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 National American Miss 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 Open Call

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

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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. 7

    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?

  3. 8

    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. 9

    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. 10

    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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    • 13

      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!

    • 24

      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. 28

    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.

    • 31

      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. 32

    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. 33

    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

  22. 34
    • 35

      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.

    • 36

      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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  24. 39

    I got a letter in the mail and i’m curious as to how. I’m also curious as to what I do witht his information from the letter

    • 40

      National American Miss partners with several organizations to acquire mailing lists, which is a common practice in business. Look at the card and you’ll discover when the “show up” dates are. Here you’ll discover all that you need to know about the organization of National American Miss.

  25. 41

    How many girls are chosen in each category to compete for a state title? Our daughter was selected to compete so is this for a state title?

  26. 43

    I got the Open Call invitation yesterday but I don’t really understand how this works. After Open Call, do all contestants go to the state pageant, or are just a few chosen? And does just going to the open call entail a cost? And do you have to go to the open call in order to go to the state pageant?
    By the way, I would be in the Jr. Teen division, and I live in Kentucky.

    • 44

      Hi Sarah,

      The open call is free to attend. There is a small information setting and then an interview process that they do to make sure you want to compete. If you do want to compete then you will be invited to compete in the state pageant. No you don’t have to go to the open call to compete in the pageant but it’s a service that they provide to girls who are not familiar with their system.

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    Hi, my name is Sarah. My mom got a call today saying that I was accepted as a State Finalist after my open call. I am not sure what the next step is. Do they send my the info, or do I have to register? I file in the official application form at the open call, but I don’t know if there is more paperwork. Please help! Thanks. :)
    PS: State Finalist for Miss Kentucky Jr. Teen

  30. 49

    I really want to go to the open call but I’m having trouble finding a ride there. I don’t want to miss this opportunity because I really need something like this in my life I literally do nothing else. What should I do?

  31. 50

    I really want to go to the open call but I have no ride. I don’t want to miss this opportunity but I don’t know what do. Everything I try to do always backfires on me what should I do?

  32. 51

    I got an invatation and I am going to the open call but do you think you can tell me the possible cost? And why we need to pay?

  33. 52

    I got the open call letter today so the question is after I go to the open call and do all the work and then they say I’m 1 of the state finalist do I have to pay for the state finalist?? Or register

  34. 54

    Ok so I’m DEFIDENTLY going to the open call but I’m not really sure what to wear!! Idk if I should wear my fav dress or my fav jeans ?!?! Witch would be a Better fit for the open call?

  35. 56

    Hi, I just got my invitation today and the open call sessions for my city is tomorrow and I have work all weekend so I don’t know for sure if I will be able to go to the session. My session is at 5:30 and I have work from 6-9 p.m. I read the article above and it said that it will be like 45 minutes to complete everything. I’m not sure if I want to actually be apart of this pageant but I really would like more information on it. Would it be possible for me to meet with the director or whoever is in charge of this open call to see if I could come in earlier because I have to work at 6 and I don’t think that 30 minutes will be enough time for me to do everything. Thanks for all your help and it would be great if I could get a reply soon.

  36. 57

    My daughters got a letter today and 1 is 17 and 1 is 3 could my 3 year old still join if she got the letter ? And how soo does the sponsor fees have to be paid and do we need sponsors right away ?

    • 58

      The 3 year old is too young for their system and your sponsorship money for National American Miss needs to be in by the deadline they give you. It’s state specific so you’ll need to consult with the paperwork that they give you.

  37. 59

    I received a letter in the mail today and i’m not really sure if it’s for me or my cousin. I was wondering how exactly do we get selected as a possible candidate, because both of us have never signed up for anything like this

    • 60

      National American Miss, like most companies, purchase a mailing list, which is how they got your name. NAM is such a good organization that I recommend that both you and your cousin go try out.

  38. 61

    hi, i got a letter in the mail about a week or two ago. i have never done anything like this before but i am interested. i am not sure what all needs to be done in order to go to the open call. also, my friend would like to do this with me but she did not get a letter. what does she need to do to attend the open call with me this weekend?

  39. 62

    i got a letter in the mail about a week or two ago. i have never done anything like this before but i am interested. i am not sure what all needs to be done in order to go to the open call. also, my friend would like to do this with me but she did not get a letter. what does she need to do to attend the open call with me this weekend?

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