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Meet The New Royal Ambassador - Its Cassie!
MARYSVILLE The 2007 Maryfest court will be led by an outgoing chanteuse who lives for the stage but is grounding herself with a solid education in case reality interferes with her dreams.
Cassie Miller was selected to be the Strawberry Festival Royal Ambassador March 24. She is a fresh-faced 16-year-old, a Marysville-Pilchuck junior with a 3.6 GPA and a bent for performing.
She can spout the national anthem as the drop of a hat and does so at many Veterans Day and Memorial Day events, getting her musical chops under former Marysville Junior High School choir maven Jeanette Hall and singing with the Seattle Girls Choir. She loves singing and acting and hopes for a career on the Great White Way. In case that doesnt work out she will pursue a degree in business and music at either the University of Washington or the University of Michigan. She hopes to own and manage a theater someday.
And while she gets a kick out of the thought of riding the Strawberry Festival float in dozens of parades around the Pacific Northwest, Miller wants to tell people, especially young, impressionable girls, that its OK to just be themselves.
I think the main focus of the world is to get young people to think about self-image and thats all thats there, Miller said before she drew top honors at the 2007 April Friesner Royalty Scholarship Pageant in the Marysville-Pilchuck High School auditorium March 24.
We compare ourselves to these artificial people who arent real. I just dont think thats something people should focus on. Why cant you just be you and not something else?
She put her feelings into action at the pageant, singing a version of Mirror, Mirror where the chorus asked Who are you to tell me that Im less than what I should be?
The song is by Barlow Girl, a Christian group that works to help girls fight the image pressure that causes bulimia and anorexia nervosa.
During her speech, Miller set the tone, describing a picture of a beautiful model that was sanitized with computer software to remove every blemish. She was heartbroken to realize the artificial standards women are trying to measure up to.
The world has created an artificial image, Miller complained. We mis-understand our own value.
Thats not likely to happen with Miller, a freckled-faced girl with auburn hair and a wide smile. Her mother Christa works for the Marysville School District and has been drumming the value of education into her daughters head. She and father Michael dont mind Cassie pursuing her dreams; they just dont want to see someone with her potential bussing tables between auditions. Cassie realizes catching her star might face tough odds and will hit the books as well as the stage. Freckles aside, she comes off as very mature in an interview, and ascribes this to church and her relationship with God, which lets her learn from her mistakes.
I think a lot of the time I look at things from every angle before I do something in my life, Miller said.