So, I am a super-senior this year and this next qualifier will be my last chance to try a new speech category. I'm thinking about doing a humorous interpretation, but I'm not sure. I am for the most part a debater and I have only done platforms and impromptu. Do you all have any advice for me? I don't even know where to start, so anything is appreciated. Thanks!
Find a piece that 1) you like a lot, 2) is funny, and 3) is easy to cut.
- Mark Twain is classic, and he's written a lot of short stories you could use. Try to find one of his lesser known pieces if possible. Judges will appreciate original ideas.
- Dr. Seuss is super easy. Very expressive language that lends itself to high energy creative performances. Not all of his pieces of funny, though (like the Lorax), so try to pick one of his more light-hearted ones (Oh The Places You'll Go).
- Whatever you do, don't pick Junie B. Jones. Avoid it like the plague.
- Try to find original ideas, but if you don't have a lot of time, just go with something easy.
- When picking a piece, experiment free-style with different ideas for voices, actions, accents, whatever. This way, by the time you pick a piece, you'll already have a good idea of what your performance will be like.
Once you've found a piece you like:
- Cut it down
to couple pages. It's better to start too long and have material to cut then to start with too little and have to add later. Read the script in its entirety with a timer. You don't even have to perform, just read the script on your computer and do your best to account for any pauses, character pops, or blocking that will factor into your time.
- Practice it a lot on script
. It's a rapid-fire memorization technique that's worked for me countless times. The more you practice on script, the more your lines will sink in. After several tries, ween yourself off the script so you can identify which parts still give you trouble. Then focus on these parts. By the time you're off-script, half of the speech will already likely be memorized.
- Hone your performance
as much as you can. Tweak your timing and performance. If you're overlong, cut whatever excess you can. You'd be surprised at how much you can cut when you really need to.
- Try to get suggestions
from friends. When attempting new ideas with my speeches last minute or just trying to finish memorizing at a tournament, I often practiced it in front of my friends to get their input. Get as much help as you can!
PM me if you have any questions!
I did quite a lot of interps in my day