Starting the run for the roses
Many Rose Court hopefuls answer the call, but few will be chosen.
After participating in the Rose Queen & Royal Court Tryouts, the young ladies get a tour of the Tournament House in Pasadena on Saturday. More than 1,000 young women and a few young men were expected to show up for this years tryouts. After a month-long process, seven finalists will be named to the 2013 Royal Court. (Raul Roa / Staff Photographer / September 15, 2012)
An hour before auditions were to begin, a line of excited girls wearing brightly colored summer dresses extended down the street.
Just seven of the young women hoping to snag a much-coveted spot will be chosen to reign over the 124th Rose Parade on Jan. 1. The queen and princesses also remain ambassadors of the Tournament of Roses for the year and will attend numerous events.
“To try out for the Tournament of Roses is really a tradition here in Pasadena, and so it's very exciting for the young ladies,” said Tournament Director and Committee Chair Joan Madsen.
She anticipated between 900 and 1,000 students would show up. “We are looking for poise, personality and enthusiasm.”
To be eligible, candidates must be at least 17 years old by Dec. 31 and not older than 21 before Jan. 5, 2013. They must also be seniors in high school or enrolled as full-time students in an accredited school or college in the trustee areas of the Pasadena Area Community College District.
That includes schools in Pasadena, Sierra Madre, Arcadia, La Cañada Flintridge, San Gabriel, Rosemead, San Marino, South Pasadena and Temple City.
Meghan, 17, who attends Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, said she's seen many Rose Court members picked from her school, including current Rose Queen Drew Washington. “I would love to try out and see if I can represent Pasadena, because it's been home to me my whole life. I just want a way to give back,” she said.
Until a final selection is made, only by the first names of the candidates are revealed.
Danielle Vine, a Rose princess from 2007, was on site to give instructions and advise the nervous girls to “relax and take a deep breath.” Girls then lined up on a red carpet to stand before a panel of 10 judges and deliver a 15-second spiel.
After her audition, 17-year-old Arcadia High School student Anna said the experience was nerve-racking, but a lot of fun. “I'm excited to take the preparation and learning and hopefully channel it into future job and college interviews,” she said.
Olivia, from Flintridge Preparatory School, said she had a speech planned, but scrapped it when she got in front of the judges. Instead, she explained how she'd spent two hours role-playing the audition with her dad. “And I told them I normally don't spend time with my dad, so this experience is already bringing out so much.”
Saturday's marathon audition session, held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., was just the beginning of tryouts. More auditions will be held for two hours Monday, and the month-long process will end on Oct. 8 and Oct. 16 when the Royal Court and Rose Queen will be announced.