Southern Brooklyn

Sheepshead Bay’s Beauty Queen: Keelie Sheridan

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Miss Brooklyn Keelie Sheridan in Sheepshead Bay

Last week, we told you about Miss Brooklyn (and Manhattan Beach resident), Keelie Sheridan, shopping at the Nostrand Avenue Salvation Army store. That was after Brokelyn interviewed the contestant winner about her frugal ways.

This week, just a short while before she crowns this year’s winner, Keelie sat down with us to tell us about her life, as well to answer the burning question we all had after her ‘Miss Brokelyn’ interview: Is it really possible to be a struggling college student, gorgeous beauty pageant winner, broke actress, and live in Manhattan Beach? We already know the answer is ‘yes’ — but it was so much fun doing the investigation.

Brooklyn could not have a more poised and professional representative as Keelie Sheridan. She met us before starting her day of errands and working out, yet looked gorgeous enough to walk the runway – which, by the way, she will be doing again this coming Sunday as she competes in the Miss Jubilee / Miss Southern NY 2010 Pageant in Hewlett, NY.

The two winners of the competition will represent all five boroughs, Long Island, Rockland County, and Westchester County this summer at the 2010 Miss New York competition. For those of you who would like to support her in person on March 14, 2010, you will find the flyer and the information listed below. You can also see information about the contest at the current Miss Jubilee, Claire Buffie’s, blog.

Various articles identified Keelie as a Manhattan Beach resident, while others placed her as a resident of Sheepshead Bay. Having lived in our area for the past few years and familiarizing herself with our borders, she places herself in Manhattan Beach. For the record, though, Keelie told us, “I really identify with Sheepshead Bay, because I work here, exercise here, do my nails, and most of my other errands and shopping.”

After 16 years of not having a Miss Brooklyn pageant, when the contest was revived it did so to much controversy about whether that year’s pageant winner, Virginia native and Manhattan resident, Leigh-Taylor Smith, should have even be allowed to participate.

A similar thought ran through the minds of competitors about whether Keelie is the best representative of Brooklyn, not having been born and bred in the ‘hood. She was born in Iowa, lived most of her life in upstate New York, and moved to our big city to be a student at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Needing to find affordable housing outside of Manhattan, Keelie found that one rare gem in Manhattan Beach – from an ad on craigslist. Not only is this young lady beautiful and frugal, she’s got the ‘Luck o’ the Irish’!

Not to place too much emphasis on luck – Keelie’s ‘nose-to-the-grindstone mindset’ versus ‘Brooklyn attitude’ helps her survive in this student-unfriendly economy. Drawing from her training in dance and in keeping in tune with her healthy lifestyle, she maintains three jobs: dance teacher at P.S. 209; developing dance curriculum at the Block Institute; and administrative support at a Pilates studio in Manhattan. Keelie bravely commutes, if need be, before dawn, on the B & Q trains. When asked if, as an actor, she doesn’t prefer to be closer to the city, Keelie cheerily said, “No, I don’t mind it. I use the time to study or memorize my lines.” We’ll bet that at least some time is spent thinking about what she will be writing for her next post on her Miss Brooklyn 2009 blog.

When she found her apartment in the area, she told us that she “knew relatively little to practically nothing about Sheepshead Bay.” It took her just a short while to realize that Sheepshead Bay is a “diverse place” and although, she can break into the Irish Step Dance at any given moment, is “100 percent Irish,” and she does not speak Russian, she said, “everyone speaks to me in Russian.” They didn’t crown her Miss Brooklyn for nothing, because unlike another young lady who told us that everyone speaks to her in Russian, Keelie doesn’t mind being spoken to in the language of her newfound neighbors.

With an attitude like that, she officially becomes not just a Brooklyn native, but a Sheepshead Bay one, too!

While Keelie works hard for her living, knows how to cut corners, and pays most of her pageant upkeep out of pocket, she couldn’t have done it without so many kind sponsors. The official list of sponsors who provided their services to Keelie this year and businesses that either contributed to the gift package she received or offered financial support to the Miss Brooklyn Organization for 2009, should be available soon on Keelie’s blog.

I would like to personally thank Keelie for taking time out of her busy schedule to meet for the interview. Hopefully, we’ll all have the chance to meet Keelie and personally thank her for representing our area. Here’s an idea for a personal meet and greet — St. Patrick’s day is next Wednesday, March 17, and I’m wondering if there’s a local venue that can host a little Sheepshead Bites/Keelie Sheridan Irish Step Dance Night.

Support Keelie at the next competition:
Miss Jubilee 2010, Miss Jubilee’s Outstanding Teen and Miss Southern NY Competition
Sunday, March 14, 2010 at 2:30 p.m.

Location: GW Hewlett High School
60 Everit Avenue
Hewlett, NY 11557
Tickets: General Admission at the door
$20 Adults
$10 Students/Children
For reserved tickets, contact the Executive Director by email: [email protected]
See Flyer

Note: This article has been edited for content since its original posting.

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