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Hey y’all, what’s up? Welcome back to Black Hair in the Big Leagues! 🌟 In this video, join your host Salisha Thomas as she sits down with the phenomenal Holli Conway, returning to Broadway in Lempicka! 🎭 Ever wonder what it takes to shine on the big stage in New York City?.. Read More

42 mins
May 16

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Hey y’all, what’s up? Welcome back to Black Hair in the Big Leagues! 🌟 In this video, join your host Salisha Thomas as she sits down with the phenomenal Holli Conway, returning to Broadway in Lempicka! 🎭 Ever wonder what it takes to shine on the big stage in New York City? Holli shares her inspiring journey from Miss Louisiana to Broadway star, her experiences in the original Broadway cast of Lempicka, and the magic of recording her first cast album.

We dive deep into her groundbreaking moments, including her natural hair journey and the impact of her pageant days on her Broadway career. Plus, get an inside look at the vibrant, family-like atmosphere at Lempicka, and hear about her upcoming rehearsals for Rafaela. Trust us, you don’t want to miss this candid and heartfelt conversation!

Hit subscribe and come on the ride! Whether you're a Broadway enthusiast or just love a good success story, this one's for you! 🎉✨

#NaturalHairProducts #PageantPreparation #MissLouisiana #PageantBoard #NorthwesternStateUniversity

CHAPTERS:

0:00 - Intro

1:30 - How is Holly doing

6:55 - Holly is a Pageant Girl

11:59 - Holly’s Natural Hair Journey

18:01 - The Power of Representation

21:37 - Miss America Docuseries

27:17 - Transitioning to Natural Hair

32:19 - Where Does Your Confidence Come From

38:57 - What Did You Do with All Your Miss Louisiana Stuff

40:13 - Holly Conway - Outro

Transcript

hello what's up welcome or welcome back to black hair in the big leagues I'm your host Salisha Thomas Weiss I was just having this conversation with my guest today what is our freaking name she is also a newly wed so we're GNA have to get into it with her all right let me let's welcome her OBC Tina you know the Tina Turner musical let's go made history as the first black woman to play Katherine Howard that's the sexy one in six the Musical on Broadway and now OBC that's original Broadway cast ladies and gentlemen in limpa on Broadway let's take it back let's take it back Miss Louisiana and second runner up to Miss America which I watched that year and I that year actually changed me and how I look at natural hair on a pageant stage um and we will get into that as well inspirational okay she also has a coaching business called coached by Conway Northwestern State University Alum and a beacon of light hope and inspiration she is Beauty and she's Grace please help me welcome Holly Conway oh my gosh that was the best introduction ever I just love that you watch Miss America that year I did I did I we have to unpack it yes we do need to unpack it and at first I just want to say thank you for coming on here because I know um you're in the middle of you just opened Lempicka yeah last week how you do feels like last month but last week exactly how are we how is your heart how's your mind how's your schedule I'm doing good my schedule is still a little crazy because yesterday we recorded the cast album so how was it how is it that was so fun I didn't do one with Tina which I never forgave them for uh but they did on the west end for Tina so this was my first ever cast album and it was so cool I had so much fun it was on my day off but you know Broadway good things are I I want to say they're slowing down but now I start rehearsals for Rafaela because I understudy amber Iman in the show oh my God yeah so we're starting rehearsals for that this week um but I'm doing good I love the show and that always helps and we like I I know you're you're being optimistic here your schedule is slowing down no it's not because Tony stuff is about to happen and then that's all bets are off until until June until and until June yes Tony's are like a week later two weeks later than it usually is so that's like an yeah I think so but at least we have like a really cool venue this year which is I think it's that Lincoln Center if I'm not mistaken I'd have to check Instagram to be sure I no I think it is Lincoln Center you want that you like that better than Radio City no not Radio City uh wherever it was last year do you remember last year it was like Uptown it was Uptown somewhere I didn't even go 175th probably yes I just heard it was tight I heard it was a little small okay I didn't see with my own eyes I just went to After parties why are good for you why are we why is Broadway playing games like it I feel like City or bus like you know she's trying to get her footing since Co she's kind of like all right let me get back into let me see what we got going on here how has the vibe been at lmpa unlike anything I've ever experienced um everybody is just I'm just having a great time but this is the most I felt like a family with everyone involved in the production sometimes it tends to be like the company like the cast we all together and then the creative team has their thing and all of this but I've been very close with the creative team throughout this process even Eden has been very accessible like normally tensions are just so high because it's Broadway and it's OBC and people want Tony and people want this but I think for Matt and Carson our composer and our book writer it's first of all it's their Broadway debuts and they won't they will never let us forget it they talk about it all like it's my Broadway debut like they're feeling the way I felt when I made my Broadway debut and it's just it just reminds me that everybody is human and we all dream to be doing this and this feels like a passion project even though I wasn't involved before Broadway I can just tell that everyone is doing this because this is art that they love these are songs that they wrote and their happiest times and their saddest times and one of the the day we did our readr at Lempicka Matt gave a very long speech as we the we're very good with speeches at lmpa the musical but I love it much he gave a speech about time and he said you know they started working on LPA 14 years ago and then he went through in his insane stalker way and showed like pictures of what everybody was doing 14 years ago oh my God he's like I couldn't find certain people so he's like I couldn't find you Holly but you were a sophomore in high school this person was doing this this person was doing this wait what and it's just crazy but it was really just to kind of tell us like it's just crazy what happens over time he thought or they both probably thought that they were going to make this show come to Broadway or go wherever they thought it was going to go much sooner or whatever and the journey that it just took to get here like I didn't even think I was going to be on bro I didn't know what Broadway was in sophomore year in high school let alone i'mna be a yeah it's it's really crazy to think that like everything happens in Divine timing and I've never felt more like I was exactly where I'm supposed to be than when I've been in Mica that just gave me chills that's amazing especially since you've been in some pretty amazing rooms and so for you to say that about limpa I'm like okay let me go get my ticket also sidebar Eden Espinosa I've only met her once but she is the one who literally changed my life when I saw her as a 13-year-old watching her on stage at Wicked like that woman right there single-handedly made me feel like oh this is what I want to do this yeah and I mean you'll be happy to know that she's that inspire ing off stage as well like I really really enjoy working with her she's just so kind and so warm no one makes you you know they're not making you feel small Beth level is like the most human person there is it's just really it's a good reminder we don't think that in theater sometimes we get scared of casting directors and creatives and we're all just people just trying to create art and enjoy it and that's all you know listening to you and just like hearing how well spoken you are it it does remind me oh yes does she was Miss Louisiana and second runner up to miss freaking America so like we have in common that we both have done pageants and I think I've seen somewhere online like I used to describe myself as I'm not I'm not a pageant girl I'm just a girl who does pageants that's me I'm not a pant girl I'm pant it's a scholarship competition um how much scholarship money did you rack up rough um roughly I would have to say maybe 48,000 or so listen folks are you listening to this that's a lot not 4 cash that you see a lot different background we'd be on a balcony somewhere but about I I would say probably 48,000 um total that's maybe give a take incredible and I have a lot of questions and I and I want to know like what and you've had a few years stepped away from this pageant scene is that right yeah because you've been doing the Broadway thing right and so um being um a little bit removed from it now what is your takeaway is it positive is it negative uh is it that is it compc it's more complicated I think for a long time it actually was negative for me and I'm just now within the last maybe year and a half two years getting to a point where I remember all of the positive and for a long time the only positive for me was the impact I made on the black community which you did oh my God and that was I mean the reason for me competing that you know and uh but with that came a lot of trauma and came a lot of uh insecurities actually my first time feeling Depression was when I came back from Miss America that was my first time going through a depression and yeah it was a tumultuous and also mind you um anybody doing a pageant it's pageants are difficult like anybody who is a title holder or doing something of that sort it's tough but specifically my year was the year that um The Bullying came out from the board of Miss America yes so I won when caram Mund was going out and so all of the bullying well actually so before her all of the bullying came out from past Miss America emails came out from um the guy who was over at Sam has school talking bad about past Miss America so they let all of them go and then they got a new board which was all women um and that board bullied carand and so I was Miss Louisiana through that and I just remember once the new board took over they kind of changed everything about Miss America so I had already 2.0 year or no 2.0 it was 2.0 yeah it was that year but it wasn't like once they figured it out it was the middle of them figuring it out so I remember uh Miss Louisiana is one of the last pageants I think there's only two after us which means 48 girls or so had already won their title right and I remember I was running literally running three miles which I have not done since but I was running miles honey in the rain I'm not exaggerating your butt was running on stage every night so don't ask running on stage okay I remember I was running in the rain I was wearing a poncho and this article dropped saying that swimsuit has been removed from Miss America and all of my pageant coaches and like my men like all of them calling me and they're like hly did you see this and so from that point on all of us had already won our titles and we go through this process of them completely reframing what Miss America is going to be once we've already been preparing for Miss America so it was a tough we all trauma bonded for sure it was a tough year we found out my cat is breaking stuff we found out that Talent was going to be 50% which was good for you which was good for me because T but no but we found out like three nights before the pageant like we were at a press event at a spa we just had a relaxing day at a spa and then they told us talent's gonna be 50% now and everybody was like what and you were like you can't just something like that Jesus no it was terrible though it was it was um yeah it was a very very hard time um but even beside all of that there were just other things dealing with being um a Beauty Queen a black beauty queen in the South that were just tough and being monitored that way um so yeah I had a hard time but now I've kind of forced myself to remember so much good that it happened that year and what it's done for me and what I've been able to do for people and the person has made me can we talk about you going on stage on the national pageant with your natural curls can we talk about that I so I've never competed in a pageant with anything other than my natural hair Heen oh my God that's amazing and I didn't actually the funny thing is when you do stuff like that that inspires people or um like breaks down barriers typically you're not thinking that you're trying to do that oh I wasn't thinking grounding do you I was you and what was it Miss Colorado Miss Colorado Miss Iowa Miss Massachusetts and Miss Delaware I want you to know that you sent me in a tizzy and I want to get real for a second because I was battling with like can we do that can we do that but but but the rules but but the whites but all other things H like literally I was pacing I was pacing the living room room seeing all the natural hair on stage and by and this this the journey that I as a spectator went on from the beginning of the show to the end of the show was like wait can we do this it what what what are they do what are they doing to wait they are doing this they are showing up they are placing and now this thing that has been kind of maybe Taboo in some people's eyes they're on the Miss America Stage so that now means that that is what beautiful looks like like that is what beautiful is you're saying that it's like so I I mean my first pageant was my junior year in college and I didn't intend to compete a friend asked me to compete with her because it was in my hometown and people had told me I should compete in a pageant I just didn't feel like that was my thing and once I decided to do it I only had a week to get ready so first of all I had never I'd worn a wig or it was a sewi in or something one time when I was going natural terrible stiff didn't know what to do didn't know what I was doing like my mom doesn't know anything about hair weave or anything other than protective styles like braids and so when I was getting ready for the pageant and I was reading up on what the guidelines are and what I mean I literally had no idea other than tyers and hours and misong geniality okay and so literally had to read the packet of like you know they give you the pageant job description it's like seven pages of what you're supposed to be and nowhere in there did it occur to me that I needed to straighten my hair like it didn't cross my mind once that I should have done something else to do to qualify for this and so I just did it and I did it the way I look every day because I assumed that's what I was supposed to do and it wasn't until thank God for my my pageant moms who um I did the same pageant every year I competed at Miss Louisiana because those women were my family and I've lost two of them already um um but they never questioned me they always let me be myself and I never considered competing in anyone else's pageant um because they loved who I was and that was all so yeah so I competed at Miss Louisiana and I it wasn't until I went to the team pageant um you know you go for your meeting and you go watch the teens before you compete and there was a little black girl and I still follow her on Instagram today and I watch her life and she came up to me and she was like I didn't know I could wear my hair curly for a pageant that and I was like I almost cried I was like let me not cry in front of this little girl and I was like why can't you and she was like because all the all the white girls hair is straight and I was like if your hair is Curly and you love it curly wear it curly and that was when I realized that it was a thing it's you know I never thought it was a thing it was a a thing Holly yeah and to me it was just me you know I was like this is just what my hair looks like so that's kind of like the building blocks of greatness like when people are doing great things sometimes they're aware that they're doing great things and other times it's like oh I didn't even consider any other way like this was just what my soul it didn't I didn't even question it which is why it was like that's why you were in that POS it wasn't like this big heavy like do I do this for the blacks do I do this for my people like no you're like nope this well actually it was that was just for my hair so the last time funny story you're going to like enjoy the story is I competed twice at Miss Louisiana my Junior and Senior year of college and I was uh third runner up maybe or third runner up I think the first time and then I was first runner up the second time and I remember big deal well to me at the time so I grew up an athlete I grew up in sports and after doing third runner up at Miss Louisiana I was like well I lost so it was that I didn't want to compete again I was like I lost and then I got my scholarship money and I was like I could come back I can come back I'll come back for a year but after my second year I um I stopped competing and I had no intention of returning because I did not think that a black girl was going to win I had no I was not convinced at all that they were ever going to choose a black woman I was convinced that they were going to have one black woman go far every year to cover their bases which was our case I mean my first year competing was the first time we had more than one black woman in the top 10 and it was the first time we had more than one black woman in the top five and we've always only had one minority judge there's five judges I think for pageants and we've only ever had one minority judge every year and I just remember always talking to a bunch of people who don't look like me and the board doesn't look like me there's no black people involved and they love me but I was pretty much a token and I don't like being a token so I said I'm no thank you um and it had been 18 years yeah it had been 18 years since a black woman had won Miss Louisiana 18 and before her it was 18 before her and that was the first to win so the year after Vanessa Williams a wave of black women started comp um winning pageant after Vanessa Williams won Miss America and our first winner was Nita Whitaker lisy lafontaine's mama oh wait really yeah Lisa I give I be telling all L's business honey I'm telling L's business because we don't talk about it enough her mother was the first black Miss Louisiana oh my gosh I just saw her the other day and got him powdered she's fantastic she's bring it up to her and she's like Holly Holly she was the first black Miss Louisiana and then the second was Faith Jenkins she is um a judge she was the judge on divorce court she had a show called Faith yeah and she lives in La she lives in California um but regardless 18 years in between both of them and I was like I'm I can't I need to work I need to get into I want to do theater I'm not about to play around with these people who are never going to Crown me and then I went back and I watched the page the next year and a black woman who had never made it into top 10 I don't think she ever even made it into top 10 was first run her up and I always was I was always her biggest fan I thought she was so fantastic and I couldn't understand why she never made it far and the story that I told myself which is probably true is that they didn't they just we're not going to push that many black people far at one time and she was we all said those stories to ourselves yeah person W last year yeah it won't be another one this year and so watching her get first one up was first of all long overdue I was like she is extremely talented and second of all I felt like it was only because um there were less black people and so they finally started to see her so I got very frustrated that year when she lost because I felt like she could have won easily but of course you know pad subjective um but I just remember crying crying when they called her for first one to Rob because once again I felt like I failed I felt like there was never going to be a black woman and then I heard God saying to me as I was watching this um you can't cry about it if you can do something about it oh and I still had years of Eligibility and I wanted to see a black woman be Miss Louisiana and I felt like if I wanted it that bad then I needed to do it and I went outside and one of the pageant fans he put Faith Jenkins on the phone he was friends with her and I didn't know her at the time but he was friends with her and I was always a big fan of hers because she's very successful Miss Louisiana um he put her on the phone and he put me on the phone with her and she said Holly I won't force you to do it but if you think you can you should and she gave me encouraging words and I did a pageant that weekend oh my god did a page that next week story and I went away on my Carnival Cruise Lines contract um after I won the local pageant and then I came back from my cruise ship pageant and that was the year I won this Louisiana so I had really quit pageants like I had paid off my student loans from cruise ship money that I had saved up I had went and I got a job I was going to my second job but I decided okay my contract ends in April Miss Louisiana is in June I can do a local now and I can compete in the pageant and if it's for me it's for me and so that's how that went about so it literally was only for black women I love us so much and it's the entire reason competed my last year that is like it just is like the impact that people can have on each other and God's timing yeah how did you watch that um did you watch that if was it on NBC that special doc yeah yeah the one that was like episodes yeah yeah I did watch it I did brief thoughts um I think they missed out I think they missed a lot they didn't say enough uh oh oh okay for those who are listening this documentary people these former Miss Americas which by the way one of them was my wedding planner Carissa Cameron Jackson go I want to meet her you never met her before I know I wanted to meet her too so I hired her I was like yes that's funny her story oh my gosh when she talked about that and it's real oh my gosh she had right talking about like when you get when you it's one thing when you're preparing for the pageant you have your hair the stylus whatever but then you have a whole year of your Reign and as a black woman if they're not used to Black title holders they don't understand a black woman's hair like you got to get your hair done you don't want to be showing up to um uh to appearances not looking like not feeling like you look ready or and having to deal with that on the road having to deal with um hairdressers people on tour have experienced this too our guys on the road like I feel like black guys like they're told to go find a local barber and the at least I mean that's how it was when I was on tour like the white guys got to get their hair cut downstairs and the black guys had to go find a barber in random cities like and black men do not play about their Barbers no they might as well be like finding a father they are not about to just run out into a town and just find somebody to cut their hair like what if you know man you know he is not about to run and let anybody cut their hair hly good night you said he might as well be fighting a father finding a father they don't play about that you just risk it all oh my God okay so you're saying that on the docu series they didn't say enough that is incredible because I I was like biting my nails the whole I was like oh my God M no I learned a lot for sure from the Miss Americas because I was not a Miss America so I didn't know all of the things that went into it but I had an idea you almost America I had an idea and um of how they would like to run the year and I honestly don't think I would have done well as Miss America really under those circumstances I think I would have done well like to with the public I don't think that the board and I I'm pretty strong willed and I think that all of this a lot of the Miss Americas were which is they were but at the time you're so young when you win pageant you might be young but they're hiring these smart well spoken outspoken women what do you expect you can't like yeah Cara like you're about to muzzle us no you literally hired somebody who knows how to talk yeah I think that they didn't I think that they went into a lot of detail about how it is being a Miss America that year but I think on the hair episode they didn't dig deep enough because there's a couple of women that I thought should have been on that episode that weren't they didn't really have anybody from my year up there well there was I actually think she was in it for maybe a second but um there's a girl that was Miss DC her name is Sierra and she was the first person to wear her hair natural ever on a Miss America Stage I know see and I think she may have been on the documentary but I don't really remember so I know she wasn't in there enough um and I think that people from my year definitely should have spoken we had not only did we have a lot of natural hair we had different textures um and I think the texturism of it all could have been a conversation and um I don't think that they spoke enough about 2.0 they kind of tiptoed over Cara's yeah they kind of tiptoed over in it was she no I don't think she was Nia was in it and Nia didn't say much um which Nia was our Miss America that year for the listeners but um no they T they tiptoed over over a lot of things but what she said about the hair is completely right I mean they and I remember looking back at pictures and and like looking at her throughout her year and seeing how her hair would change and like seeing her face because you can tell when a black woman is not pleased with her hair wow and hearing her say that really just broke my heart um wait who is this for Nia sorry I went back to um Carissa oh okay I'm like no Nia always had uh Nia had a look yeah that that's what I thought but yes yeah yeah had a look yeah but caressa um that that broke my heart that year cuz that's real we have events every day we're supposed to have our hair looking cute every day and I used to I remember at Miss America and every time I've competed I had to schedule out my washing Dough because I'mma do I'mma start it on this day and then two days later I'm G touch it up and I'm G sleep with it and stretch it out and then by competition day it may look right or may not depending on humidity It's Tricky wow but I kind of feel like that training is like now you always know what to do with your natural hair in real life but well now it's easier because we have better products but back then I mean even every year it gets better but back then there weren't great products for natural hair and ecost styler just was not doing it the way I needed it to be doing it my hair was crusty not doing it way I need to be doing it so wait have you always worn your hair natural since you were little did you ever have a period of straightening it no I had perm I had a perm I'm from the south I'm from Cajun Country I was born in Lafayette where the Creos live and where the Creos live honey and to be honest let's talk about texturism a little bit um where I'm from if you don't have soft hair you probably getting it permed and even if you do have soft hair you're probably getting it pressed um yeah that's real and my mama didn't know what to do with my little cook aurs she was like your hair's thick like your hair is kinky I don't like I'm you call them cook cook bars girl My Little be bees back here if we don't know I don't even lay my edges because I'm like honey for what they don't say um like my parents didn't KN I have pictures of me at like two three year two three year olds with like crochet braids not the kind that y'all that we doing nowadays like many 4500 braids on my head weighing me down years old I got a perm before I could remember wow and I had no idea what it meant to be natural I didn't know what was growing out of my scalp like when I tell you I had no concept of what would happen if I didn't get a perm once every six weeks wow I just knew that my hair was thck and hard to manage I didn't know that those were curls wow holy yeah no I had no idea and I started going get from there to we natural at Miss am natural YouTube did it for me honey YouTube did it honestly people started going natural I don't know if I had any friends who I knew that were natural growing up I think there was some girls who I just thought had curly hair but I just didn't have curly hair that's just what I thought I was like I just don't have Cur hair thought that's just what I thought and once YouTube really started to get popular and the natural Mo Hair movement came out I started watching videos I was really into girlfriends and so I would always look at Joan's hair but I thought Joan's hair looked like that because she was mixed so like I didn't think that like a girl who was black like you know both my parents black I didn't think that my hair was ever going to do anything like that so YouTube I would watch videos and see Natural Women and I'm like oh my gosh you're telling me if I grow my hair out it's gonna look like that give or take they didn't put a disclaimer didn't talk about the transition they had me thinking I was gonna be looking like um Beyonce's hair video that she just posted um oh I haven't seen it oh go look girl she took her weave out no weave out and showed us her wash process she really she showed us her real hair from what are your thoughts I have not seen it is Instagram yes it's on her Instagram it's healthy as heck it's down to her waist uh it's healthy it's soft and it's soft but she say she Creole so she say she from Louisiana wait to watch this but yeah that's what I thought my hair was going to be giving like I thought it was going to look like Joan but I'm like I really yeah had no idea I started watching YouTube and I decided I was going to go natural I was the first in my family they picked on me they were like what is wrong with you you're crazy blah blah blah blah blah my family still picks on me I'm like I have a whole hair podcast and they're like why are you your hair why you wear your hair like that I'm like really no I looked I looked insane when I was growing my hair out because I didn't know like I never even wore my hair curly I would crimp it for homecoming insane like but Spritz crimp it it's hard it's not moving like no girl I didn't know what I was doing I looked insane and I cut my hair off and I looked like a little boy but I was so happy that's how I felt I was just like oh my God this is me this is literally me in the most natural state and I just fell in love with my natural hair and I didn't flat iron my natural hair until recently when six when we when I left six I had a Bob I had a flat IR Bob and that was the first time I ever straightened my hair natural oh this is why you're so beautiful from the inside out cuz you like seeing yourself in your most natural state and being so accepting and like nurturing and kind to her it's like a lot that's hard for a lot of people Holly it is it's hard for me too but my dad sends me this corny post he sends us inspirational quotes all the time he's a motivational speaker um and it's just this long list of being confident is hard and being insecure is hard and you just have to choose one and it was but it's a long list of them there like being being obese as hard working out as hard pick one and it's when you think about it yeah I mean I have a ton of insecurities and it's so funny because I think most people know me as a very confident person and love me for it but being confident is hard and most of the time I'm inature wait so wait hold up because that was my next question was where does your confidence come from have you always been a confident human that was my next question no it it it comes in waves I mean first of all I'm a I love God and that's my foundation for everything um and so yeah a lot of confidence flows through that and and praying and trusting that whoever I am is on purpose and not an accident and whatever I hate about myself somebody loves about me that that's one thing too that I'm such a Critic I'm a Virgo and I'm hard on myself and I'm a a one on the anagram and all of these things and I'll see a picture that I hate and there's three people who are like oh my gosh this is my favorite picture of you ever and so I have to remind myself that there are things that I love about a person that people would pay I tell my friend she hates her hips and I'm like do you know how much people pay for those hips oh like and and so I just think about like the things that I'm most insecure about somebody loves it and I you know yeah so that's kind of what goes through my head most days I mean honestly that is um that gives hope because I I do feel that as well and hearing you like spell it out is very is very like it gives it's inspirational and it does give hope and you know you are recently married is that right and so yes there is somebody who loves all your flaws I definitely bug this [ __ ] out of my husband how long have you been married two years almost three well three in December not almost but two years it still feels new good good it still feels new but I love being married I love my little husband well big husband he's a large man I love my little husband and I love being married and we have a crazy life and I'm obsessed with it and what are you gonna do about your name because I'm trying to figure out my life Holly like am I selicia Thomas that's my stage name that's all my stuff is Thomas but I got Weiss up on this Zoom I saw I saw that it's hard I really don't know at this point I kind of tell people to call me whatever I mean everybody knows me as Holly Conway for the most part and people who know Benjamin um call me me holly comboy Fields because they love Benjamin everybody likes him way more he's like very likable he's a very lovable person so they always say his last name because they love him so much but um I don't know I an identity crisis and you probably you'll probably understand too because I kept my last name still I hyphenated and my sister my big sister she said by Conway and took her husband's last name and I still I didn't feel like it was going to be that hard to change my name but I remember in the courthouse I was like do I anyone an identity crisis it is an identity crisis it's like people have known you as this person for so long and now it's like are you erasing part of you am I erasing my father's name I love my Dad I'm like so I'm like that's why I moved into my middle name I wasn't ready to like go yet exactly my mom did that and I didn't know I didn't know for most of my life that she did that that her ma name is her middle name is her second middle name see I'm like I kind of love that but I'm like I don't think I'm a three name person that is the thing I'm like celicia Thomas wise just took me 10 freaking minutes to say that it sounds long that's the thing I struggle with right now I'm kind of publicly going by Holly Conway and then like all my costumes are labeled Conway fields and like my paperwork is Conway Fields okay so like I have that to myself and then Holly Conway is still my public name um but it is hard and my dad didn't have any sons and so I was really attached to and I'm kind of his namesake his name is Hollis Conway and I'm Holly Conway oh so I'm I feel like I'm the Junior and I really don't want to give up my name but my husband is so he was so he wanted me to hyphenate like his he he didn't even put me through the change your name he was like no I know how you feel about it and also you've done things already with that name right think it be a different thing we hadn't worked so much already you know that okay I'm like literally going through the last bit of paperwork and it's such like who am I but it's hard EXC me oh my God yeah but we can be both people we can be whoever we want to can be whoever want we're all we're all of those things we're all of those people and I feel so much like I'm an extension of my husband and I also feel like I'm a whole person and I also feel like and I don't feel bad about I think think it you kind of it kind of gets a bad rap especially for Independent Women um feeling like a part of your husband I guess I don't know how to explain that I do know exactly what you're talking in that ownership of putting his last name on me because I just I love the person that he is and I love to have that like tag on my name like I'm always my wedding ring I just love repping him and yeah but I also love repping Holly Conway because Holly Conway was Miss Louisiana not Holly Conway fields exct ex exactly Holly conways up on Broadway she made her Broadway debut back back with you know like yes and he respects that he's a businessman too so he like he totally respects that okay Holly I am enamored with you you are so you are so beautiful on the inside the outside you are so confident and it is so wonderful to watch your journey even before knowing you before knowing that I would know you it has you are truly an inspiration and I am so excited for your journey I cannot wait to come see limpa I want to see Amber and I want to see you as Rafael let me know as soon as you come yeah oh I will I will and oh oh yeah one last question um full two questions your Instagram is welcome to H wait Welcome to Hollywood yes welcome toore Hollywood that's so cute I love I did it in college when Instagram first came out and now I'm like I need to change it but I think you should somebody took Holly Conway for some reason Holly with an i who has that but good night yeah so she's been welcome to Hollywood for a while now I think Welcome to Hollywood is like branding and and it's fun and it's so like it doesn't take itself too seriously yeah it's so like I love it thank you thank you for affirming that Ed I love it I really love it so and then also I have to ask what did you do with all your gowns um I have some in my closet right now I have some at home in Lafayette I think I don't know what my mom does with them I think she may put them in storage um my Miss America gown is in a box because it's too heavy to hang up that that very heavy gown but I think I sold some of them too like before my last year competing at Miss Louisiana I never spent money like I wasn't it didn't make sense to me to spend money on a pageant that I'm trying to win money at so I was buying cheat my gowns were giving $200 they were giving clearance honey God God has it God has this you're like put away they were so cheap it's literally incredible and insane like people spend a lot of money on you're like a lot of money and I spent I spent money my last year but that was the only year that I had a job and I saved to spend money and I only spent money on my evening gown my talent gown was still only $200 $200 $300 oh my gosh no I'm not about that well folks you you heard it here first people who put their dreams out there in the universe listen she said she want to be a Broadway star Hy go catch her live in Time Square on Broadway Luma on Broadway right now Holly Conway thank you for coming by black hair in the big thank you

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