Lydia Myers

Miss Southern Magnolia

Hometown:  Laurel                                                                                                        

Platform:      “The Worth Project”                                                                                       

Talent:           Vocal                                                                                                  

What college did you attend, or are currently attending?   University of Mississippi

What is your major?         Musical Theatre                                                                              

What is your scholastic ambition?  I plan to earn a Masters of Fine Arts so that I can teach theatre and private voice on a university level.

List scholastic honors:  Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Dean’s List, President’s List, Beta Club

Greatest non-academic accomplishment:  I was honored to be nominated for an Irene Ryan award for my performance as Velma Kelly in Ole Miss Theatre’s production of Chicago!

What is your favorite style of music?  I love Broadway show tunes!

What is your favorite movie genre and why?  I love comedy because laughter is the best medicine!

What is your favorite gadget?My iPhone would have to be my most treasured gadget. I use it for everything, including Face Timing my loved ones while I am away at college!

What is your favorite blog?         Honestly, I don’t read many blogs, so at this time I don’t have a favorite.

What is your favorite place to visit?  Walt Disney World is my absolute favorite. It always brings out my inner child!

What is your favorite food?         Spaghetti with marinara is my weakness, especially from Olive Garden. My mouth waters just thinking about it!      

If you were on a deserted island, what book would you want with you?I would bring my Bible with me, so I could use it as I pray to get off the deserted island!

Do you twitter?  I do! Follow me @MyersLydia

What is your favorite?

Sport:  Football                                                   Sports Team:  Ole Miss Rebels                 

Actor:Rami Malek                                            Actress:   Bernadette Peters                      

Television Program:   I love re-watching episodes of “Friends.” I think I have seen every episode at least 7 times!

Wardrobe Accessory:  I always wear a diamond ring on my left hand. I hold very dear to me because it was a gift from my parents. It is a reminder of their unconditional love!

Thing to do on a weekend:  Typically I am in rehearsals on the weekends because I am heavily involved in Ole Miss Theatre; but when I get the weekend off, catching up on my Netflix addiction is how I relax!

Way to spend a day off:  I either shop on the square in Oxford, or I drive to see my parents (and my dog) in Laurel!

What is your hometown like?  I love Laurel (of HGTV’s Hometown) with all my heart – from the vintage brick roads of downtown to the stringed lights that illuminate Central Ave. Everyone seems to know everyone, making us the definition of a small town with a big heart!

What were you like when you were a child?   I was dramatic, using my mom’s video camera to make my own movies starring my Barbie dolls, and writing my own musicals starring my friends and me. My parents knew from the start that I would want to be in something related to show business when I grew up!

Who is the most influential person in your life?      My parents are my heroes, having been through so much with the loss of a child. God has truly blessed them with strength and peace, and I am so grateful to have parents who pray over me every day.

What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize? In my theatre career, I have played male roles several times, such as Bert in Mary Poppins and Zangara in Assassins. Sometimes audience members are surprised to learn that I’m actually not a man.

Describe one defining moment in your own life, other than winning your local title: When I was 12 years old, my world was turned upside down when I lost my brother in a tragic car accident. But I am now able to minister to others who are suffering from grief because people going through a fire don’t want to hear from someone who hasn’t been burned. I can honestly say that I went through the fire, but I don’t smell like smoke. Tragedy does not define me – only my strength and faith in God do. He turned my mess into my message and my test into my testimony.

What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss America Program? I have found passion and drive for my ministry, “The Worth Project.” This program has built my confidence and empowered me to be proud of who I am! I may not look like a typically “pageant contestant” since I am shorter and curvier, but I embrace those things about me and use them to show other girls, “If I can do it – so can you!”

If you are crowned Miss Mississippi, what do you want to accomplish during your Year of Service? I would love to publish another children’s book and a book for adults, in addition to a drama therapy program to implement in schools using theatre for younger people to build confidence, overcome their insecurities, and express their adversities through movement and spoken word. It would also introduce problem-solving as a way to help young people critically think: “How can I overcome my challenges? Why am I worthy? What is my purpose?”

What is your secret wish or dream?  I want to write a play or a musical based on my life story! (Maybe it can include winning Miss America, fingers crossed!)

I’m motivated by:  Young people – Too often I see adolescents doubt their worth because they have low self-esteem. It motivates me to keep working hard to prove to them that if I can achieve my dreams, they can too!

Is there a personal connection that made you pick your personal platform? I suffered from an eating disorder when I was in high school. I felt so inadequate, and I constantly compared myself to other body types. When I finally learned how to accept my body, I decided that my mission would be to encourage other young women and men to be overcomers!

What do you think has been the most significant event in your lifetime? Although I was only 4 years old when the World Trade Center and other areas in the US were attacked on 9/11, that event forever changed the mindset of America. It was the first time we experienced terrorism on US soil, and America lost a degree of innocence that tragic day.

The one thing I can’t live without:         Musical theatre is my creative outlet and my passion.  

My best friend would describe me as:  I have been told that I am a big personality in a small body! She would say that I ooze positivity in every circumstance, and that I am a woman of faith.

Something interesting about my family:        My dad is also a published author! He wrote a book called “Surviving the Storms of Life” which is based on what our family has gone through in the loss of my brother.

Funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me:  I once had a wardrobe malfunction on stage that caused me to run off, change dresses, and dance back on the stage. My adrenaline was pumping so much when I scurried back on, that I completely missed the edge of the stage and fell off! I struck a pose, stood back up, and kept dancing – after the entire audience gasped!

One thing I’d like to try that is out of character for me:   I would like to one day cage dive with sharks! I would have to muster up enough courage to actually do it, but I think it is definitely something to put on the bucket list!

Do you have any pets?If so, what kind and tell us their names:  I have two cats – Athena and Kylie (Ky-bug) and a Pomeranian, Kodah!