Forensics speakers qualify for nationals


Morgan Klug

Nationals qualifiers pose with their award plaques.

Oratory, oratorical declamation, duo interpretation: these are not methods by which to make any regular person sweat and stumble over their words in front of an audience, they are forensics categories in which Blair Martin, Anne Brown, Mary Bridget Jones, Parn Chaiyasat, and Helena Zhao, seniors, and Sanjana Vasireddy, freshman, have qualified for nationals in.
They will catch a flight to Washington, D.C. in late spring and compete as well as explore the city. Before they pack their bags though, they need to practice as hard as ever.
Jones who is working with Brown on their piece from the film Last Night In Soho, said they practice “at least once a week,” changing bits and pieces from the performance in order to hone in their skills.
“We work with the coach or other performers to make our piece the best as we can make it,” she continued.
While groups practice with and feed off each other, solo performers such as Martin practice differently. “I go home, I do it, I run it. I have a voice memo of it that I listen to in my car sometimes, and I say the words along with it,” she said.
Once they make it to the nationals stage, the competitors will most likely feel the same rush of adrenaline they feel back at home meets. “They call our number, and we go up there and it’s a little shaky…as soon as I do the intro, I can feel myself relax and get into the piece,” Brown said.
Both parts of the vibrant duo performing “Kill Me Please,” Chaiyasat and Zhao, described the feeling as “fun.”
“I am able to express myself in a funny way instead of trying to be educational…I think it’s less nerve wracking,” Zhao continued.
Vasireddy feels power in her performance. “When I go up in front of the judges, it feel like I’m standing up for a whole group of people,” she said. Her piece is about everyday racism targeted towards Indian people.
“It’s not a common problem people really talk about,” she said.
Whether the piece be comedic or a call to action, the competitors are excited for their trip to the nation’s capitol.
Chaiyasat is especially enthused, as she is a foreign exchange student. “It is really thrilling that it is really happening and we are going to D.C… part of me did not think I, someone who has been speaking English full time for not even a year, could do this,” she said.
“Traveling with my friends is always fun,” Martin said of the trip. “At the end of the weekend…they bring all the people together to watch the final round… and getting to see the best people do their thing is so exciting,” she continued.
Aside from having fun and exploring the city, Zhao has a goal for her duo. “Our goal for nationals is to try and qualify past preliminary rounds and get as far as we can,” she said.
“I’m just excited to perform in a different place…and see all these different pieces,” Jones said.