Aug 23, 2012

41 years of Little Miss South Carolina with Cyrus Frakes!

Cyrus Frakes: King of the Crown Comments on 41 years of Little Miss South Carolina!

Who better to give us the inside story behind beauty more for interview...

Cyrus we noticed that on facebook that in Mid-June (2012) the Gowns and Crowns Team and the Cory King Make-up Studio had tremendous success at the Little Miss South Carolina Pageant. What can you tell us about the pageant?
This year Little Miss South Carolina celebrated 41 years of pageantry in South Carolina. It began in 1971 under the direction of Linda Floyd and was held in Sumter, South Carolina. It was moved to Hartsville in 2002 under the direction of Diane Galloway. The long standing pageant is currently under the mother- daughter team of Dana Dittman and Linda Jordan. This pageant prides itself on the thousands of dollars it distributes and the donations made yearly to the Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Miracle Network.
Hartsville, South Carolina
When did you begin working with the Little Miss South Carolina Pageant?
I would like to clarify I am not employed by the LMSC Organization. My business Gowns and Crowns is affiliated because I coach children and young women for pageant competitions on the local, state, national and international level. I prepare young ladies to compete in this week long competition each June.
You are seemingly a fan of this particular pageant system, do you mind telling us why?
I do support this system. It has competition from 2 years of age to 19 years of age.  They offer scholarships and they expect the contestants to be age appropriate in their hair, make-up, wardrobe, talent selection and interview. You won’t find Toddlers and Tiaras here. Since there is so much negative press surrounding little girls participating in pageants, it’s nice that there is a system that allows little girls to be little girls. I also think it is a respectable starter pageant too for young women to begin their pageant journey.
“…holding the title of Little Miss South Carolina was a learning experience that I feel prepared the ground work for my future pageant career.” Sara Platt, Little Miss South Carolina Over-All Queen 2007 and the reigning Miss Brooklyn-Cayce High School.” (Side Note: Sara will compete for Miss Teen Earth representing South Carolina in Charlotte, North Carolina).
You recently appeared on a national talk show about Little Girls Beauty Pageants, How was that experience?  What did you discuss?
The experience was amazing to have a national forum to give an opinion on the advantages of participating in pageants.  It was in October (2011) and I appeared on Anderson Cooper’s Daytime Talk Show.  The show allowed the studio audience to discuss the pros and cons of “Little Girl Beauty Pageants,” with a group of Mom’s who put their daughters in glitz pageants that were filmed for TLC’s Toddler’s and Tiara’s.  They also interviewed two young ladies who competed in the 90’s in a docudrama called Painted Babies. There was much heated discussion about the provocative costumes, too much hair, make-up and way too much attitude that accompany glitz pageants for someone so young. My part in the show was to give feedback based on my 30 years of experience in the pageant industry.

 Back to Little Miss South Carolina, would it be classified as a glitz pageant?
Little Miss South Carolina is a Natural Pageant. As I said earlier it’s a pageant that allows little girls to be little girls.
You have had lots of winners over the years at Little Miss South Carolina, was this year a clean sweep for your organization?
There were 119 girls that competed in the state pageant. We took 42 prepared clients. We assisted them in beauty/poise, interview, talent selection, and helped select photogenic pictures.  The 119 competed for a week for 48 finalist spots (12 finalist Little Miss, 12 finalist Young Miss, 12 finalist Young Miss Teen, and 12 Finalist in Teen) leading to the final night of competition. We happily filled 30 of those 48 spots. In the end we took home the 7 to 9 winner and a top 5 runner-up, 10 to 12 winner and 3 additional top 5 finalists, 13 to 15 winner and additional 2 finalists, sadly we did not capture the teen title but had two of the top five runner ups. We are happy our girls captured the over-all winner title, over-all talent winner award, over-all photogenic award and over-all interview award.
With such success do you think others may believe they “have” to come to you and your team to do well in this pageant?
I don’t really want to speculate on what others think nor will I apologize for our success in this particular pageant over the past 11 years. What I can tell you is, we come prepared and we come prepared to compete. You don’t go to the Super Bowl to get 2nd.  If we don’t win I can rest easy at night knowing we provided our clients with the best tools (access to gowns, photographers, talent coaches, our hair and make-up team) to do their very best. It really is simple to compete in this pageant. Read the handbook, it’s all there in black and white as to what they are looking for in a title holder.
“… I competed in Little Miss South Carolina in 2010 and made top 12. When I decided to go back and compete for the title of Miss Teen South Carolina one more time, I acquired, Cyrus Frakes from Gowns and Crowns as my pageant coach. I never felt pressured to use the services of a coach to do better in LMSC, but personally pursued an expert in the field to help round out my pageant abilities and discuss with me options for future pageants. I not only gained confidence from taking classes I learned life lessons such as interview skills that are currently helping me in college  and other adventures in my life.” Emily Floyd, Miss Teen South Carolina 2011. (sidebar: Emily was just crowned Miss All-Star Teen United States 2013 in Savannah, Georgia).
 When a client comes to you, do you immediately think she can or can’t be Little Miss South Carolina?
Absolutely! I meet a lot of clients that want to compete in this system.  They either fit the criteria or they don’t. If they don’t, I tell them here are the guidelines of what I see this system wanting. So they will either follow the guidelines or I encourage them to find a system that is a better fit. It’s too much time, expense and effort to be in a pageant and you are not a fit. On the other hand I recruit for this pageant heavily because I have access to so many girls that are a perfect for this title.  I gladly introduce them to it. Some have heard of it, some have actually had a mother or an aunt who did it or I have to start from scratch and tell them all about it.
There is a rumor you have to wear white to win in this pageant. Truth? Rumor?
UGH, I get asked that all the time. Trust me. No one wishes they had an answer to this question more than I do. Unfortunately if you look at the winners over the past few years you will see white gowns mostly across the board. But do you have to wear white to win? I say wear what color suits you best and meets the gown requirements of this pageant.  LMSC does give out an over-all evening gown award each year. This year the over-all gown award went to a young lady in the Teen Division wearing a Christmas red chiffon evening gown. I personally agreed with the over-all gown choice.  While she made top 12 and won evening gown she did not land in the top five. The top five were mostly in all white, so who knows. In the end it’s up to the judges. I personally feel it’s about the girl not the gown.
Do you feel Interview for a 7 to 9 year old is too stressful and should be eliminated from the pageant?
Absolutely not!!! I think interview is super important to see if a young lady that age can communicate and carry on a conversation. It is a great to help a 7 to 9 year old develop speaking skills and watch them grow in the process. It may not be easy but it is a necessary part of this competition. I wish all pageants had an interview.
What advice do you have for contestants that participate in the optional talent?
If you are going to participate in talent please have one or at least learn one before you go to the pageant. Talent is optional. Since the same group of judges, judge talent it is good to be back up in front of these judges if you make finals. But on the same token if you make finals and your talent is really not good that is the last impression they have of you before you compete for the crown in your book. At Little Miss South Carolina talent is required if you want to compete for the over-all title!
What is the photogenic award?
Contestants submit photos in color and black and white (headshots). These photos are judged on photogenic quality of the individual and an award is giving in each group for photogenic winners. There is also one overall winner in color photography and one winner in over all black and white photography. A variety of photographers are sought after to do their photos for this pageant. I don’t want to start naming names because I only see the photos submitted by my clients and I would not want to leave out a photographer that may do well with their photos in this competition. My advice on best headshot. Simple clothes and accessories and make sure it looks like you.
When do you begin preparing for Little Miss South Carolina? For our Gowns and Crowns Team Little Miss South Carolina is a year long process. Although the state pageant just took place in early June we are already booking classes for the preliminaries that begin in August 2012 and will take place almost monthly until the 2013 pageant.
What is the best advice you can give anyone considering doing this pageant?
 My best advice is to view a video of a previous year, get your hands on a program from one of the past years and look and see if this is what you are looking for. If you are, GO FOR IT!! The girls that do this pageant instantly become family and the reign is an entire year of fun events and parades!!! Don’t forget you win lots of scholarship money.

Cyrus will send us more information on other pageant systems and his thoughts in the upcoming months!

"Hibiscus House Spotlight Cyrus Frakes" Article 

Thank you Cyrus for enlightening us on the behind the scenes pageant world.  
It is good to know of the great charitable work done by the programs and the scholarship money that is given.  The self esteem and the training that the young girls receive is priceless.  I for one am glad that you are also showing that there are pageants where the girls can just be little girls.  Girls that have poise and manners.

You can find Cyrus:
Cyrus Frakes "King of the Crown" Fan Page
Gowns & Crowns:  here

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