Miss Massachusetts USA Sabrina Victor '18 has UMass Theater roots
By Kyera Laabs '20 | Friday, April 10, 2020
By Kyera Laabs '20
Friday, April 10, 2020
As a woman studying in the humanities and fine arts at UMass Amherst, I was pleased to have had the opportunity to interview a successful woman making her mark in the entertainment industry. Sabrina Victor, an alumnus from UMass Amherst, graduated in 2018 with a dual degree in theater and journalism. On January 12th, 2020, Victor, now living in Brockton, was crowned the newest Miss Massachusetts USA. Currently, she is working full time at Bridgewater State University in the Human Resources office, but as part of her Miss Massachusetts USA duties, she serves as an arts and education activist and an ambassador for Massachusetts. Although she is observing social distancing, she is still pursuing this work in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am fortunate to have this title and excited to take on the next step by competing for Miss USA in the summer,” Victor said.
From our conversation, it is evident that Victor has a deep passion for volunteer work, and with the title of Miss Massachusetts USA, she is able to use her platform to educate people about topics most important to her. Examples of this include her facilitating a kid’s program at the Brockton Public Library for kids ages 5-12 where they played theater games and read books together. She also participated in a panel for women minorities who own businesses and discussed resources they used to advance in the working world through the Metro South Commerce of Business.
“I am proud to be Haitian-American and glad that I can represent my culture and people through the title of Miss Massachusetts USA,” she said. She does this by creating her brand image and making public appearances. (She was scheduled to sing the national anthem at an upcoming Celtics game before the NBA season was interrupted due to COVID-19.)
As a senior set to graduate this spring and looking at a career in the arts, I was curious as to how Victor leveraged her degrees and experiences from this university to catapult into a plethora of opportunities.
“Definitely on the theatrical side I built my resume and made meaningful connections with others along the way. My theater degree gave me the ability to be comfortable speaking in front of people,” she said.
From her journalism degree, Victor learned how to share information effectively with the public, and how to market herself and her brand. When I introduced the question, “what are your goals that you are working towards?” Victor spoke briefly about how she’s been building her brand as an influencer to expand her platform and identity. “My style and staying authentic to myself is a value that I stand by. This means wearing my natural hair, working with a personal stylist, and being the best version of myself that I can be,” she said.
She sees this genuine approach as part of her strategy to compete for the Miss USA this upcoming summer.
Because I am a dancer interested in becoming a professional in the future, I asked Victor what steps she takes to prepare for competitions or auditions. Although she has had many victories, she noted that all of this has come with incredible hard work, practice, and discipline. From her job and multiple side hustles, it is apparent that Victor must organize and manage her time accordingly. Even with many different responsibilities, she is determined to put in the extra work to achieve her goals. This includes fitness, eating a healthy balanced diet, and preparing carefully for interviews.
“If I go into an audition and I’m not prepared, I can’t be upset that I’m not getting the results. I hold myself accountable for all the outcomes that I get. But, most importantly I have to remind myself to just have fun and enjoy the process because you can’t take it too seriously,” Victor said.
Finally, I asked Victor, “What advice would you give to UMass students, theater majors, or any students trying to succeed in the entertainment industry?” As a dance major who has been to many auditions, I know the entertainment industry can be brutal. Victor offered a frank answer: “self-confidence”.
“It’s important to build thick skin because it’s a hard industry to pursue and you’re dealing with a lot of elements that are out of your control,” Victor said. “Also, it helps to really perfect your craft and take any class you need to take to be a better dancer, writer, actor, or musician. You have to put in the extra work on your own personal time to be the best you can be.”
Recently, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Victor said, her plans and life have shifted, but she is doing her best to remain positive. She is still preparing for Miss USA while following social distancing guidelines. She also added that she has been focusing on creating new, exciting content that she has been sharing virtually through social media.