Stage fright from youth didn’t return
By Barbie Porter
When Annalynn Wallin was about 5 years old, she had visions of crowns dancing in her head. There was one big obstacle that stood in her way. She was extremely shy; she just didn’t realize it until she stepped on to the stage.
The daughter of Sarah and Jeremiah Prellwitz recalled joining the junior princess pageant during Turkey Days. While excited about the kids-only event the night before, as soon as she took the stage butterflies rose in her stomach. She became stiff as a board while looking at all the eyes upon her in the audience.
“It didn’t go well,” she said.
In time those nervous butterflies disappeared and Wallin grew confident in front of people. No doubt, the many years performing in dance provided some antidote for that fear. Even with gained self-confidence, Wallin said the thought of running for the pageant didn’t come to her until a friend called her mother, and suggested that she enter the pageant.
Other than her experience in the junior pageant, Wallin said she’s been to one other pageant, but as a spectator. However, she thought the idea sounded fun and decided to give the pageant world another try.
After joining, the big night was quickly approaching. Figuring out a social impact statement came easy for the 14-year-old freshman at Frazee High School. She shared that throughout life she noticed moments where people are not treated equally. Instead, they are categorized and often given limitations within those categories, or defined with preconceived notion. She thought, if she were to win the crown, encouraging equality would be time well spent. She hopes to make more people aware of situations where equality is stripped away, and provide tools on how to address those moments without stepping on a soap box.
With the social impact statement ready to go, Wallin had a more complicated issue to consider—her wardrobe. Because she didn’t sign up for the pageant until a few weeks before the event, and her family was taking a trip the week before the pageant, that meant she had very limited time to put together outfits. Luckily, when word got out that she was running for Miss Frazee’s Outstanding Teen, friends, family and others generously offered clothing donations or to borrow a show-stopping dress, shoes and accents.
When the pageant came, Wallin did not freeze when answering on-stage questions. She was able to share her talent without hesitation and the only part that seemed to trip her up was when they announced she had won the title of Miss Frazee’s Outstanding Teen.
“I was very surprised,” she said. “I started clapping because I thought someone else got it.”
As she looks forward to a year of community involvement and being part of events for the city and neighboring towns, Wallin is thankful she joined the pageant, and it has little to do with winning. She said the experience was a great deal of fun, created new friendships and added excitement to the Turkey Days celebration.