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Laura Chukanov – Miss Utah USA 2009

February 19, 2010 by · 1 comment

Interview with Laura Chukanov by Dessislava Berndt

Лора Чуканов – Мис Юта
Foto: Arthur Garcia

Laura, why and how did you decide to enter the contest for Miss Utah?

I was at a point in my life where I felt that I had to do something that forced me to organize. It needed to be something that I felt I could be good at and I also wanted to be challenged. Getting ready for a pageant is very interesting because it requires a person to think about everything in their life and then be able to make sense of it all in a short amount of time. However, I honestly did not expect to have this much success in the pageant. This has been one of the best decisions of my life.

Лора Чуканов – Мис Юта
Foto: Chukanov

What are your impressions of Donald Trump after the meeting with him?

He is smart and knows what he is doing. It was a surreal experience because he projects an enormous amount of energy; it is almost like watching T.V. At the same time, it is obvious that he is a real person. His office is a little bit disorganized and cluttered, which is very human. It was nice to meet him and he is a wonderful resource for me in my career, but I don’t know much about him because I really don’t know him outside of the pageant world.

Foto: Chukanov

Could you tell us something about your current projects?

I recently hosted a Television segment during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT. It was an amazing time and I learned a lot about the festival itself while having conversations with wonderful and talented people. At the Sundance film festival I was happy to find out that a fellow Bulgarian, Petko Dourmana, had an art installation displayed with a small number of selected artists from all over the world.

I believe that film festivals are very exciting and important for sharing culture and understanding. Because of that, I am also helping with marketing and sponsorships for the Salt Lake City Film Festival, which is scheduled for this coming August. I am also involved with a non-profit organization that donates art supplies to children all over the world while encouraging them to express their artistic abilities.

Also, I am involved with a Bulgarian non-profit organization, The focus of this organization is to help Bulgarian orphanages. It is a wonderful organization started by an American woman in Utah. To me, it is an honor to be helping my native country in any way.

Лора Чуканов – Мис Юта
Foto: Fadil

Which fashion designers do you prefer and why?

Whatever! I don’t know much about fashion, there are more important things! However, I do like Roberto Cavalli because of his use of bright colors and Bohemian-looking style. My soul is sort of Bohemian and wild, so I like that look. But, I usually don’t buy designer. I just like to look “European” and sexy as well as comfortable. I always wear high heels and something that shows off my figure. Looking good and “designer” does not mean that you have to buy designer.

Лора Чуканов – Мис Юта
Foto: Benizo

What are your dreams?

Exploring. I dream about exploring my brain, the world, and other people. In all of that exploration, I hope to inspire and impact someone to do the same.

Лора Чуканов – Мис Юта
Foto: Benizo

What is the most important thing you would like that people should know about you?

I am a normal girl who has been extremely lucky. I want more Bulgarians to be positive and to actually work together to make a change.

What are the main influences on your development as a person?

Like everyone, my family has had the biggest influence on me. Growing up as an immigrant child with a background of one culture and a future of a different culture has also been influential. The United States is full of successful immigrants who combine their family’s culture with the culture of the society they live in. I have for sure been influenced by my American friends, but I don’t ever disregard the culture I come from.

Лора Чуканов – Мис Юта
Foto: Fadil

Please, tell us something about your future plans.

My future plans are to get a masters degree, travel, and to be inspired and inspire. There are so many things to do within all of those overall goals. Someone told me today that there are two parts to a person’s personality: one side is called an “elephant” and it is the part of your personality that is ruled by pure emotion, the other side is called the “rider” and it tries to control the elephant, but the elephant always wins in the end. If there is something that you really want, no matter how much you try to control it with rationalization, you are going to achieve it. There are things that I want to accomplish, and know that I will as soon as I try to control less and live more.

Laura Chukanov (born on 5th of June, 1986 in Sofia, Bulgaria) is a pageant titleholder from Sandy, Utah who competed in the Miss USA pageant in 2009.
Chukanov was born in Bulgaria and moved to the United States when she was four years old. She holds dual U.S./Bulgarian citizenship and speaks English, Bulgarian, and some Russian and is currently learning Spanish. Chukanov is a student at the University of Utah where she is pursuing a degree in International Studies with minors in Leadership Studies and Art History.
Chukanov competed in the Miss Utah USA 2008 pageant in late 2007 and placed third runner-up to Julia Bachison. She competed the following year and won the title. She was also first runner up in a prior Miss Sandy pageant. Chukanov represented Utah at the Miss USA 2009 pageant held in Las Vegas, NV, on April 19, 2009 where she became the third consecutive delegate from Utah to make the semi-finals, and eventually placed third runner-up to winner Kristen Dalton of North Carolina. This was Utah’s highest placement in the nationally televised pageant since 1998.

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