When Caitlin Tyson was crowned Miss Cayman Islands on Aug. 11, she couldn’t quite believe it. “I just keep saying that it was surreal, it was so surreal,” Tyson says. “You are standing up there next to a group of girls that are all beautiful, all intelligent, all have amazing personalities. So, you are just waiting; you do not know what’s going to happen.”

Tyson was announced the queen for 2018 and since she started her reign, it has all been a whirlwind. But she has taken it in stride, thanks to the support from her mother, Catherine Tyson, her boyfriend, and the Cayman public.

Born in Bodden Town, the now 24-year-old found a love of the theater early on and she subsequently performed on local stages. Her passion for acting did not diminish over time, and so she pursued an acting degree at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.

Two years ago, she traveled to Greece with the Theatre Company Diaspora, which produced the country’s first staging of Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer-winning play “Ruined” at the Epidaurus Festival in Athens.

She admits to being an introvert at heart, but has overcome her shyness about performing in public over the years. Not only has she been acting and writing some of her own works; she has also enjoyed a successful modeling career thus far, which will no doubt give her an advantage when she competes in the Miss Universe Pageant in Bangkok, Thailand on Dec. 17.

Who is your favorite designer?

I love the designs of Indonesian designer ANAZ, who designed my evening gown for the Miss Cayman Islands pageant and I will be featuring a custom ANAZ gown in the upcoming Miss Universe pageant! I also love the designs of our amazing local designers like Isy B., Jawara Alleyne and Krose.

What do you prefer to wear if you have the choice?

It depends on what I’m doing, but I can always find the perfect outfit for any occasion at my favorite boutique on-island: Carey’s Karma Closet. I really love to dress up with gorgeous accessories and a fabulous shoe! But if I’m staying in, it’s all about comfort!

Photos by Cortez Vernon