How do you prepare for Miami Broward Carnival?

SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER

Here’s a Q&A with Jessy Schuster, who will be one of more than 15,000 revelers participating in next week’s annual Miami Broward Carnival, a series of concerts, pageants, parades, and competitions.

Jessy Schuster, a TV host, producer, and journalist, shows off one of her Carnival costumes.
(COURTESY OF HARRIS PUBLIC RELATIONS)

How to you prepare to “play mas” for Miami Broward Carnival? Six months in advance. I picked costumes, then changed my mind four times and finally committed to one. Then I pick my accessories (shoes, stockings if any, body paint, jewelry, bronzer etc.). Then I pick a makeup artists, reserve my spot, and two months before Carnival, I hit the gym!

Jogging, yoga, eating healthier, etc.

Do you have any special makeup tips that you can suggest to stay fresh for the day? You need to use primer, and once your makeup is done, you need to have that spray that makes it last all day. If you really want to have memorable pictures and don’t know how to do your own makeup, hire a makeup artist. It is less stress and the result is flawless. If you already invested in a costume, adding an extra cost for professional makeup is a must.

What is in your bag that you take with you on Miami Broward Carnival Day? I don’t carry a bag. I mastered the “Play mas light!” way. Everything I need is in my boots. Phone, cash money, and lipstick for touch-up. The band I choose has everything onsite, so I don’t want to have to worry about losing anything. I usually also take a cab, Lyft or Uber so I don’t carry my keys, either.

Who are you playing mas with? Revel Nation. I fell in love with their costumes when they started in 2015. Their themes are original and the quality and attention to details reminds me of Trinidad Carnival.

What are some tips to help you enjoy Miami Broward Carnival 2017? (1) Hydrate! Drink water between your liquor of choice. The sun is brutal and only water will make you last all day. (2) Wear comfortable shoes. You have to be able to enjoy your whole day without limping or having to sit down every 30 minutes. (3) Get there early. It goes by so fast…You want to take time to take pictures, then truly enjoy the road. (4) Don’t leave before the stage. That is such a fun part. You have two minutes to let loose and showcase the work designers put into your costumes. Show it off.

Last one is for the men! Play mas and dance! Don’t just stand there and wait for a woman to approach you. Show off your skills and have fun with it. Men who play mas get to dance with women who play mas. The ratio is insane. Eight women for one man! Why be a bystander and try to storm bands when you can enjoy yourself all day without worries?

Go to www.miamibrowardcarnival.com for information on this year’s Carnival.

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