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Stage Direction
Running for Miss USA has its benefits
By Nicholas Gosling '06

This spring, Krystal Barry '07 had yet one more thing to juggle. Her normal schedule, which includes studying theater at UNH, working part time as a cashier at Shaw's, and helping out at her family's farm in Belmont, N.H., keeps her pretty busy. But in April, she also traveled to Baltimore to represent New Hampshire in the 2006 Miss USA competition.

The six-foot-tall Barry won the 2006 Miss New Hampshire USA title last October, competing against 42 other contestants. So how did a farm girl from New Hampshire begin competing in beauty pageants? Her grandmother convinced her to try the Miss Teen All American pageant when she was a senior in high school. "I was kind of thrown into it," says Barry. "But I had fun with it."

Although she didn't win in Baltimore, pageants in general give her a chance to work on her stage presence, she says, a plus for a theater major with an emphasis in dance and musical theater.

Barry is coached primarily by her mother, who helps her pick dresses, find the right hairstyles and accessories and perfect her stage walk (which should be "fluid and gently flowing," says Barry). Planning ahead, Barry is hoping for a career acting on Broadway or dancing with the Rockettes, although she's a little over the height limit of 5'10". But there are already several six-foot-tall dancers in the New York troupe, says Barry. And height hasn't stopped her yet.

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