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Q&A with Miss United States 2013 Candiace Dillard

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So my pal, acting coach extraordinaire John Pallotta, introduced me to one of his students, none other than Miss United States 2013 Candiace Dillard.

Candiace hails from the always-on-my-mind state of Georgia and is a Howard University alumna. She stopped by to give DC Actors Examiner the goods on her white-hot career. (Look for her interview on the Inside Acting radio show, January 23, 2014, 10pm Eastern).

Q - How do you translate your acting skills to competing in pageants?

It's all a song and dance. You become someone else, like when Beyonce becomes Sasha Fierce. You've got to shine in front of the audience. I pretend like I'm Michele Obama. I pretend like I am someone of royal status!

Q - How much time do you devote to being Miss United States?

It does take up most of my time. I travel all over. I have been to Boston, Vegas, the Carolinas, New York..I'm an ambassador to the American Cancer Society, I'm an ambassador with the United Nations.

I started a non-profit, My Sister's Keeper (a mentorship and women’s empowerment organization designed to give young girls the opportunity to interact with other women in their communities) when I was a sophomore in college. As pageant winners we try to show that we are much more than a pretty face.

Q - What do you like better, singing or acting?

I think for me it's both singing and acting. I don't like to box myself in. I like singing, acting and dancing; I have been performing since I was five. I would sing around the house. I am a performer!

Q - What do you like better, film or stage?

I'm trying to break into film. I would love to get 'commercial redundancy' first (i.e. play a reoccurring character in a commercial), like State Farm's Mayhem character, but I'm afraid I might be type-cast!

Q - What kind of films would you like to do?

I'm a fan of drama, and I would like to do romantic comedies. I like films like Pretty Woman and Remember the Titans.

Q - What stage shows have you done?

I've done Bye Bye Birdie, The Sound of Music, and some Zora Neale Hurston plays at Howard.

Q - How did you meet John Pallotta?

I met John when I was Miss District of Columbia, back in April 2012. He's a beautiful person. He took me under his wing; I feel like his child.

Q - You studied broadcasting at Howard University. Any plans to go into the news media?

In college, I was dead set on being (CNN anchor) Fredricka Whitfield. I worked for Obama (in the White House Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs), but winning the pageant took me away from that.

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