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: amieberkins@aol.com
See Flyer

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

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  • http://www.bksouthie.com/ Brian Hedden | BK Southie

    I agreed that having a Miss Brooklyn come from Manhattan was kinda dumb. It's like false advertising, right? But I think transplants can represent just as well as anyone else.

    I suppose it needs to be said in this space that I'm an Upstate transplant myself, so of course I feel that way.

    This was a great profile, Ray!

  • Ray Johnson

    Personally, I think that as long as the person has an address in Brooklyn, they should be allowed to participate. We are all basically transplants from somewhere, except for those who were born at Coney Island Hospital.

  • Vito Goldberg

    While I have nothing against Ms. Sheridan, and I'm sure she has admirable qualities, choosing another non native Brooklynite to somehow represent probably the finest place, and certainly the hottest place in America right now, is an insult to the many fine, cultured, educated, and yes, gorgeous young ladies who have been born here, and continually reside here. The people who decide on such things flow from the same mentality that pick local news anchors, who were shaped in such places as California and Illinois, and don't know the difference between the Flatiron District and Flatbush! This kind of stuff continally amazes me, and I can't undestand why more native Brooklynites don't take issue with it. There is no reason for native Brooklynites to have an inferiority complex, when the fact of the matter is that native Brooklynites represent an overwhelming majority of American individuals who have won a significant number of Nobel and Pulitzer prizes having grown up in, and got their educations, indeed predominantly, in the Public Schools of the borough. This holds true in a number of other areas, and certainly in the poise, beauty, and yes ability to articulate, that a good number of our females posess! And many of them were not just born in CIH, but historically, Maimonides, which is probably the only function that hospital has been excellent at, throughout the years!

  • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

    Word, yo. Maimonides represent!

  • Local Broker

    they also did the first heart transplant.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    Gee, I was born in Methodist Hospital. So was my mother. My father was born at home, in those days that was rather common.

    Maimonides, BTW, is an excellent hospital, with a renowned research facility.

    You know, it is not impossible that Ms. Sheridan had an ancestor born in Brooklyn. A lot of people can trace their ancestry here.

  • MissBrooklynOrg

    Hello All!

    This is the director for the Miss Brooklyn Scholarship Competition, I hope all of you are having a fine day. I would like to clarify something, though; contrary to “popular” belief, The Miss Brooklyn Scholarship Competition is NOT won by a lottery system! :-)

    These amazingly talented and hardworking ladies APPLY, COMPETE, are JUDGED and EARN their titles. So why don't more Brooklyn natives win? Simple. More Brooklyn natives DON'T APPLY! I urge you beautiful & intelligent ladies to put all of your moolah where your mouth is, grab up an application off the website, and get yourself an opportunity to earn a scholarship, be an active part of the community and, with a bit of luck, find yourself a “local celebrity” for a year! Visit http://www.MissBrooklyn.org to learn how YOU can have a shot at the Miss America title!
    Otherwise, well….there isn't much you can say, is there? :-)

  • bronxflash

    what a ridiculous contest where non-natives are crowned the title of miss brooklyn, much less a transplant who lives in manhattan. is it too much to ask that you at least went to high school in brooklyn if you are not from brooklyn by birth? having a brooklyn address does not make you a brooklynite in my book frankly anyway. you have to have some kind of history with a place.

  • bronxflash

    having someone from manhattan rep brooklyn is ridiculous and makes this contest pretty silly. transplants can't represent brooklyn regardless, sorry. at least have gone to high school in brooklyn. something. having a brooklyn address doesn't cut it. who's running this contest anyway? we are not all basically transplants and i don't care if your ancestors were here two hundred years ago and anyone who feels that way probably isn't a native brooklynite or native new yorker. i'm so tired of these people who move here telling me they are from brooklyn when they clearly aren't. i only regret that if they have kids that they will be native brooklynite spawn of transplants. it's like some twisted science fiction film where the alien hatches its egg inside the humans. just saying

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  • Ray Johnson

    Your comment about “the alien hatching its egg inside the humans” made me chuckle, but didn't change my mind on the issue.

  • bronxflash

    a) we are not all basically transplants from somewhere. there is absolutely no logic to such a statement. you are a transplant or you are not. on the other hand, you do not have to literally be born in brooklyn to be a true brooklynite. perhaps you are a transplant who has spent their formative years here (ie, went to high school here or some other such measure), but clearly we are not all transplants simply because you state it that this is so, short of being born in coney island hospital.

    b) if i have an address in brooklyn, this makes me a brooklynite: technically, it may in fact do so, but that is a very legal, technical and soulless measure of what it means to in some way represent a place. to represent a place does not mean you should fulfill some sort of stereotype, but it means you should have a legitimate claim upon a place. again, i think that claim generally involves spending your formative years in said place, though this is not cut and dry. regardless, i don't think having an address in brooklyn would meet a more essential measure of representing a place, and the two people discussed above would be hard to acknowledge as brooklynites in any legitimate way as far as i am concerned. on a related note, i can definitely think of people not from here that i consider true new yorkers ( i know we are talking about brooklyn but it's the same issue). honestly, these people being elected to represent brooklyn do not have such a claim.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    Some people have a stronger lineage in Brooklyn than others. Both of my parents were born here, my father in 1914. My paternal grandfather was born here in 1890. And I bet we can find some readers here that could go even further back. But Brooklyn is, and has always been a place that welcomed newcomers with a generosity of spirit. We are proud of the place in which we live and our only expectation is that those who come to live here love it as well. They shall then become Brooklynites of the spirit, and of the mind.

    Having said the above, I do believe that there should be a residency requirement for those entering a competition where the result is representing the borough in some fashion. I do not express this thought to disparage the previous titleholders or those who have set up the pageant requirements. I am sure these people were all acting with sincerity. But if the event is to have real meaning to Brooklynites it should be a contest of Brooklynites. Not necessarily those who were born here. But definitely those who have lived here long enough to have absorbed the essence of what being a Brooklynite means. I'd say a two year requirement would be fair enough. It would indicate that there was little possibility that residence was established for the purpose of entering the competition.

    Doing so is one step that to take that would increase the interest in the event.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    Some people have a stronger lineage in Brooklyn than others. Both of my parents were born here, my father in 1914. My paternal grandfather was born here in 1890. And I bet we can find some readers here that could go even further back. But Brooklyn is, and has always been a place that welcomed newcomers with a generosity of spirit. We are proud of the place in which we live and our only expectation is that those who come to live here love it as well. They shall then become Brooklynites of the spirit, and of the mind.

    Having said the above, I do believe that there should be a residency requirement for those entering a competition where the result is representing the borough in some fashion. I do not express this thought to disparage the previous titleholders or those who have set up the pageant requirements. I am sure these people were all acting with sincerity. But if the event is to have real meaning to Brooklynites it should be a contest of Brooklynites. Not necessarily those who were born here. But definitely those who have lived here long enough to have absorbed the essence of what being a Brooklynite means. I'd say a two year requirement would be fair enough. It would indicate that there was little possibility that residence was established for the purpose of entering the competition.

    Doing so is one step that to take that would increase the interest in the event.