Gloria Sophia Almonte is entering in the pageant called Miss Latina USA, it's held in Barcelo Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Girls from all over the United States that are of Latin decent will compete for the USA title to represent at the Miss Latina International pageant. Gloria has previously competed in Miss Teen USA 2001 representing New York and Miss USA 2007 representing New York. The Miss Latina USA pageant is running from May 25th - 30th. You can watch the pageant online here: http://www.xtremovision.com/
What did you dream of being when you were a kid?
I always dreamt of being famous. I love watching tv. At the age of 2 my mother told me I started banging on the tv set saying "me do that, me do that" She knew it was my way of telling her I wanted to do that, meaning I wanted to be acting. She waited until I was old enough to ask her to enroll me in classes. I've attended performing arts school in which I majored in acting since the age of 5.
What are you doing now in your life?
I'm currently working part time as a hostess at a restaurant in NYC while attending acting classes, auditions and participating in fashion shows. I'm also a part of a non profit organization called Queen For A Day where I visit sick girls in hospitals and spend time with them. More info on this can be found on www.qfad.org
What has been the best advice given to you to about surviving the pagent industry?
To always be myself, expect and the unexpected and enjoy every moment and make friends. We all want to win but at the end of the competition we all know there is only 1 winner. The title and crown lasts just 1 year but the friendship lasts a lifetime. Some of my best friends are girls I've met nearly 10 years ago at my first pageant (Miss Teen USA 2001) Ashley Hanson, Miss Iowa Teen USA from that year is my current hair and make-up artist. She has even traveled all the way to Puerto Rico when I lived out there in 2008 and was filming a reality tv show.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
From my mother. As a single parent she sacrificed everything and anything to give me what I wanted and have me experience everything she wasn't able to. She never forced me to do the things I do, she just always supported me and made sure that whatever I did, I did 110%
Describe your style to us?
My style in clothing? I'm a jeans and t-shirt girl for sure. At work, I have to be in a dress and heels. To club it up or a night out with the girls I'm in heels, tights, a nice top, but most of the time skinny jeans and a jacket. Whatever I'm wearing the shoes and top are always, always BLACK!
Describe your clothing outfit when you go out?
Jeans, cons/vans, a band t-shirt or t-shirt with a funny saying, my current favorite is one that says "Dear Boys, I hate you all, Love Me :)" It really does depend on where I'm going, the occasion and who I'm with.
What item of clothing would you like to see brought back?
This is a tough one. I'm not one to follow trends or want to see some of them come back.
Who is a person that has been an inspiration to you?
I have many different people who inspire me for many different reasons. Of course my mother for always being there for me and letting me know that in order to achieve success I not only have to work hard but stay positive and believe that I will. Rita Moreno, my idol. She's the only artist and also a Puerto Rican woman to have won every major award possible. The Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy. Christina Aguilera for always re-inventing herself and not being afraid to speak her mind. She once said "Everyone has their own opinion of what a role model should be, and if we all try to live up to it, we would fail" I would never want someone to look at me and blame me for their childs mistakes or bad behavior because of what I wear, what I said or did. It's not my job to raise your kids. I just want people to look at me and enjoy what I do, be entertained and be inspired to just go out and pursue their dreams as well.
Who is the ultimate Spader to you?
Right now, I definitely have to say those boys of 2AM Club. I've never met such talented, hard working, driven, down to earth, fun guys. They walk into a room or perform on stage, you just can't take your eyes off them. They don't need to demand attention, their charisma is just something that draws people to them. Thier on their grind everyday to be better at everything.
GLORIA SOPHIA ALMONTE