By Nadine Kam
Nadine Kam photos
Miss Vamp 2012, Tabatha "Tab" Sabre Brown, took her place on the winner's divan Oct. 12 at Hawaii Theatre, where she was crowned by Miss Vamp 2011, Tara Tynanes.
From the white of POW WOW Hawaii's "Blank Canvas" event, I visited the opposite end of the spectrum with a journey to the dark side and the Miss Vamp Hawaii pageant Oct. 12.
Prior to the event, I was at the Honolulu Firefighters Foundation's 3rd annual Signature Chefs Food Festival, so some there wondered why I was dressed for early Halloween in Rodarte's ribcage sequin dress, but I was happy to have occasion to wear it.
Fifteen women vied for the Miss Vamp title, which put them through the rigors of a more mainstream beauty pageant's talent and Q&A sessions ... but not quite when most of the contestants sported fangs and other accoutrements of the undead. And the usual swimsuit competition is replaced by sexy lingerie in a "Moonbathing" segment.
Judging the event staged by Camera Obscura, DJ Nocturna and Lana Saldania, were filmmaker and casting director Brent Anbe, theater director and teacher Taurie Kinoshita, and filmmaker Aaron Yamasato, who had a tough task.
Tabatha "Tab" Sabre Brown made quite an impression on the audience with a seductive vampire act (an excerpt is included in the video), and was named Miss Vamp 2012 as well as Miss Photogenic. First runner-up was "Ecstacy" Ashley Balmores, and Ai Saito was named Miss Congeniality.
Just as at a more typical beauty pageant, disappointment among non-winners was palpable. But, unlike a Miss America contestant, with a competitive shelf life of about six years, these creatures of the night have many lives ahead of them.
The timing of the competition means they all have time to recover in time to emerge on All Hallow's Eve. It's no big secret that downtown Honolulu happens to be a fertile feeding ground and the women said they find easy victims among those stumbling home from the bars.
Miss Vamp and her stage victims Eli Schnittger and Arianna Tyler.
Hawaii Theatre is the perfect setting for a vampire pageant.
The show's emcees and producers DJ Nocturna and Lana Saldania, with Janos Molnar, Count Dracula Hawaii 2011.
Miss Congeniality winner Ai Saito, with Adam Cronk and Lisa Cummins.
First runner-up Ashley "Ecstacy" Balmores, center, with her family, from left Augusto, Esperanza,Kerrie, Ava and Annika Balmores.
Ecstacy's bat trophy.
Miss Vamp 2011 Tara Tynanes with Clarisse Empaynado.
Tab during the judges question-and-answer segment of the pageant.
Christine Waters answers a judge's question, as well as offering her take on the best feeding grounds in downtown Honolulu.
The Lolitas, from left, Patrick Upega, Alice Demize, Aileen Uedoi and Gina Caluya. Upega and Demize were among three judges' picks for best-dressed audience members.
The Saldania bloodline is strong. From left, Clea Saldania-Roundtree, Carla Saldania-Capone and Gina Saldania.
Heidi Shimada is not a designer but a nuclear medicine technologist, who created her ensemble in a day. She's with Frankie Empeno.
Poni Paradise answers judges' questions.
Natalie Lowrie with Chris Rice, left, and Tory Laitila.
Cameo was a third audience member chose by judges as best dressed for the occasion.