Olivia Culpo's Perfect Day in Rhode Island
Congratulations to Olivia Culpo of Cranston, who was crowned Miss Universe last night. We interviewed the inspiring young woman back in July after her Independence Day singing performance with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra. Dressed in a floor-length blue sequin gown and wearing her crown, she answered each of our questions with thoughtful, poised responses. The article about her perfect day in Rhode Island appeared in our September issue, but we want to share the extended interview with you, so everyone can see what a terrific role model she is, not only as a representative for the United States, but for our entire universe.
Who inspired you to get involved in pageants?
Danielle Lacourse, who was Miss Rhode Island in 2007. We both went to the same high school, and I remember specifically when I was in eighth grade, she was sitting in front of me, and I was just in awe of her because of her confidence and grace, and not outer beauty, really, I mean she’s beautiful, but it was because of more than that, more than just what was on the surface. She was truly inspiring, and I remember following her journey to Miss Rhode Island and then she went to Miss USA, and she was runner up for that, not surprisingly. I always looked at her as a role model, and I thought, she became who she is from doing a pageant. I want to try to become that, too. Her pageantry training organization is called Crowned Inc., and she taught me about interviewing, about being comfortable on stage, about posing, about who I am, and what my interests are. She’d ask me questions, like “Olivia, who do you most admire,” “Who do you want to have dinner with,” silly little questions that on the surface don’t really seem like a big deal, but you have to think about things you wouldn’t normally think about. She also taught me the physical aspects of it; how to walk across the stage with your shoulders toward the audience, to annunciate your words and speak clearly.
What were you like growing up in Cranston?
I tried every sport, but I wasn’t good at every sport. Music was always top for me, and my parents were both musicians, so I spent most of my summers at music camp and with the Rhode Island Philharmonic music school as well. I learned a lot about music education and that built up my confidence on stage. I was kind of geeky, I guess, because I was in orchestra and as the middle child in a big family, I was always kind of sheltered. We all played instruments when we were toddlers and we grew up in an environment where we always appreciated music, so being in the music school was second nature to me. It was like a second home.
Describe your perfect day in Rhode Island from the time you wake up until you go to bed.
7:00 a.m. I wake up to a beautiful sunny summer day, and calories don’t count.
7:30 a.m. I head to Caffe Bon Ami in Cranston and get an iced raspberry chai tea.
8:00 a.m. Meet up with my sisters for breakfast at Brickway on Wickenden. I love the banana pancakes.
9:00 a.m. Take some time to read and relax at my favorite park, Prospect Park, overlooking Providence. I want to start reading Charles Dickens. My dad is obsessed with Charles Dickens. And I like to journal, so maybe I’ll write down some things that I need to do.
10 a.m. Sneak in a three-mile run on Blackstone Boulevard. I’m a ten-minute-mile kind of girl.
11:30. a.m. After showering, walk to my brother’s baseball game with my dog Rondo, a rescue we found at Roger Williams Park. We found him with a choke collar and he was badly abused, so we took him in, and he’s a little crazy, but it’s okay. He was named after a certain Celtics player, but more importantly, it’s a music term. Rondo is a type of movement in music.
1 p.m. Head to Narragansett Town Beach with my friends, and on the way, stop for Del’s Lemonade and Iggy’s. I don’t care if it’s ninety-eight degrees, I get clamcakes and chowder. We’d sit on the beach and chill, collect some shells, and if it’s nice, maybe go for a dip.
4 p.m. On the way home, get ice cream at Inside Scoop. Mint chocolate chip with rainbow sprinkles in a waffle cone!
6 p.m. Shrimp cocktail and chicken parm at Twin Oaks with my whole family and the DeAngelus family, the owners of the restaurant. They were with me in Vegas for the Miss USA competition. They are like a second family to me.
8:30 p.m. Go to see a movie at the historic Avon Cinema on Thayer Street. It’s my perfect day, so they’re playing “Funny Face” with Audrey Hepburn.
11:00 p.m. Wind down with a cup of hot chocolate at the Rhode Island Yacht Club in Cranston.
Midnight. Bed. I always write in my journal for the next day, because I’m just that corny.
Where do you like to shop in Rhode Island?
I’m a huge shopper. I love Kristina Richards in Garden City. I love T.J.Maxx and Marshalls. I love Nordstrom and the shops on Thayer Street.
Where do you go to get your hair done in Rhode Island?
What is a cause you are most passionate about?
A charitable cause I’m always involved in is kids and music. I think it’s important that all children have an equal opportunity to experience music, whether through education, or even by being able to go to a concert. I think it is an enriching experience that some kids don’t get. It allows you to appreciate an art; something that makes the world beautiful. Whether they are actually given the chance to perform is something that isn’t available to everyone, so it would be amazing to be able to give children that experience and allow them to have that potential career choice.