“It hasn’t sunk in yet. It has been a dream for so long and now it is my reality. It’s just crazy…. It was a beauty pageant, but it was so much more than that. We were all intelligent women trying to become more skilled, and to better ourselves.”- Caitlin Tyson Miss Universe Cayman Islands 2018.
Having dreamt of this moment since she was a child, Caitlin has wanted to represent her country at the Miss Universe pageant, and now she has the distinct honor to do so as crowned Miss Universe, Cayman Islands 2018.
“When I heard my number called it was like unreal, because I’ve been working so hard towards this and dreaming of this for so long that when it happens, I was just in shock, and I immediately started crying. It was so emotional, I could see my family in the corner of my eye just going crazy, and then I was just [embraced by] my pageant sisters; they gave me so much support so the feeling was overwhelming. I felt so much love.” – Caitlin Tyson, Miss Universe Cayman Islands 2018
A professionally trained Caymanian-American actress, writer, and model, Caitlin Tyson, has graced the stage with her talent and elegance and has won over the hearts of pageant judges and the country. Caitlin Tyson was crowned Miss Universe Cayman Islands with the first runner-up being Josani Schneider of Automotive Art and the second runner-up was Tiffany Conolly of Bacardi (CDG). In addition to winning the pageant, she also won Best Smile and the People’s Choice Award and has been awarded a Ministry of Tourism scholarship amounting $70,000, and a roundtrip to a destination of her choice among other prizes.
“It has been an emotional journey with a lot of ups and downs, but we have all gone through it together. There has been no competition; we have all helped each other through it.”- Caitlin Tyson, Miss Universe Cayman Islands 2018.
About The Miss Universe Cayman Islands 2018 Pageant
The Cayman Islands opened to the idea of hosting the Miss Universe regional pageant in 1977; they have not yet placed at the Miss Universe pageant, but they nonetheless have had many beautiful women represent the country.
The contestants were taken through ten weeks of intense preparations which included weekly sessions on public speaking with Toastmasters, dance rehearsals, current affairs, runway training, and etiquette lessons.
At the finale held recently, her predecessor Anika Conolly placed the crown on Tyson’s head passing on the torch to commemorate her hard work, motivation, and passion throughout the pageant. While it was a steep competition among the seven beauties, Caitlin’s unique personality and charisma were key attributes which led to her winning the title.
About Caitlin Tyson
“I am very motivated, and I motivate myself to be better; I lean into the fear and push myself. I am [also] trustworthy and genuine… I wouldn’t want to change anything about me, because [over the years] I have decided to love myself. [However] I do tend to overload my plate with too many things, because I love to help others, so if I wanted to change one thing about myself it is to be able to find the balance in life where I can help and enjoy myself in the process. That is definitely something I would like to work on.” – Caitlin Tyson, Miss Universe Cayman Islands 2018.
When she is not honing her talent, she loves yoga, singing, vlogging and swimming among other leisurely activities. The now 24-year-old played a very active role in theatre, talent expositions and dance competitions growing up as a child which followed her across her life. Her parents were very instrumental in her life as her dad played bass and guitar and her mom sang, so her house was always filled with music and singing. She was inspired to become an actress by watching the iconic musical – My Fair Lady – and also by watching the beautiful Audrey Hepburn. Tyson said her mother is her biggest motivation and has always been there for her and her brothers and is truly an inspiration despite her father passing when she was twelve.
“My mother has been everything to me; she is my best friend and my role model. I always said there is no way I can fail when I have a mother like her. When you grow up seeing so much strength, you can’t help but absorb it.” – Caitlin Tyson, Miss Universe Cayman Islands 2018
She never lost sight of her dream and was so committed as a child that she entered Our Little Miss pageant in 2006 where she won and went on to compete regionally in other pageants, including the Mr. and Mrs. UCCI in 2013. While pursuing her secondary education at John Gray High School, she joined the KRI Performing Arts School and then UCCI dancers; she is proficient in salsa, hip-hop, contemporary and performance art.
Tyson has a degree in Associates of Arts – English Literature and Literary Studies from the University College of the Cayman Islands, and another Associates Degree in Acting from the America Academy of Dramatic Arts due to her two-year conservatory training (2015) in New York. There, she learned dynamic movement, vocal production, voice and speech, musical theatre and Meisner techniques. She even worked with acting coach Larry Singer in the audition technique intensive and was selected to attend Frank Langella’s monologue masterclass and Jason Blitman’s musical theatre workshop.
Tyson’s noted acting roles include Josephine in Lynn Nottage’s Ruined, Yvonne Robinson in Tracey Scott Wilson’s The Story; Cassius in the all-female cast of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar; and Muse in the upcoming indie psychological thriller film Canvas!. She also writes and she had three of her original poems published in ‘Amaze’ by virtue of Kwame Alexander’s A Book In A Day. She voice acted on Cayman’s YouthFlex radio show and is slated to produce All In All Out, a short film written by herself and directed by Joel Lawson in summer 2018 among her other past short series.
My experience performing in Greece was not what I expected and it was a very turbulent process. For me, this was a very swift transition from drama school to the real world, but I was so lucky to have met and gotten to work with such inspiring and talented actors. I was able to represent and translate every bit of the frustration and loneliness that I felt into my character, and at the end, I left it all right there on that stage in Athens.” – Caitlin Tyson speaking of her role as Josephine in Ruined.
She has modelled in Allure Fashion and Jazz Weekend Runway Show (2017) and for designers such as Dauxilly, Yumi Katsura Couture, and others.
The Caymanian hails from the Bodden Town district, Grand Cayman and has always had the urge to contribute in some way to her community because of the people who raised her and her strong Cayman roots. She became a member of Kiwanis, Key Club, and Circle K International while at her secondary and tertiary schools.
“I am very focused, so my goals haven’t changed much as I am still pursuing my career as an actress. Representing myself and freelancing can be challenging, so I am definitely going to look into some agencies for the upcoming year. And I have found a very powerful outlet in my writing that I would love to explore further.” – Caitlin Tyson, Miss Universe, Cayman Islands 2018
Tyson is very invested in her Cayman heritage and has a goal to represent her country on an international platform. Her belief is that the Miss Cayman Islands would give her the opportunity to bring positive and impactful change for the country’s growth and development. Her regal grace and charm have gotten her thus far and she will go on to enter the Miss Universe 2018 pageant which will be held on the 16th of December in the beautiful region of Bangkok, Thailand. She will vie for the crown from the outgoing winner, South Africa’s own Demi Leigh Nel Peters.
“I have really big shoes to fill. I am humbled to be chosen to represent our beloved islands and I am so excited to have an opportunity that I have been dreaming of for so long.” – Caitlin Tyson, Miss Universe Cayman Islands 2018.
With the country and the world watching, the Caymanian prepares for the competition in Thailand. As she stays close to her heritage, goals, and aspirations as a phenomenal Caribbean native, and starry-eyed dreamer, she will certainly do well. Her sophistication, wit, intelligence, and unique personality augment her chances of winning the coveted crown. The very best of luck in your future endeavors Caitlyn, Miss Universe, Cayman Islands 2018.
By Alexandra Daley