What Happens At a National American Miss Open Call



national american miss, pageant interview, pageant tips

National American Miss Indiana

If you’re new to pageantry or new to National American Miss and you’re interested in competing, a NAM open call is a great opportunity to get all your questions answered before pageant weekend and get a sense of how the program operates.  The open call process is used by NAM to introduce you to the program and provide you with all the details you need to get started.  Best of all, these open calls are offered completely free!

National American Miss operates these open calls as their opportunity to learn more about potential contestants as well as a contestant’s opportunity to learn more about the “NAMily.”  According to Hoang-Kim Cung, the 2012-2013 National American Miss, “An open call is mainly an information session where parents and girls can find out what NAM is about, the process, and how much it costs.”  You’ll get a real taste of what the pageant is like with an interactive photoshoot as well as an interview, where the NAM staff will ask a few questions to learn about the contestant.

The Basics

You can expect for the open call to last around 45 minutes.  During that time, the young lady interested in competing will fill out an official application and attend her brief interview in addition to the photoshoot.  You’ll hear about might happen if you win, including the prizes and the exciting trip to California to compete for the national title, which includes a trip to Disneyland!

How to Prepare

If you are serious about competing, attend the open call as if it’s a preliminary job interview.  NAM considers these open calls like a screening process and you want to make a good impression.  Dress nicely and take care in filling out your paperwork.  Doing this will help you during the open call but also give you a small sense of what it will be like state pageant weekend if you qualify as a finalist.  If you do qualify as a state finalist, you will be informed about what to expect and how to prepare for your state level competition.

Benefits of Attending 

Attending an open call can go a long way towards building your confidence.  Since pageant weekend can feel like a whirlwind, being as prepared as possible heading into the pageant is crucial.  At a NAM open call, you’ll understand what NAM is all about, what kind of girls are successful as state and national titleholders, and gain confidence as you get your questions answered well before pageant weekend rolls around.  For more tips, Hoang-Kim Cung runs a Youtube channel with all kinds of NAM-specific info right here!

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  1. 1

    I just got a letter and well I have no idea what this is. It sounds interesting but I don’t know what to do. Help. Please.

    • 2

      Cassy, I work for the National American Miss organization and before that I even competed for several years. I recommend going to the open call. It’s very easy. You have an interview and you also learn a lot more about what the organization has to offer to help girls ages 4-18 reach their goals in life, whether you dream of being a model, actress, lawyer, doctor, etc. I’m not just saying this because I work for them either. I’m saying it from experience. It was a life changer for me! I was the shy girl that wouldn’t try anything new or talk to anyone I didn’t know and my self-confidence level was very low.

  2. 3

    I got a letter also, im not really sure if I should do it or not. I mean I would love to but im not sure my parents would have the money, would that be a problem?

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    Carissa, I would recommend attending an open call if you can. As far as affording it, you definitely want to consider your budget. If you start now, you may be able to get sponsors to help you with your entry. These can be anyone- your hairdresser, dentist, etc. People can even chip in $5-$20 to help you with the sponsor fee. Attending an open call will help you get your questions answered, so I strongly recommend it!

  4. 5

    I received an invitation today and this is absolutely captivating to me. Thank you so much for the opportunity :)
    By the mere distribution of these letters, you are already (need I say it?) growing confidence.

  5. 6

    I just got a letter today. I always wanted to do this. My parents also said yes :) But I was wondering, what are some type of questions they ask you at the Open calls? please let me know. thank You.

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      For casual wear, I recommend an outfit that has some kind of theme to it that she might wear to the first day of school. By theme I don’t mean a glitzy style outfit of choice. Maybe she goes with a common color theme. A cute outfit could be a dress, a nice top, jacket, and capris, or anything she feels confident in. It’s about her personality and she has to feel great in it!

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    We have a search feature so you can view articles on specific topics. There’s a lot of advice here. For specific information, you might want to consider the VIP program which helps you pick the wardrobe, gives you paperwork feedback, etc. I think it’s a great concept to start with ideas and go from there, but you don’t want to overdo it. American Coed is a similar pageant and I’d recommend checking out their photographer’s Facebook page (Pageant Paparazzi) . They post photos from state and nationals and you could get some good ideas there as far as what flies in casual wear. The most important thing is that she loves the outfit and feels comfortable “working it”. Some girls might do a beach theme, a Kentucky derby theme, a night out on the town, etc! But many others have succeeded in doing a simple back to school style look. Also, American Coed live streams a fair amount of their weekend pageants, at least the ones directed by the national director. Typically, Saturday morning is for optionals, including their casual wear. You might want to add Patty Hawkins on Facebook to get the updates about when things are streaming: the site to watch is http://www.gocoed.com/live

    The walk is critical.

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    Hi, my name is Hayley and I have never heard of the National American Miss Pageant until today when I received the Open Call paper. I am 15 almost 16 and was wondering what type of things do the judges look for in the contestants and how many individuals from each state compete? I was also curious at how you decide who is a possible candidate for the pageant. I am very serious about this an would sincerely appreciate any and all imformation available . I feel as though this could be very beneficial for me and hope to be a formidable candidate.

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    My daughter has been invited to an Open Call Session. She is 8yrs old and really wants to participate. I have no idea how these things work. Is Namiss for real, hoax, or both? Please help!

    • 20

      National American Miss is a highly reputable pageant in the industry. I get to see a lot of the inner workings of pageants and personally, it’s one of my favorites. How they will treat your daughter is first class.

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    My daughter received a letter in the mail about a month ago. We decided to register for the open call and we attended yesterday February 22, 2015. It was very, very informative and very professionally done. My daughter was so excited and felt very confident. Her Mom (me) was the nervous one. Although we have done one other pageant and my daughter placed 2nd runner up I am still the parent that is very skeptical. But, I have to say after attending the session I felt very assured about the process and we are very excited. If we don’t make it this year as a contestant we will keep trying. Thank you to whomever referred my daughter. Now we sit and await the call in a week or so!!!

  17. 24

    Hi. My daughter was invited to open call on Sat and received a lovely call on test for the next step. We are now awaiting our letter. I wanted to find out before then when will she be.competing for state title. She’s 6.

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    My daughter just received a letter. She is only 7, and I don’t like for her to wear any makeup,is that a requirement? She really would like to do it but I am optimistic about it.

    • 27

      Hi Jacquese,

      National American Miss doesn’t allow any of their younger contestants to wear makeup. In fact you get points deducted if you do. They are a really great organization and a lot of pageant girls, like Miss America 2015, got their start in this system.

  20. 28

    Hello I received a letter today I am Cuban i have five years in usa but I am not an expert in English that’s a problem

  21. 29

    This is crazy when I was on Facebook and seen this I click on it fast put in a application and less then 20 min I got a letter in the mail I don’t know if i was already chosen but I’m greatful and excited and can’t wait for the opening call I have so many questions

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      Hi Sylithia,

      All girls that quality as a State Finalist for NAM have to pay the sponsor fee. NAM is for girls ages 4-20, as of January 1st so since your daughter is 5 should would need to pay the sponsor fee.

    • 32

      Steven is right, but you can use any sponsors you want to help defray the cost. Pageant Planet has a lot of great articles about how to get sponsors, so I recommend you check those out so you can have someone else cover those expenses as much as possible! Businesses in your area that you already have a relationship with (nail salon, hairstylist, mechanic) are a great place to start the sponsor search!

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