Archive for the ‘Omaha Fashion Week’ Category


I had the opportunity a few weekends ago to talk with the models participating in Omaha Fashion Week. Turns out they were having a runway rehearsal on the Bob Kerry Footbridge – my feet hurt just thinking about it! Check out the article in the Omaha World Herald.

I was tasked with the responsibility of giving them┬ápointers on how to make the most of their experience as runway models in what has become the Midwest’s largest fashion show. Yikes! Never having been a runway model myself (I’m vertically challenged), I wondered what on earth I would say. Could this be the one time in my life I’d be caught speechless? Not so much.

The models in Omaha Fashion Week are performers in a show, much like I was a performer in a show at the Miss America pageant. While the physical skills sets are different, the mindset is the same. I reflected on my experience as a contestant and came up with some pointers that I hope will help the models not only on the catwalk, but also in life. Here’s what I shared with them – hope it helps you too:

1. Recognize what you can and can’t control. Every performance is about having a personal best. All of your energy should be directed in this effort – resist the urge to compare yourself to others. You are only competing against yourself. Forget about what others are doing, thinking or wearing. To do this is to get wrapped up in the superficial. From my experience, one of two behavior patterns emerge when people obsess about others:

A. They become forceful because they think there’s something to prove; or
B. They become a wallflower because they worry about not measuring up.

2. Have a clear vision. The most important aspect of preparation isn’t having the perfect look, walk, skin, hair or clothes. It’s about having a crystal clear vision of what you are going to do. All of the minute details – where you will go on stage, what the lights will be like, how the crowd will respond, how you will feel. Even the chaos of the dressing room should be anticipated. That way, you’ll almost never be caught off guard…because you’ve already been there and done that in your mind.

3. Reframe your butterflies. They aren’t about fear. They are about the excitement you feel to show off your preparation. Don’t worry – everyone has them. The most successful performers just know how to channel them to maximize their performance.

4. Pass on the spotlight. There’s a natural tension between your individual performance and your role in the show. Take a balanced perspective. When the spotlight is on you, live it up! When your moment is over, pass the spotlight on to your peers graciously and take a moment to enjoy their performance. That’s really where the best memories are made – in your ability to connect with your fellow performers on stage and off.

5. Remember there are people around you who wish they could be in your position. Some tried and didn’t make the cut. Some didn’t even have the courage to try. Given this, take your role as an honor and responsibility. You owe it to those who don’t have this opportunity to make the most of it. It’s your time to shine and make your community proud.

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