By Anthony Costello, December 2015 Issue.
The Miss/Mister Arizona USofA team is preparing to bring Arizona intensity to nationals, which will take place March 6-13 in Oklahoma City, with dynamic performers composing a tight-knit team of experienced veterans and energetic newcomers.
The winners of the Arizona USofA preliminary pageant, which took place Oct. 11 at R Lounge in Phoenix, include Mister Arizona USofA MI 2015 Eddie Broadway, Mister Arizona USofA MI Classic 2015 Freddy Prinze Charming and Miss Arizona Diva USofA 2015 Miss Sassy Diaz.
Mister Arizona USofA MI 2015 first alternate Havok Von Doom, Mister Arizona USofA MI Classic 2015 first alternate Luke Savage Ateraz and Miss Arizona Diva USofA 2015 first alternate Roxi Savage Ateraz will join the 2015 title holders in competing at the national pageant.
USofA promoters Gunner Gatlyn, Jessica Puglisi and Brandon Packer are confident in this year’s six contestants and the spirit they bring to team Arizona.
“I think the Arizona team in general has done an excellent job just being great as they are,” Gatlyn said. “One of the things I love about USofA is it’s a strong brotherhood/sisterhood that’s not just worried about themselves, but about each other and lifting each other up to succeed.”
Mister Arizona USofA MI 2015:
Eddie Broadway may be competing against his brothers, but is reconciling the competitive nature of the pageant through working with his fellows to help team Arizona excel in the competition.
“Everyone in the community is like a brotherhood, and you have to compete against the ones you love. It’s tough because you want everyone to win,” Broadway said. “The Arizona team tends to be just that, we’re a team and, yes, we all want to win but at the end of the day we care that someone from our team wins and brings home the title. I think that’s the beauty of the USofA program: working together.”
According to Broadway, he’s engaging in a collaborative effort to help prepare himself, and others, for nationals in March.
“I’m currently working with EVO winners and others to fundraise, get ideas, sharing backup dancers,” Broadway said. “We’re setting up team meetings to meet regularly and bounce ideas off each other for the competition.”
Broadway plans on bringing the seamless talent number he performed at the Mister Arizona USofA competition to nationals.
“My talent number for Mister Arizona this year was the best number I’ve done thus far. It had the entertainment value and left people wanting more, and was well-planned,” Broadway said, while maintaining a level of secrecy about his performance. “They can expect to see a solid, put together, clean and precise, well thought-out package with my overall presentation from beginning [to] end.”
Mister Arizona USofA MI Classic 2015:
Freddy Prinze Charming
The affable Freddie Prinze Charming, who’s one of the most title decorated drag kings in Arizona, is heading to Mister/Miss USofA Nationals for what he considers one of his most meaningful competitions yet, as this will be his final time competing in the Mister USofA MI Classic pageant.
“I’ve done a lot with my drag career … with classic as the last stop in the pageant world,” Charming said. “For me, I’m content to end my pageant career with nationals.”
According to Charming, the time has come to focus on other priorities in his life.
“It’s hard work and it’s expensive and there’s other things in my life I want to make a priority after nationals,” he said. “Pageantry isn’t the end all be all for me; I already enjoy things like fundraisers and mentoring, and I don’t need to continue pageantry to pursue that.”
Charming plans on pulling out all the stops for his final pageant performance, with careful planning to make the most of his props and materials.
“I’m sitting down thinking what I want to take for my final package, figuring out the logistics, how do I get props there, dancers, etc.,” Charming said. “I think, ‘This is what I want my end result to be,’ and work backwards from there. [With] all the different pageants I’ve been in … I have an idea of how it works and how to get the best results out of my budget and do what I want to do at the same time.”
Miss Arizona Diva USofA 2015:
Miss Sassy Diaz
Despite being relatively new to the pageant scene, Miss Sassy Diaz is already turning heads with the bombastic energy she puts into her performances.
“I love the thrill that [comes with] people enjoying me and enjoying what I do,” Diaz said. “I get to make you happy, and pull out all the craziest things about me and see them in other people; that inspires me to perform and grow in my art. To grow in it is always a beautiful thing and to see others enjoy it is overwhelming.”
Although Diaz feeds off the energy of the crowd, she admits performing, including her second time competing in this year’s Miss Arizona Diva USofA pageant, still brings anxious nerves.
“This year I was nervous all day. I get really anxious and I just kind of want to do it and get it over with, but once I’m in it, on stage, all those feelings go away,” Diaz said. “I was nervous all day and it was literally over in five minutes. I use that energy though
to keep going.”
Diaz is already prepping for nationals, seeking out advice from fellow local queens.
“I’m in talks with a couple queens from Arizona, like Felicia Minor, and they’ve been very helpful with me in developing my vision,” Diaz said. “The nationals stage is huge, all eyes are literally on you. You have to make sure you make the biggest impact, so it’s a lot of careful planning.”
As for what she’s bringing to nationals, Diaz plans on bringing her signature performing style.
“I like to teeter-totter the line of what people expect me to do, and step over it and go completely crazy with it, blowing their expectations out of the water,” Diaz said. “I’ll push myself to the Nth degree, till I can’t push anymore. I’m traditional, but I’m also out of the box, so [I’m] basically putting my stamp on what traditional is to me.”
For more information, visit gunnergatlyn.wix.com/azusofami.