When I was a freshman in high school I went to a reception where Kate Shindle was the main attraction as she traveled through Virginia with Cabaret. I met her for approximately 2 minutes, immediately went home, cut her picture out of the Playbill and stuck it in my personal Webster's Dictionary beside the word cool.
Please fast forward 8 years. You will find me at the Miss New York orientation with Kate Shindle at the front of the room telling us her expectations for whomever should win the title. I dug her style. She was a wine-drinking, notably intelligent, and supremely confident woman. I felt pretty out of my league when I met with the team that Monday night after my win to plot out my year.
All that I have talked to about my Miss America experience know that preparing for it was the most beneficial journey (not a word to be used loosely) of my life thus far. As I said humbly (I would say honestly, too - but Kate would shoot me since I should always be speaking the truth) in my interview at Miss America, often times you see committees trying to build their girls into someone else or have them meet their standardized expectations. I was beyond blessed in the fact that I was shaken down and out, and discovered my true self through this process. Casting aside what others wanted or expected me to be, but finding what mattered most to me, what defined me, and remaining true to that. Kate brought the sides of myself I didn't want to, or failed to, recognize to my attention. She pushed me hard. Really hard. But we also had a lot of fun. Her humor is unparalleled and ridiculously non-pc. Which obviously, for those who know me, was right up my alley.
Was that enough smoke up your skirt, Kate? Kidding, kidding. I mean every word. And if I was even more self-consumed I would continue to make this post about me. But nay, you're wayyyy cooler.
Anyhow, Kate and I don't get to see each other quite as often as we did before (ie about two-six hours a day on average) BUT I did get to see her kick tail at Birdland this week. This woman has the most insane set of pipes EVER. Other than laughing at every joke she made in an off-beat far, too loud laugh I couldn't help but squeal in excitement every time she nailed the end of a torch song. If you didn't get to see her, I'm really sorry. There aren't any youtube videos up yet but when there is I will direct you there like a herd of cattle. Prepare to be amazed. Like an insane fan I got a picture with her afterwards. But since she is a good foot taller (ok, almost) than me it looks kind of odd. Next time we're sitting down and get one I'll add it.
Oh yeah, and in the name of Kate Shindle and Leigh-Taylor Smith please look up "baller" on Urban Dictionary. Or just click here.