I am sitting here and thinking of this Spotlight person of the week. It brings to mind a little girl with long blonde curls. A girl as shy as could be, but left on her own she could dream. She could dream that she was on a stage with a long flowing gown. A gown that would most probably have been pink and so full and beautiful that it would put Cinderella to shame. The best part of this dream would be the sparkly crown on top of her head and she would dance around floating in this imaginary fairytale land.
Oh, alright, yes it was me...didn't every little girl dream of one day becoming Miss America?
I had the pleasure of interviewing our next guest and would like to share that with you now. For all of you girls young and old your dreams can come true no matter what they may be.
Hibiscus House is Proud to Present
Cover of Supermodels Featured with Amanda Pennekamp Bluestein (Miss Earth United States 2006), Margaret Ann Carter (America's Perfect Teen 2009) and Shannon Noel Ford (Miss South Carolina Teen USA 2012). Photo by Jeanna Beasley
Dolly: What are you most proud of in your life?
Cyrus: I am proud of a lot of accomplishments in my life but one that stands out has been turning my love for teaching and pageants into a full time business called Gowns and Crowns. Also having the opportunity to share my passion for what I do in 13 episodes of a reality show on TLC called The King of the Crown that aired in The United States and 13 Countries. TV Guides King of the Crown where you can watch some of the episodes.
Dolly: When did you know you had this knack, talent or ability to train these girls?
Cyrus: I have actually been involved in all aspects of pageants since I was in high school but I realized I wanted to help girls when I judged for 15 years. I saw young ladies make the same mistakes over and over. That is when I gave up judging and began one on one personal development for pageants.
Dolly: How do you train two contestants when they are in the same category? I'll bet that must be a challenge.
Cyrus: For me it's easy to train young ladies for the same competition. I am not a cookie cutter coach that only knows one thing or had just one winner in my career and tries to make everyone into that winner's image. I work very hard to bring out what is unique about every client. I help each competitor find their best look, wardrobe. improve weaknesses and polish strengths. I don't play favorites or try to give one client an advantage over the other. If you help every girl reach their best potential to compete it is up to the judges to pick the winner.
Jordyn Cox/Little Miss South Carolina overall winner and overall interview winner 2012
Dolly: Can you tell by looking at and talking with someone how well they will do? Do you have certain things you look for in a person or do you take the individual and turn them into what they should be to compete?
Cyrus: I don't think you can look at a person and say they are a winner. I have met lots of Gorgeous people in my lifetime that had absolutely no personality. For me its about desire, how engaging they are when you talk to them. If you meet a young lady that has a wonderful, engaging personality and relates well to others you can improve on anything else they may require to be a tough competitor.
Part of the Royal Staff: Left to Right: Professional Make-up Artist, Cory King of the Cory King Make-up Studio. Instructor: Amanda Helen Pennekamp and The King: Cyrus Frakes. (Photo by Josh Norris)
Dolly: Did you always know you would do something like this? It is as if your were born to do this, did you know at an early age? In other words is this what you had in mind when you thought of a career or did it evolve from something else?
Cyrus: I graduated with a BA in Journalism and worked in radio full time for 19 years. All the while I trained girls for pageants on the side. I started in my garage, moved to my living room, then worked out of a modeling agency for 10 years part time. I eventually opened my own studio and that is where I have taught for the past 6 years. I love the entertainment business and I love pageants. I don't know that I realized it would morph like it did but the reality show The King of the Crown afforded me the opportunity to combine my love for both into one career!
Dolly: Tell me something you love about being from our fair state of South Carolina.
Cyrus: The beautiful women of course!!! One of the reasons I have been able to be so successful at what I do is because SC has some of the most beautiful, talented women in the country. It is an honor everyday to train them to reach their goals through pageantry.
Dolly: What are your future goals?
Cyrus: Pageantry has opened so many doors for not only my clients but for myself as well. Filming The King of the Crown was a dream come true and I am proud to say it has lead to other things in my life like appearing on the Anderson Cooper Show, making an appearance in the upcoming reality show for Lifetime: The Week That the Women Went. I have a book in the works and I have had several offers to do other reality shows so it will be awesome to see what my future holds. I am teaching classes in New York for a week in July and I hope that seminar leads to more travel.
One of my Many and Fabulous Clients Sydney Lifchez from her Year as Miss Teen South Carolina
from the Little Miss South Carolina System.
Dolly: Do you feel pageants are relevant in today's society?
Cyrus: I think pageants will be relevant as long as girls are earning scholarships, job opportunities, building confidence, and learning life lessons.
Dolly: What should a contestant look for in a creditable pageant coach?
Cyrus: It seems to me more and more untrained people are claiming to be pageant coaches. Any client looking for creditable assistance needs to do their homework. Does the coach have winners in many systems, or just one? Are the coaches well rounded, meaning do they know about hair, make-up, walking, talent, interview, etc, not just one thing. Call around and ask for references. It's really easy to see who is trying to sell you service, who is selling you lip service.
Cyrus Frakes as Featured in the upcoming issue of SU Magazine in June.
Thank you so much Cyrus for sharing with us! We look for even more exciting things to happen for you in the future.
You might enjoy another fabulous Hibiscus House Article by Cyrus Frakes
"41 Years of the Little Miss South Carolina with Cyrus Frakes: here