Contestants Handbook 2012
Barry Gouldsbury is crowned Mr Gay Ireland 2011. Photo: Columba O’Hare
If you are lucky enough to win a heat for Mr Gay Ireland or Mr Gay Northern Ireland then this is what is expected from you. You agree to participate in all elements of the competition and to comply with all the rules. MGI has the right to use all your images in its publicity and to promote you as a contestant in the competition. You agree to be in Dublin for the October Bank Holiday Weekend and available for all activities. Any latecomers may have marks deducted from them in the Final. MGI is a great experience. You will meet and make friends from all over the Island. You will learn a lot and enjoy the experience immensely. Your confidence will grow, your self esteem will be enhanced, your knowledge of gay rights will be informed and you will get the opportunity to promote your local community and make a real differnece to the HIV patients of the New Fill Project in St James’s Hospital Dublin.
Congratulations on being selected as a contestant in the Final of Mr Gay Ireland and Mr Gay Northern Ireland 2012. You are very welcome to the competition and here is a note to help you get the most out of this great all Island charity and visibility event.
Please read this carefully!
The Charity: A small group of volunteers is working on this project with you. MGI is the charity arm of the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival www.gaytheatre.ie. 100% of the funds raised by you will go directly to the nominated HIV/Aids charity the New Fill Project run by St James Hospital in Dublin. To date MGI has donated over 100,000 euros to HIV and gay causes.
Briefly: The new combination drugs for HIV are very successful – people can live normal and healthy lives for 30+ years with the virus. There is one major side effect that can impact on some people – wastage in the muscles of the face, so that a person is medically healthy but looks seriously ill. Collagen injections restore the facial tissue and the dignity of the patient to resume a full life in society. The State pays for a course of three – in many cases this is not enough for full muscle restoration, so more injections are needed – your monies pay for these. Last year 73 people benefited from the monies raised – it is great work and we are proud to support this charity.
The Fundraising. There is no fee to participate in MGI as instead we ask the venues and community groups to support you in helping the fundraising and in supporting you in participating in the Dublin Final. Ideas include asking people to support the HIV charity by sponsorship (swim, shave, dare, run) – we provide the cards to you. You can do an event in your group or venue like a table quiz, auction, race night, slave auction, run a mini marathon, buckets on the counter, a donation from the entrance fee, raffle etc. Really go for this – it is the most satisfying element of the event.Make sure at least two people verify the money you raise. You are responsible for the honesty of this activity and it is always safer to ensure money is handled carefully and transparently.
All monies raised MUST be brought to us at the latest by noon on Saturday October 29th. You can send them into us in advance if you want. Only monies received by then will be included in the charitable donation which is publicly handed over during the Final to the charity. 100% of all monies raised go directly to St James Hospital New Fill Project.
The Fundraising effort is marked and counts as one judge in the final – your effort (bonus points awarded) is as important as the amount raised. There is an award for the Best Fundraiser. Please make all cheques/postal orders out to the St James Hospital Foundation.
The Competition Weekend
If you can get to Dublin on Friday night October 28th we will nominate a venue to meet up informally.
12 noon Saturday October 29th:
Contestants are asked to be in Dublin by 12 noon on Saturday October 29th. We have negotiated a great accommodation deal in the Arlington Hotel O Connell Bridge for you. As it is a bank holiday weekend please book this early. You are also free to make your own arrangements and hopefully your club or venue will help you with these costs. If any of you are coming to Dublin on the Friday please let us know and we will arrange to meet with you.
On Saturday October 29th you may be required to take part in some press/photo events. We will talk you through the Competition format, rehearse the show, meet some active gay community groups and you will do your interview round in front of a panel of national and international judges. This consists of at least two panels of people who will ask you about your life, your community, gay issues, coming out etc.
Interviewers may include people from the MGI and Mr Gay Europe and World. They are informal chats, about 5 minutes per panel so relax and think about what you want to say to us! There are no trick questions! The Interview session is marked as a full Judge in the Final competition. There is an award for the Best Interview.
On Saturday there will also be a social event in the evening, exclusively so that the contestants can get to know each other. You might even get an opportunity to show off your individual talents during a fun talent night. Take it easy on the alcohol that night – you will need all your energy for the next day! The contacts and impression you make at all times over the weekend are also important because as part of the Grand Final you will be asked who you think will make the best Mr Gay Ireland and you will nominate another contestant. You will also meet some of our special guests.
Web Vote: Once the final heat is over on September 30th – we will be having a web vote on www.pigsback.com – this counts as one Judge in the Grand Final. You must submit a great photograph of yourself and some biographical details immediately (sheet attached) and as many people won’t know you, the quality of the visual image is important. This free web vote will run for about three weeks before the Final on www.pigsback.com and we will prepare a dvd of all the photos which your community group or venue will hopefully show so that it will help you win votes. Campaigning is allowed!
The Final Day – Sunday October 30th is a very exciting and draining day. Any of you who will be staying in another hotel or acommodation need to know it might not be possible to get back to your place prior to the show commencing, so arrive at the venue that morning with all your gear fully prepared to stay for the entire day. We will gather in The Arlington Hotel, O Connell Street at 1pm and you will rehearse the show. You can not bring anyone else backstage with you – we will have a stylist on hand for advice. Backsatge may be tight on space so share and cooperate.
The venue is closed to everyone else and only contestants and performers are allowed during the day. Turn Off your mobile phones at all rehearsals and meetings. Be on Time for everything. By the end of the rehearsal you will be confident, and relaxed with the show format by the end of the session. Food will be provided.
Doors open at 7.30pm with the show starting at 8.00pm. We have some top class acts booked to perform on the night – it will be a show to remember. The show will be presented by TV3s Andrea Hayes and Conor Clear. Your supportes need to be on time. The first 30 minutes warm-up acts allows audience to visit the stalls set out by community groups, and an on stage act gets the atmosphere going – music, comedy and dance. Then Round One begins.
Each contestant/venue/group is invited to send a representative – a guest presenter for Round One. Your Guest presenter gets a free ticket to attend the Final. Both of you will come on stage – you and your own guest presenter who gets 45 seconds to promote you and where you represent. Microphones will be cut if a person goes over time as we have 25 of you to get through. You will wear what we call Club wear – this can be a casual outfit you would wear to a club – looking your best. Put your personality into this outfit! There are 30 marks per Judge for this round.
We then have another act before Round Two – Formal Wear. Here you can be creative, black tie or something very smart that would get you noticed at a formal event.
Our presenters will ask each one of you to speak on a topic you believe in for one minute – it can be a gay issue, a social issue, a political issue – something that demonstrates the brain behind the beauty! There are 40 marks per judge for this round.
There may be an act between contestants 1-13 and 14 – 25 and again following the completion of Round two there will be more entertainment.
Round Three is the Swimwear/Underwear round. Swimwear or underwear is fine for this round. We hope this is being sponsored by BONE WEAR a brilliant South African design company. This is a real treat and part of our thank you to you for your fundraising effort – yes you do get to keep them! Here you will take part in a choreographed staging of the swimwear event. You will not be left on stage alone and it’s usually lots of fun. We will rehearse this with you on Saturday and Sunday afternoon to make sure you are your comfortable and confident selves on the night. It’s great fun!
Judging: We will then have our final special guests performing as the final scores of each judge are counted. There are 5 Judges in the final – usually 2 gay men, 2 straight women and a straight man. Many are celebrities and there is no conferring between the Judges all who vote independently at the end of each round and hand over their marks to the official scrutineers for tabulation. No one knows who has won until all the marks are counted in a room separate from the Judges. It is fair, open and transparent – we want the best man to win. In total 800 marks are given. 100 from each of the 5 Final Judges, 100 each from the fundraising, web vote and interview round. The Final adjudication presents awards for: Best Fundraiser, Best Interview, Mr Popular (web vote), Mr Congeniality (Contestants choice as Mr Gay Ireland), Mr Gay Dublin, Mr Gay Northern Ireland, 2nd runner up, 1st runner up and… Mr Gay Ireland 2012.
Who Can Win? You can! Any contestant can win Mr Gay Ireland (North or South ) Mr Gay Northern Ireland will be selected from Northern contestants only and Mr Gay Dublin will be selected from Dublin venue/groups only. The winner of Mr Gay Ireland will go on to represent us at international competitions like Mr Gay Europe and Mr Gay World (Johannesburg South Africa, April 4-8th 2012). Casting agents from modelling companies are also present on the night and we may have Media and television cameras.
Be proud of your achievement regardless of the result. Play your role locally as mr Gay for the year. Help us organise and find your successor the following year. Invite the winner (if it is not you!) to your venue/community during the year.
During the year we usually do some events involving all our Mr Gay Ireland contestants, for charities – and at times we have produced a Mr Gay Ireland charity calendar if funds allow. You will be invited to participate in these.
We have also tried to send Mr Gay Northern Ireland to international events if funds allow and the opportunity arises. We also participate in Prides and can be asked for media comment. Groups and Venues are encouraged to invite Mr Gay Ireland and their local winner to events during the year.
Mr Gay Ireland and Mr Gay Northern Ireland 2012 are free to develop their roles as they see fit within the ethos of the event. The rights to use the titles remain the property of MGI. The winners are supported by the voluntary Mr Gay Ireland organisation during the year. At times we need to raise funds to support their participation in international events, and the winners must cooperate with this. In the event of someone not fulfilling their tasks, the Executive Producer can nominate the highest placed contestant to succeed Mr Gay Ireland or Mr Gay Northern Ireland during the year. The Executive Producer’s decision in all matters is final. Please encourage your groups to invite the winner to your area each year.
Advice: We are here to help you – ask us advice on fundraising, interviews, clothes, whatever – we want you to do your best and we will help you. Also ask for some help from the previous title holder in your area – we can put you in touch!
We are very proud of you. You have stepped forward to raise money for a great cause and to fraise visibility for gay people to represent your area and your community in public. You should be proud of what you are doing and we are determined that you will enjoy your experience in MGI.
Do stay in touch and if in doubt…ask!!
Tickets for the all seated event are priced at 15 euros and a limited number of VIP front rows tickets at 25 euros. Contestants have priority booking.
You can book your tickets through www.gaytheatre.ie. No unpaid tickets will be held for people as demand is high and our capacity is not as great as in previous years. Make sure your supporters have their tickets before the event as they can not contact you on the nigth of the final. Book Early!! We encourage supporters to bring t-shirts, badges, flags and banners etc if they want to the Final.
Stay the Bank Holiday weekend in Dublin:
This year we have arranged a special deal with the Arlington Hotel so your friends can enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend in Dublin. Details of the accommodation offer will be on www.gaytheatre.ie or www.mrgayireland.ie.
Important Things To Do Once You Win Your Heat:
Book Your Accommodation early – it’s a Bank holiday and a Dublin marathon weekend,
Have all monies delivered to MGI on or before Saturday October 29th at noon. Cheques to be made payable to St James Hospital Foundation only.
Book your grand Final VIP tickets by emailing email@example.com 25 euros (limited)
Book your 15 euro tickets online at www.gaytheatre.ie
Fill out and send back the forms below and attach a great photograph of you as soon as you are declared the winner of your heat. Put some effrt into your photo – its important!
Respond immediately to our emails – they are important!
Join us and add all your friends to facebook/mrgayireland.
Be In Dublin on Saturday October 29th at 12 noon at the latest. – you really do miss out if you are late.
Ask your Venue/Group:
Would you like to have a stand or poster in the Grand Final Venue to promote your groups activities.
Do you have any products you would like to provide at the final?
Would your venue/group like to sponsor a prize at the Grand Final?
Does your venue/group want to include its logo on your section of the MGI Offical Programme? Yes/No Cost is 100euros. Email the logo to firstname.lastname@example.org
Does your group want to advertise in the Official Programme? Email email@example.com for details
Tel: Brian Merriman Exec Producer – 0876573732
Email/web: firstname.lastname@example.org www.mrgayireland.ie
All cheques made out to the St James Hospital Foundation can be sent to MGI c/o 179, South Circular Road, Dublin 8.
Thank you and GOOD LUCK!
Mr Gay Ireland 2010 Questionnaire:
Phone:_____________________________________ Date of Birth:____________
Do you have a talent you might want to perform in the Final? ___________________
What qualities do you bring to this competition?:_____________________________
What would you like to achieve in the next ten years?: ________________________
How did you fundraise?:_________________________________________________
I agree to participate in all events and promotions surrounding MGI and will fulfil the duties of the role Mr Gay Ireland 2010 at home and abroad.
Please use extra pages to provide any additional information you want to include
Who is your Guest Presenter? _______________________________________