I spent the day as Celebrity Guest for Hilton Worldwide's annual client gala at Cipriani Wall Street. This annual party brings together the companies top clients and hotels to celebrate the year.
Amid the most ornate party I had ever seen, guests snapped photo ops with me on the red carpet. Best part was that, between camera flashes, I had the chance to compare notes on charitable endeavors and share my work with Project Empower and bullying.
Wondering how I booked this? You might not believe me. I winked. Seriously. The event organizer watched Miss America and when I winked at the camera during my swimsuit turn he instantly contacted my organization to book me. When they told me this I broke into laughter, then slowly composed myself and, after a brief pause, asked, "Wait, really?" Well, let's break this down. What is a wink? Typically a private non-verbal communication between two individuals. It admits awarenness and acceptance of the "gaze" of another (a little Lacan, anyone?) The small scale of a wink allows you to mask the motion from unexpecting eyes, bringing exclusivity to it's recipient. One can only wink at one person at a time. At that moment of competition, as my face whirled by the camera, I realized that I had a chance to do the impossible: wink at 8 million people at once. Original? Naw. Would the judges see it? No. Should a girl only behave as Miss America when judges are watching? Heck no. Might people not like my wink? Totally. Does it make my story more interesting? Yes. Thus I winked. Always do it for the story. Though an ever classic pageant move, this was my chance to go old-school and bring a laugh to viewers everywhere. Seems a splash of bold can pay off.
Rocco, the organizer, and I became fast friends and soon discovered we shared a passion for hamming it up.
Thank you to Hilton Worldwide for having me as part of your festivities. Your hospitality (no pun intended) and kindness was among the best of my whole year.