiculous pageant, let’s hate each other because it’s fun, kind of thing. But as the night went on, it turned into not so much of a joke.
“I kind of want to be your friend, but at the same time I really want to gouge your eyes out of their sockets,” she told me in the dressing room backstage!
The night proceeded with chaos as the organizational structure of the thing unraveled in the sweaty heat of Supreme Trading’s back room. By the time we went on stage for the first time (in no particular order), I had consumed about five whiskey-gingers and was fiending for a cigarette. From the way the speakers were set up projecting toward the very loud audience, none of the contestants could hear what the MCs were saying and we were all completely clueless as to what to do aside from Misha’s pushing us on stage.
I was sure to advise CJ to make sure her headband didn’t fall off on stage moments before she walked out.
In the fashion segment, I wore an outfit that I liked to think of as a combination between corporate-chic and food service-chic, which is ironic because I would probably slit my wrists if I was forced to work in either of those industries. Exhilarated by the crowd, I felt compelled to rip my blazer open in an act of corporate defiance and toss it into the audience! I found it in a bag on the sidewalk across from The Buffalo Exchange and had never worn it before, so I wasn’t too attached to it anyway.
My stage hand was drunk and AWOL right up until the talent portion, so I was sufficiently unnerved. To counter that, I drank a few more Whiskey-gingers and the Stoli that was chilling in the VIP area.
My talent was pretty sweet (tots tooting my own horn), but I couldn’t really hear the sound over the din of the crowd, so my timing was off on a few of my strategic gestures. BUT the important thing is, I slammed a large portion of Jack Daniels on stage.
So… as you can imagine, I was good and hammered while being interviewed by various publications (can’t wait to see how that turned out. The BBC guy was amused out of his mind at the circus that was “American counterculture” backstage.) I was also pretty much obliterated when they announced the winner. Yeah… that whole “graceful loser thing” that’s supposed to occur during pageantry? I thought about doing the whole fake smile thing buuut… that would have been far too predictable, and in my opinion there just hadn’t been enough irony throughout the pageant. So Instead, I must have gaped in angry shock and, well, I pushed CJ. It was just a little shove, but hopefully it rained on her undeserved parade.
I say undeserved because, back in the dressing room before the show, I figured out that when Misha said the contestants who were absent at rehearsal were “taking care of stuff,” what she really meant was some of them were
DRIVING THREE HOURS TO GET HERE FROM NEW JERSEY.
(She may have said Massachusetts, but I was drunk and that’s not important.) Yes, that’s right, Miss Williamsburg does not live in Williamsburg at all. She doesn’t even live in the state of New York! I guess it represents the transitory nature of this neighborhood or whatever, but seriously wtf!
All in all, I’m glad I didn’t win. I don’t think I really want the responsibilities that would go along with such a role. I would probably be expected to attend all “motherfucker” parties and frequent Union Pool nightly. I would surely develop a pricey drug habit (note: this would no doubt bolster my blogging abilities, but nonetheless take me down roads I am not yet ready to travel) and frequent the Lodge for Bloody Marys more than I already do…
In the end, I’ve learned a few things from this whole pageant experience, the knowledge of which is more important than any crown:
A) Intellect never wins against girls who can take their panties off under their American Apparel rompers.
B) A large part of being a hipster in Williamsburg is flashing your vagina to the entirety of New York media.
C) Misha Calvert is an attention whore and a liar. If there are any public relations scouts reading this, you should probably hire her immediately!
Also, Brian Ries from FREEwilliamsburg’s instinct about the whole thing being a viral marketing scheme for Colt-45 was right on. One of the bartenders told me that the prize for the winner is like, a truck-load of cases of the stuff!
As the night went on, I only got more drunk. One guy in the dressing room actually wrestled the Jack Daniels bottle from my hands and chugged it when I told him he could not have any! Needless to say, I would like those pictures to post on my blog if you are reading this.
Also… ahem… there may or may not have been another encounter between Miss Williamsburg and myself. I’m just going to wait until the video footage surfaces before I go into that any more…
Misha Calvert just unfriended me on the facebook!!! ROFL! Earlier this morning, she sent an email to the contestants:
there is no way in hell i can thank you enough. for your
sense of adventure
senses of humor
the pageant belonged to you, each of you, and you ruled/saved the show.
I MEAN IT. thank you, so very much, and i really dont care who won you
are all winners….cliche but absolutely true.
lets have a reunion tour very soon,
p.s. NOT RIGGED
In my obscenely hung over state (seriously, worst EVER), I replied to her message:
So rigged. Your non-Williamsburginan winner is a total cunt. Where is she from? Like Jersey or something?
I’m blogging about this today. I’ll send you the link.
Later that day I tried to go on her facebook profile to find pictures of Miss Williamsburg and find out what New Jersey/Massachusetts city she lives in, and I discovered that I am no longer friends with Misha!
I’m now worried that I am falling into my own hipster descriptions because *gasp* I do not like Misha Calvert.