It isn't everyday that a teen from Chesterfield is "MADE" into a beauty pageant queen on a MTV reality show. But that's exactly what happened over the summer to Parkway Central High School senior, Angie Tozer.
"Initially, I auditioned for (the MTV series) ‘MADE' with the help of my friends, just to see what would happen with it," Angie said. "It seemed like a funny and risky thing to do, and little did I know how far this whole thing would come. It was possibly the best unintentional decision."
After sending in an audition tape, Angie was shocked to find herself cast in the show. Angie's "MADE" coach, Jason Wimberly, whom she described as "sparkly" when her episode aired Dec. 3, showed up unexpectedly at her home to push her toward her beauty pageant queen dream. The pair became so close during the process that they even have talked about meeting up during spring break.
"Overall Jason served as not only a mentor throughout the process, but more as a best friend...we both learned so much from each other," Angie said.
Miss Missouri 2009, Tara Osseck, also assisted in mentoring Angie for her runway debut. Osseck helped prepare Angie for her pageant walk and for her pageant platform.
"Just like Jason, it's awesome to grow so close with people for odd reasons, and it's even cooler knowing that Tara lives in St. Louis and is so close," Angie said.
The MTV camera crews followed Angie around for seven and a half weeks, up to 15 hours a day, filming a total of over 150 hours during the summer.
"Although it was intense having a camera up in your face everyday, and having to always have the mindset that what you say might be shown to the world at some point in time, being behind the camera became natural," Angie explained. "It's weird not having to worry about leaving my microphone on while going to the bathroom, and being filmed walking in and out of every place I go. I kind of miss that.
The 150 hours helped Angie transform from the girl nicknamed "Mangie," who lacked self-esteem and described herself as "sloppy, careless and a hot mess," to fourth runner up, Miss Congeniality and best talent (stand-up comedy) in her pageant debut.
"Honestly, it was nothing like I thought it was going to be," Angie continued. "It was better. It [the day of the pageant] was by far one of the best days of my life, and I'd do anything to go back. The girls, the dresses, the butterflies in my stomach, the audience, it was unreal."
While the day of the pageant was a highlight for Angie, it was her heartfelt pageant platform that brought tears and inspiration to viewers. Angie was finally able to discuss her father's death, which occurred when she was in fifth grade. Prior to "MADE," the topic typically gave her uncomfortable giggles, but through her TV transformation she was able to let herself cry, something family and friends rarely saw her do.
"It was a huge step for me to have to open up to not only a man behind a camera, but the millions of viewers as well," said Angie. "Before ‘MADE,' I looked at my dad's death as something very personal to me, and something that I liked to keep to myself. But the episode really brought out a different side of me. I learned so much from this experience about sharing my feelings, and I have even started to see a growth in myself through my platform and involvement with Annie's Hope [a foundation that brings kids together who have lost a loved one]."
Throughout the entire process, Angie could count on her friends for support, and they, in turn, were influence by her experience.
"I knew that Angie would never back out of the experience once it began, but I saw her struggle getting into shape, sharing her feelings, and become something that isn't what she's used to," Parkway North senior Tess Dobkin said.
Despite the attention Angie has gotten from the show, her friends say she is still the same great girl they've always known, albeit a little more confident and poised. "The way she was able to go through all that physical change and get all that attention but still have the same personality she's always had amazes me," said Lafayette High senior Andie Meschkow.
"I'm still the fun, wild, and a bit sloppy girl, but there's a whole new side to me that I bring out, and I know people have noticed," Angie said. "I've actually been MADE."