It was while curling her hair and watching the Miss America pageant on TV that Kassidy Kleef had an epiphany.
Later this summer, the 16-year-old Armstrong teenager will be similar to the Miss America contestants in that she’ll be appearing on a national stage.
Kleef is a finalist for the 2014 Miss Canada Globe pageant, and will be heading off to Toronto for her first-ever pageant competition in August.
“I’ve been practising in front of a mirror,” laughed Kleef, an Armstrong Dairy Queen employee (recently named employee of the year), and soon-to-be Grade 12 student at Vernon’s W.L. Seaton Secondary.
“It’s a bit nerve-wracking.”
Kleef received an e-mail encouraging her to try out for Miss Canada Globe, and she did, becoming a finalist.
She’ll venture to Toronto with her mom and grandmother for what will be a 10-day excursion, though the pageant itself is only three days.
“The first day is evening wear and swim wear, the second day is a sit-down dinner in a big theatre, and the talent part of it, and on the last day, they pick the five finalists,” said Kleef. “If I make it that far, I’d have to do more evening wear and then a big interview.”
Her talent will be of a serious nature and a serious topic. Kleef will write a monologue on bullying, something she said has been a big part of her life.
“I’m going to really open up and talk about how it’s affected me,” said Kleef. “I’m going to focus on the issue of bullying and how much it affects people in Canada and around the world.”
While admitting she’s never been involved in any kind of pageant before, it’s not a stretch to say Kleef isn’t venturing too far out of her comfort zone.
She has been involved in acting and modeling for six years, and is sponsored by Okanagan Talent and Crew, who regularly send her out for jobs.
At Seaton, her new school which has a renowned theatre and drama reputation, Kleef enrolled in Lana O’Brien’s stagecraft class to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes of a theatre production.
Upon graduation, Kleef hopes to study at Vancouver’s Langara College’s Studio 58 professional theatre training program.
To get to Toronto, Kleep has to raise the $3,000 entry fee through sponsorship. She has already received support from Dairy Queen, Bannister Honda and Monashee Wellness Centre and Shoe Emporium, along with donations from family and friends.
“The support from everyone in the community, and my family and friends, has been great,” said Kleef, who can’t wait to get to Toronto.
“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s starting to get very exciting.”