Posted in Colour of Couture 2017, Events, Life, New Releases, Salem

Confession .134. Tell The Truth…

One day the skeletons are gonna come out
One day the elephant in the room will make a sound
Watch out for lions and tigers and bears
It’s about to hit the fan, you better beware…
Tell the truth…

Confession .134.  Tell The Truth...

“In the dark, they hide from the truth.  In the end, they lie to you.”

I’m fully prepared to be called a ‘crown chaser’ after making this post… and to potentially be on the receiving end of some all-caps responses… because, you know… #YellingOnTheInternet… but that’s still not going to stop me from recounting my experiences.

September 30th was the finale of the Miss Colour of Couture 2017 pageant.  Now, full disclosure of some details up front here: 1.) The pageant had not been run since they crowned a Miss Colour of Couture 2015, 2.) No, I did not win, and 3.) No, I was not in the Top 3 that were announced.  So, if you want to chalk anything that I saw below up to ‘saltiness’, then you are certainly free to do so.  But for transparency’s sake, I felt the need to share with you the only information I have about how well I did or didn’t do, before going into my experience.

One of the questions I was asked in the Live Interview was about why I chose to compete in Miss Colour of Couture, and the answer that I gave was 110% true.  When I first began modeling at the tail end of 2012/beginning of 2013, I had a small series of negative experiences.  The first class I ever took was an incredibly negative experience, and the first pageant that I lucked into being involved in was a terrible experience, to put it lightly.  So when I heard about an opportunity to cast for a Promo Video for Colour of Couture 2013 (I believe… since we were in 2013 by this point), I almost didn’t try… but I figured why not.  They must not have had many people try out, because my nooblet little ass got cast for the video and ultimately it was a fun experience.  I met the team behind CoC at that time, I met some of the models that I hadn’t gotten a chance to get to know before, and overall it was a good experience.  So much so that when auditions for Colour of Couture came around shortly after, I decided to audition.

I think I’ve told this story before.

Of course I was incredibly new and had a long ways to go before I was up to par, but they humored me and let me walk, get the experience for the audition, etc.  But ever since then, I had tried out for Colour of Couture whenever it came around, with the exception of 2015, the last time it ran before this year.

So, when I saw applications coming up for this year, I debated it internally for a long time.  Several changes had taken place in both modeling and the particular organization since I had last competed with them… and I didn’t know if I aligned with it anymore.  But since Colour of Couture was the first group of people who had truly given me a chance to gain some positive experiences in modeling, I figured why not.

However, I should have known when I experienced issues right out the gate, that this would be foreshadowing of how the entire experience was going to go.

When I tried to access the application form, apparently it was the same application form used for Miss Virtual World last year, just renamed and with some of the questions changed?  So because I had applied for Miss Virtual World last year, I kept coming across the, “You’ve already filled out this form,” error, despite having not filled out the Colour of Couture 2017 form.  I contacted whom I was told to contact, to get the issue resolved, and I was assured it would be.

One week later, when I had not heard from the person I had contacted, or anyone else, and the deadline was that day, I reached out again, to see if I had been forgotten.  The next day, technically one day after the deadline, I received a reply, and I was told that my contact had only just gotten ahold of who they needed to, but the message that I received afterwards was slightly disturbing…

[2017/07/30 14:33:43] ********** *******: Hello Deia, I finally managed to get hold of *****, she was expressing some concern because last time with MVW you resigned during the competition due to your RL busy schedule. Has your circumstances changed and are you able to commit till the end of the competition?

Now… this is… interesting, particularly the wording of why I supposedly resigned.  For those of you who follow this blog and those of you that know me, you will know that when I was competing in Miss Virtual World last year, right at the beginning of my journey, my step-father was going through some very severe health problems.  At the time we didn’t know what it was… only that none of the tests he was going through were showing us any kind of cause for his pain and health problems.  He was later diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and began chemotherapy… but at the time of my withdrawal from Miss Virtual World, I was spending so much of my time back and forth between my house and my parents’ house I couldn’t focus on anything really happening in SL, let alone a modeling competition that required time, effort, and focus.  And so I withdrew.  In fact, I even made quite clear that it was due to RL – more than just a busy RL schedule, but actually ISSUES in RL, in this excerpt from my resignation letter:

“Lately, however, it seems the universe and my RL are beginning to work against me, and I’m finding that it’s not fair for me to continue. Not fair to me, not fair to the organization, and not fair to the ladies.

I’m sure from the administrative end, it looks like I’ve dropped the ball a lot already. I could offer explanations, but I’m sure they’d come across as excuses, so I won’t bother you with them. Everything has just begun to happen all at once, and things are taking turns in my RL that I didn’t exactly expect, all at entirely the wrong time. How rude of the universe to interfere with my SL modeling dreams, right? -Laughs-“

So now, fast forward almost 1 year later (That resignation letter was written September 3rd, 2016, and so far, we’re at the end of July in this conversation) and I’m being asked if my circumstances have changed and if I was able to commit “til the end of the competition.”

Now, to be fair, I should have known that was a trap from the get-go.  No one can guarantee what their RL is going to do, so no one can feasibly expect to make some kind of ‘promise’ about seeing something through to the end, and then have it held against them if RL interferes.  However, at the time, nothing was going wrong in the universe, my step-father was through with chemo and cancer-free in that moment, so it seemed reasonable to commit.  I gave them my word, received the application, and was accepted as a candidate.

Edit 10/1/17: Actually, here too, is interesting to note that when the competition began, there were 12 of us.  By the time we got the the only conflicting pageant, time-wise, we had dropped to 10… and after the pageant owner sent out a couple all-caps notices, yelling at the ladies who were participating in another contest (because we had signed a “contract” to not compete in another ‘like’ competition during Miss COC) we dropped down to 7.  So we were a little more than half of what we had started with, but remember, I was required to commit through til the end before I would even be GIVEN an application.

Fast-forward to the “official headshot” experience.  This whole situation is particularly irksome for me, and features several shady things that I’m just not particularly fond of.

First of all, the notecard that we received about how to schedule an appointment with the photographer of our “official headshot” was a template notecard that this photographer uses for MAGAZINE shoots.  So there were certain elements of the notecard that didn’t make sense, but of course I hadn’t gotten the chance to ask the Photographer’s assistant about it, nor the contact for the pageant.  It remained on my to-do list, and I figured I’d have time to get my questions answered after the first runway challenge.

I show up for the first runway challenge and immediately I’m IMed by the pageant contact to speak with the photographer’s assistant “now” about scheduling a headshot appointment.  I do as I’m told and I’m immediately told we’d schedule it after the challenge was over.  Seemed reasonable, and I was a little confused why I was being told “now” in the first place, when I should’ve been able to focus on the upcoming challenge, but nevertheless, I hushed.

Now, this part is entirely my fault, but it only becomes relevant later.  I was so nervous for the first challenge… I hadn’t really been on a runway since around this time last year, so I’m freaking out, nervous about screwing it up, etc etc… you know, typical nerves when something means something to you… so I didn’t really pay attention to the script in local chat that first challenge, including the list of who was judging us.  Again, this becomes relevant later.

After the challenge, I schedule my appointment for that following Sunday at noon SLT.  I ask specifically if noon SLT works, that’s the only time that’s discussed, the assistant says sure that they would write it on the schedule, I said fabulous, and I was reminded to IM the photographer 30 minutes before the appointment to show that I’m ready.

Fast-forward to the day of the shoot, I IM at 11:30am SLT (technically 11:31), letting them know I was IMing 30 minutes early as instructed, and what am I met with?  Not a hello… not a “There must have been a scheduling issue…” nothing even remotely polite… instead, I’m met with:

[2017/09/03 11:31:19] ********: Actually I’m showing you are and hour and half late.

So I figure there’s a misunderstanding… so I copy paste the contents of my confirmation notecard, indicating the noon SLT appointment time, etc… figuring that would cause the photographer to pause and look at their schedule, their IMs with their assistant, something.  Instead, I get a gyazo of a schedule spreadsheet.

Now, keep in mind: 1.) This spreadsheet is not accessible by any of us that have an appointment, so it’s not like I could have looked and seen that the time was listed incorrectly, 2.) I was listed on that schedule as being at 10am SLT, 10:30 was blank, someone else was at 11, 11:30 was blank, and then 12pm SLT was written “not available”.  Because I’m not dumb and I’m still trying to give this person the benefit of the doubt, I go to look at every other Sunday visible on that schedule, to see if perhaps every Sunday at 12noon SLT is ‘not available’ and it really was just an innocent mistake.  Not only is that the only Sunday where 12noon SLT is not available, it’s the ONLY time slot on the ENTIRE schedule that is listed as ‘not available’, and it’s only that half hour block… The screenshot also didn’t feature the top of the sheet, where one could see if it had been edited recently, and by whom.  So the whole thing was incredibly shady.

I re-iterate that everything I received said 12noon SLT, and it was the time that was agreed upon by myself and the assistant.  It was also the only time I had proposed, so it’s not like there was the ability to be confused by discussing multiple times and writing down the incorrect one.  I get a very smart-assed “Well let’s see if you’re ready” and they try to TP me, a half hour early.  Meanwhile, I had just crashed because my home sim restarts every morning and I’d only just logged back in, so I was putting myself back together.  Which I informed them.

[2017/09/03 11:33:33] Dᴇɪᴀɴɪʀᴀ Asʜʙᴏᴜʀɴᴇ (Tiviyah): I had just recently crashed and everything reverted back to whatever I was wearing last night, so I’m putting myself back together, since my appointment isn’t for 30 minutes. 🙂

Was I snarky?  Sure, I’ll admit that.  But I was also kinda deflecting the rudeness I was being met with and trying really hard not to be angry or upset about it, so I definitely hid behind my own inner-snark.  But, again, rather than checking to see if there was an issue on their end, I am once more met with:

[2017/09/03 11:33:56] ********: Again you are an hour and half late, if you need to reschedule that is fine.

There isn’t a question at this point if I’m late or if there’s a problem on their end… it’s just assumed that 1.) I’m late, 2.) I’m wrong when I say that this was the time I scheduled, and 3.) I’m lying when I say that I am under the impression my scheduled appointment was at 12noon SLT.  So, to recap, it’s been insinuated at this point that I am late, wrong, and a liar… oh, and that the photographer has now begun to suggest they won’t do the photo at all, since I’m so late.

I’m finally fed up with the attitude at this point and so I show a screenshot of the conversation I had with the assistant, scheduling the appointment for 12noon SLT.  The photographer is quiet for almost 5 whole minutes, and then says they see where the breakdown in communication was:

[2017/09/03 11:39:54] ********: I see where the breakdown in communication was, it was between you and ******.

So now they have seen the issue, but they are still blaming myself and now the assistant, even going so far as to now attempt to be fake-polite and ‘apologize’ for the assistant’s misunderstanding.  No apology for the photographer’s rudeness or the treatment I’ve received just far… just for the assistant’s supposed misunderstanding.

Finally when I’m teleported, the photographer spends a whole 3 1/2 minutes on my photo.  From the time I teleport there and sit on the assigned pose stand until the time they tell me they have the photo, was 3 1/2 minutes.  I leave, immediately notecard the conversation and how I was treated, and forward that to the pageant staff… because surely they would want to know if one of their candidates was being treated unprofessionally by someone who has been hired (I assume hired?  Which is a whole other issue with something else I’m about to delve into…) to take photos… I got a generic “I’m sorry you went through that, I’ll talk to the owner”.  And then nothing.

Edit 10/01/17: It seems the photographer has chosen to name themselves, and post their own blog post with the entire conversation exchange, which I’m fine with… given that I responded in kind to the rudeness I received, so it’s not like I have anything to hide.  Lol.  I still won’t post their name here, because that’s the person that I am and how I operate here.

However, they did bring up something that I forgot to mention here that I *did* want to address.

The whole reason that I found out that the photo had been done incorrectly – likely having to do with the whopping 3 1/2 minutes they photographer spent on it in that moment – is because the assistant contacted me later, apologizing as if it was their fault – when it wasn’t, the assistant wasn’t rude to me… and if they made a simple mistake, whatever, they’re human… I wasn’t upset with them at all – and telling me to let them know what time on a weekend I could re-shoot, as though assuming I could just drop everything else that had been meticulously planned out in my weekends to re-shoot something that never would have been screwed up in the first place had the photographer not been rude and unprofessional, and had they paid more attention to their own schedule.  So it’s not that I “refused” as the photographer put on their own blog.  It’s that I notecarded the assistant back and said that I did not have any free time on any weekends between then and the end of the pageant – though after stating that I didn’t have any available time during the weekends until the end of COC, I did state that I ALSO, you know “in addition to”, was not comfortable working with him again.

Believe it or not, I did more during the pageant than just the pageant itself.  I’m gearing up for POE’s 10th year, I was working on a large-scale fundraiser, I’m a dancer in Gor still and I was scheduled to dance literally every weekend except the weekend of the 16th of September, during which I had other things planned, and the weekend of the finale between the time of the first shoot and next weekend, on top of photographing dancers and judges for a larger dance event to take place in October and chasing down the people involved… so no, I couldn’t just drop everything on my calendar and re-shoot something that, frankly, wasn’t that complicated to do correctly the first time if you’re going to be professional about it.

So, as I state later in this blog, no, this person still didn’t have any place to speak from when it came to asking me the question they did about dealing professionally with people you don’t particularly like.  The photographer was entirely unprofessional in that situation, and I dealt with them in the way that such rudeness warranted being dealt with, and in fact was much kinder than I could have been, despite the snarkiness beginning to come out once I got fed up with how I was being treated.  The full notecard I sent to the assistant in reply to their request for me to reschedule another shoot:

“I’m not upset with you at all. Miscommunications happen, and if there was a breakdown in communication between the two of you that’s fine.. you’re human. It happens.

What I didn’t appreciate was the way [they] treated me from the very beginning. I messaged [them] 30 minutes early and [they] immediately started in on how I was an hour and a half late. Any time I showed [them] something I had that said noon SLT, rather than looking further, [they] just pursued me with rudeness until [they] actually TOOK the time to see what had happened.

That is not the kind of situation I feel comfortable to work within again. [They] took a grand total of 3 1/2 minutes to shoot the photo, so if [they] couldn’t take the extra time to double check what [they were] shooting and that [they were] shooting it correctly, then that is on [them], not on me.

I don’t have times that I’m available on the weekends until after the competition ends. Between my own photo appointments with commissions I have to get done, and the other projects that I’m doing, plus the competition itself, my weekends are full-up. That was the time that I had, and it was up to [them] to do what [they were] supposed to/needed to do.

That said, I’m also not comfortable working with [them] again. I don’t really stand for being verbally assaulted by a photographer for a misunderstanding that happens between [them] and the person scheduling [their] photos – that has nothing to do with me.”

It should also be noted here I received no reply to this notecard from the photographer or the assistant, nor a follow-up from the pageant contact nor any member of the pageant staff regarding how I had been treated.

So color me surprised when the second runway challenge, I’m actually paying attention to more than just our cues, and I see that this photographer is one of the JUDGES.  I guess at this point, I can hope that they were not paid for their photography work, because then you’ve got a paid member of the staff who is judging the candidates, and that screams shady all around.  But it gets better…

Fast-forward to the Live Interview and this particular judge asks me a question about maintaining professionalism when working with people you don’t particularly like.  Excuse me?  Of all the people to ask that question, this was the last person who had any room to talk with how they treated me… I was *livid*… but I did my damnedest to mask that particular emotion while provided as professional an answer as I could.  While making it very clear in no uncertain terms that the pageant staff had been made aware of the situation that had happened… of course, not that they cared at this point because that was a – I’m assuming – hired member of their staff, as well as a judge.  So apparently that gave them rights to treat the candidates however they damn well pleased.

Not to mention that 3 1/2 minutes that they spent taking my photo?  Apparently they assumed I was getting a photo done for another one of the projects they were working on with an agency that I have never worked for, ever… despite my name being labeled with “COC” on that schedule screenshot they had showed me the gyazo of.  Maybe if they’d spent more than 3 1/2 minutes on the photo, they would have shot the correct photo, rather than being entirely unprofessional in attitude and work performed?

Ok… so… remember my being pressured at the very beginning to commit “til the end” of the competition, despite no one knowing how RL will end up at any given moment?  By this point in the competition, my cousin has died of the family’s neurodegenerative disease… and my sister’s father-in-law has killed himself.  But I’m still trucking along… continuing to push my grief further down and refusing to deal with it so that I can focus on the pageant requirements and just try to get through it.  After all, I had given my word that I would do so until the end.  Because, you know, RL is no longer a viable excuse… except, apparently, when it’s someone else…

Now, at this point, we’re at the second to last live runway challenge… where we were to style Bugs around the world… yeah, I know.  It was a huge source of anxiety for me…  but whatever, I did what I was told to the best of my ability in that one.  One of the candidates just… didn’t show up to the challenge.  Apparently they were at the rehearsal the day before, but just weren’t at the challenge.  I’m sorry, but at this point, in a world where I was required to make a commitment to be there until the end before I was even allowed to APPLY for a space in Colour of Couture, nothing short of “I was in the hospital” or “I didn’t have power” would be an acceptable excuse for missing a runway challenge.  However, apparently, not only was this person kept in the competition after missing a challenge, they also placed in the Top 3, ahead of those of us who were there and committed each week.

Committed each week, to the point of my missing my cousin’s Celebration of Life back in my home state this weekend, because of the finale.  Now, to be fair, that was ultimately my choice that I made, and I could have very well have told them to go fuck themselves and that my family came first… and in hindsight, I probably should have… however, the guilt in the pit of my stomach that I would have felt at not keeping my word… despite how unrealistic it was for them to expect me to give my word at that point in time… I wouldn’t have been able to deal with it.  So, instead, I stayed here and stuck it out, and missed that time with my family to remember my cousin in happier times, rather than in the ill, vegetable-like state that he was in when he died.

But who knows… maybe if I had missed the finale, I would have placed better… because we’ve seen that missing a challenge doesn’t disqualify you, nor does it impact your score heavily enough to keep you from placing above those who were actually dedicated to the process.

A small thing that happened during the finale, but was still slightly irritating when thought about compounding on top of everything else… was that during the first walk of the finale while we were waiting in our assigned spots for our turn to go up front and pose, I was IMed by the person managing the backstage to ask if I was ready.  I had been watching local chat as well as our cues and I had not been addressed in our VPC chat.  I figured perhaps the IM was this person’s way of asking if we were ready, so I responded with “Yes,” and then I just get told:

[12:22:40] ***** *******: Watch the chat please

If I had been asked if I was ready in the VPC chat, I would have answered in the VPC chat.  So I suppose I can definitely understand where Miss Colour of Couture 2015 might have felt like she was being talked to like she was an idiot, if this was similar treatment that she received.  Oh, wait… you didn’t know about that?

The icing on the cake, however, was Miss Colour of Couture 2015 speaking out about how she was treated today at the finale, and how she was essentially forgotten for the 2 years of her “reign” as Miss CoC, and what was asked of her when she brought up her hurt feelings that she was forgotten by the organization?  “Well what did you do for the organization?”  No validation of her feelings, no attempting to understand where she was coming from… just accusations that she was just trying to create drama… accusations that she did absolutely nothing over her 2 years’ reign… accusations against other past-winners that they did nothing for the organization, despite that being a blatant lie about at least one of the women in question… and a lot of all-caps yelling about crown chasers, cleaning ‘your own dirt’, and people ‘starting this crap after the fact’ when they don’t ‘get what they want’.

Anyway… did this post slightly become more salty as it went on?  Yeah, it sure did.  It also became super long-winded… But honestly?  I’m just over the mistreatment that happened from start to finish.

So… I’m fully prepared to be called a crown-chaser, because I didn’t kiss-ass of people who allowed me to be treated poorly and then treated me poorly themselves.  I’m just over it.

Shape || Mine
Head || Chloe Bento Head (v3.0) | Lelutka
* Skin || Aurora (T3; Shell) | Lumae
Eyes || Hurt Eyes | Izzie’s
* Hair || Ophelia (Redheads) | Truth Hair | Salem (opens 10/1) | new!
* Dress || Raylin Mesh Wrap Dress | Rebel Hope | recent!
Heels || Luxe’D Villenti Heels | REIGN
Collar || Inked Collar | RealEvil Industries

Pose (full) || Tentative | Del May Poses
Pose (close up) || Tilt | Del May Poses

Location || Home

Blogging Tune || “Tell the Truth” – Jussie Smollett (Empire)

One thought on “Confession .134. Tell The Truth…

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