Acting

Student Voices: Competition

Written by Lindsay Price

Episode 160: Student Voices: Competition

The topic this week is competition. Lindsay interviews four groups of students who competed with scenes at the Florida State Thespian Festival. How does competition performing differ than being on stage in a regular show? How do you choose a scene? How do you deal with nerves? These students share personal experience, their expertise and their best competition tips.

Show Notes

Episode Transcript

Welcome to TFP – The Theatrefolk Podcast – the place to be for Drama teachers, Drama students, and Theatre educators everywhere.

I’m Lindsay Price, resident playwright for Theatrefolk.

Hello! I hope you’re well. Thanks for listening!

This is Episode 160.

You can find any links to this episode in the show notes which are at Theatrefolk.com/episode160.

Okay. The topic for today is competition.

We go to a lot of conferences and festivals – mostly in the States – where students don’t just compete with one-acts or full-lengths; there are a lot of individual event competitions – monologues, duets, ensembles, musicals, set design, costuming, so much more!

I’ve judged these events at various festivals and the whole process can look quite nerve-racking, you know? You have to get up in front of sometimes three judges who are all sitting at a table, who, as soon as you start acting, they start writing. I think it’s probably really hard to act and be judged at the same time.

One of the bigger festivals for these individual event competitions is the Florida State Thespian Festival. When you walk through the convention center on any given day of the festival, every corner is filled with students practicing, singing, preparing to compete. The energy is just bouncing off the walls with people waiting to perform, waiting to find out their score, crying sometimes when they find out their score – or, you know, the opposite – screaming in elation.

I had the pleasure of seeing a number of my scenes performed this year in competition and I thought it would be interesting to interview some of the students about their experience.

We’re going to listen to four groups who all competed with scenes of mine. First group is Brandon Craft, Cameron Logan, and Jordan Capps. They used my play “Blue Sky.” Hannah Groves and Chapel Darley performed a scene from a play called “Body Body.” Lena Robertson and Natalie Veater competed with Lies. Emily Ravenell and Tyrique Moore competed with “The Big Lie.”

Okay. Let’s hear what they’ve got to say.

LINDSAY: All right, I am talking to…

BRANDON: Brandon Craft.

LINDSAY: And…

CAMERON: Cameron Logan.

LINDSAY: And…

JORDAN: Jordan Capps.

LINDSAY: Okay, and you guys just performed a scene – the scene Blue Sky which is a play of mine. So, you’ve just come out of the competition room. How do you feel?

BRANDON: Emotional.

LINDSAY: Yeah?

BRANDON: Buzzed.

LINDSAY: Buzzed, that’s good.

CAMERON: A little forlorn because that’s the last time we’ll ever be performing that. We put so much time into it.

LINDSAY: Oh, a little touchy about that, cool.

JORDAN: Very flustered.

LINDSAY: Yeah?

JORDAN: Yeah, like, nervous – all that nervousness went into that. So, it’s pretty…

LINDSAY: Yes, you put all your energy and then it’s like, “Where does it go now?”

ALL: Yeah!

LINDSAY: So, competing is really different than performing, isn’t it? How does it play for you? What are the differences?

BRANDON: I think the difference is… like, because we’ve performed this several times, like, at our school, for an audience, just to show them what we’re bringing. When you do that, you have a lot more flexibility with it. For instance, we did Deck the Stage as well. Here, you’re not allowed to use costumes. There, we wore rolled up short shorts, suspenders – as German as we could go – and it’s more entertaining the audience instead of trying to make sure you had the criteria for the judges and you impressed them instead. It was like a whole other world from between the two of them.

LINDSAY: Yeah, does judges really add a different level?

GUEST: Oh, yeah, yeah, a lot more stress. A lot more stress, definitely.

GUEST: Way more nervous. Going into that, I was, like, shaking. But, going onto a stage in front of a small town audience, it’s not as scary.

LINDSAY: Isn’t that funny? You can go out in front of a huge audience and not be nervous at all. But a room with, like, three people… Do you notice when they start writing?

GUEST: Oh, yeah, all the time.

GUEST: I always kind of glance at their faces. If they kind of maybe shake their head or just have a face… for instance, one of the audience members at our school, they both made a face, like, “Oh!” and did that. I immediately was like, “Oh, gosh, what did we do?” They said it was actually out of like, “Oh, good job!” because of what we had done. You automatically kind of have a negative view towards it and get really critical about it.

LINDSAY: How’s your concentration different in a competition?

GUEST: I’d say, like, on certain pieces, it’s a lot better. But, with that one, my concentration going into it, I was so nervous, I was jumping around all over the place. But, for different pieces I’ve done – like, musical pieces – sometimes, the competition just drives me and makes it where I’m super focused so it just matters what I’m doing.

LINDSAY: Yeah, nerves play in different ways, don’t they? They can sometimes fuel your energy. Sometimes, exactly as you say, scatter your energy.

GUEST: Like, for Blue Sky, for instance, beforehand, when we were performing, I ran through all three of our lines just in a reel in my head because we know it so well. But, as soon as you get there, it’s like everything is just gone and your mind instantly goes blank and you just kind of have to let it flow.

GUEST: You kind of let your subconscious take over, I’d say. Like, not so much worry about what you’re going to say next but, like, feel how you’re going to say it.

LINDSAY: Hey, I like that. That’s a good way of thinking about it in competition. You want to know it and you don’t want to get too caught up in your brain but just to let your body memory to really take all of it out.

GUEST: Exactly.

GUEST: Basically what it is.

GUEST: Also, for instance, when we were doing that piece, because I guess it’s so different every time because we’re not letting our subconscious do it, that was, like, the most different it’s ever been.

LINDSAY: Really?

GUEST: He used a different voice and we just had a lot of different stuff. Before then, we did it a whole other time. We were like, “All right, we need to make our energy super, super high,” and we performed it differently right before then so there’s three different times.

LINDSAY: Oh.

GUEST: Yeah, you’re kind of thinking ahead of what you want to do and stuff like that whereas, right there, I guess everything is so caught up. You’re kind of up to here with everything so you’re just kind of gone as much as you can, yeah.

GUEST: Audiences give you that feeling. Like, rehearsing and stuff, like, alone, it’s nice. It’s just good for memorization. But, when you’re in front of an audience, that’s when you know it’s going to be real. Like, that’s when you really feel the energy.

LINDSAY: That’s what acting is, isn’t it? You can rehearse all you want but it’s the performing aspect – whether it’s a competition or in front of an audience – that’s the final thing.

So, what kind of did you do to prepare this scene?

GUEST: We definitely did repetition a lot. And then, every time, we would try to do something a little bit different. Like, every time, our interactions would be completely different. At one point, I looked at him and I’m telling him to get up.

LINDSAY: I totally noticed that, yeah.

GUEST: The very first time we did it at districts, I think, I didn’t look at him at all. He just got up and did it. Over time, repetition, me and him would pick up different things. We would have different cues. For instance, there’s a point where I would add words instead of saying, “Hey! Are you going to the … and say, “Hey! Are you going to the…?” You just add different things over time.

GUEST: Like, more personality to it, I would say.

LINDSAY: Personality comes in.

GUEST: Your own kind of twist on it. You don’t want to change it but you just add a little bit of spice.

A really big thing we did is, like, we sat down. If, like, anybody ever goes to districts, keep the judges’ notes because we sat down and went through every single note and picked it apart and redid it and tried our best to do just a completely four-minute round and, with all of our mistakes, we transform it back into it.

LINDSAY: Yeah, and sometimes, judges’ notes can be tricky because you don’t want to try to please them so much because, like, what happens if you get completely different feedback which can happen all the time?

GUEST: Yeah.

LINDSAY: Cool. Well, you guys seem like in a good place. You seem happy with it. It was really neat.

Your character has a lot of sort of… they’re thinking. They’re not saying what they’re thinking a lot. How did that play for you?

GUEST: I think it’s kind of like I tried to tap into that part of my life in reality – like, how someone in real life does react to that – and I kind of showed that that character is thinking a lot but what he says he’s never satisfied really with what he’s saying or how he’s saying it.

LINDSAY: It came across.

Okay. Lastly, what advice would you give to students and thespians who are maybe afraid to compete or they let their nerves get the best of them? What do you think is good advice for competition?

GUEST: Choose a piece that you feel connected to, definitely – something that, no matter how many times you go through it, you still feel for it and you still want to do it.

LINDSAY: Awesome.

GUEST: Let the nerves drive you. Like, when you get out there, it’s going to be an amazing experience because you’re going to know that you did the best time you’ve ever done because there’s an audience and the nerves are driving you completely.

GUEST: Yeah, because you get to that point where you just want to walk out and leave and not do it because you’re so nervous and freaked out by it. I thought a million times, “This is going to go wrong. This is going to go wrong. This is going to go wrong,” but just go for it. Shoot for it. Both pieces, both of us, him and I did the Deck the Stage and then Blue Sky, and he had Pandemonium and Blue Sky. In both pieces, we never got tired of performing. Like, we would have rehearsal after school and we did it because every time you can do it a little bit different and they’re both really funny – or Blue Sky is not funny.

LINDSAY: Fun to do.

GUEST: Yeah, exactly, yeah. It really stretches that acting capability.

So, don’t do anything you’re not going to enjoy playing around with.

LINDSAY: Perfect. Love that advice.

Congratulations, guys!

ALL: Thank you!

SCENE FROM BODY BODY

LINDSAY: All right. I am talking to…

HANNAH: Hannah Groves.

LINDSAY: Hannah Groves and…?

CHAPEL: Chapel Darley.

LINDSAY: Chapel Darley. And you guys are very excited. You’ve just performed a scene from my play, “Body Body.” How did it go?

CHAPEL: It was amazing. It was really good.

LINDSAY: Yeah? Cool.

HANNAH: It went so well. We feel so good about it.

LINDSAY: Cool! You know, some people, they go either of two ways with competition. It either riles them up and they really go to the top or sometimes it can all sort of fall apart. But you guys seem to be like, “No!” You’re the first one. You’re rocking and rolling.

Is this your first time competing? Have you competed at this level often?

CHAPEL: Yes.

LINDSAY: Yes? How many times?

HANNAH: We’ve both competed at the state level at least once, but this is our first time acting at the state level.

LINDSAY: Oh, really?

HANNAH: We both sing and we were in a large group musical last year and I was in a solo musical my freshman year.

LINDSAY: Cool. How about you?

CHAPEL: Again, this is my first more individual piece. At state last year, I’ve only performed in a large group so it was very different to be just in a two-person piece.

LINDSAY: So, talk about that. How was it different? Is it just the numbers that make it a different experience?

CHAPEL: Yes.

HANNAH: And there’s more focus. Like, you’ve really got to concentrate on what you’re doing. Again, you still have to do that in a large group but it’s more individual and you’ve got to, like, show yourself.

LINDSAY: Yeah. Also, it’s more on you that if something goes wrong…

HANNAH: You can depend on others.

CHAPEL: Yeah.

LINDSAY: In a large group, there’s always someone who’s going to come in as opposed to someone turning to the other person and going…

CHAPEL: Yeah, exactly!

LINDSAY: What do you like about competing?

HANNAH: Oh, my gosh! Well, everyone here is really supportive of each other and everyone’s really rooting for you. They call it a competition but it’s more like a festival of the arts and appreciating everything. So, competing is fun but it’s more like watching other people who like to do what you like to do and supporting them. It’s like a really good atmosphere here and that’s always what I look forward to when we come.

LINDSAY: Cool.

CHAPEL: Yes, I love coming here because, sometimes, when I start to question what I want to do – like, do I want to stay in theatre? – this place always makes me realize why I love doing it – because the people are so great and competing fulfils me so much and I just get to be rejuvenated in the theatre.

LINDSAY: That is so interesting that you say that competition is something that fulfils you. Does it make you nervous?

CHAPEL: It gives me butterflies but not like I’m horrified. I’m so excited to get up there and perform and I’m ready to go. I’m ready to go. Butterflies to get ready.

LINDSAY: What are the kinds of things you did to prepare for competing? Because it’s different than performing onstage.

HANNAH: Yes, read lines over and over. We did it in some different scenarios. Like, let’s do it like we’re just having a normal conversation. Let’s do it like really intense this time. Different things like that just to get the feel of what we wanted to do.

CHAPEL: We would piece together exactly what we did today and it was perfect.

LINDSAY: What’s it like to have judges right in front of you?

CHAPEL: It’s a little stressful because you try not to look at them because they’re not supposed to be there but you’re like, “Wow! They are really there!” and the fact that they’re judging you is kind of hard to not think about when you’re up there.

LINDSAY: Yes, is it hard to really block them out?

HANNAH: Depends. Sometimes, when I’m singing, it’s easier to block them out. But, when I’m acting, it’s not. But you just have to find a focal point and you can’t look at them because then your train that’s going on will stop.

LINDSAY: You’ll just get in your head.

HANNAH: Yes, exactly.

LINDSAY: And then, the lines will go and then you’ll be like, “I have no idea what line is next!”

HANNAH: What’s happening?

CHAPEL: Where am I? What am I doing? Exactly.

LINDSAY: Has that ever happened to you guys? Where a competition has gone really awry?

CHAPEL: Thankfully, no.

LINDSAY: You guys are just like, “No!”

ALL: Yes.

LINDSAY: Cool. Okay, what advice would you give to somebody who is talking about, “Oh, you’ve got advice”?

HANNAH: You help me think of what I want to say so this is really nice.

CHAPEL: Advice to what?

LINDSAY: Oh, to people who are afraid of competing – just other students.

HANNAH: Well, I mean, I get that it is really intimidating and really scary when you have judges right there and a bunch of people who also are really talented in the competition. But, really, it is a place of support rather than competition so you’re going to make a lot of friends, no matter what. You’re going to make friends and you’re going to band together through your nervousness.

CHAPEL: Everyone’s nervous.

HANNAH: Yeah. If it’s what you love to do, do it because you love to do it, not because you want the score.

CHAPEL: Exactly.

HANNAH: That’s going to make it a good performance over time.

LINDSAY: Perfect. Thank you, ladies!

HANNAH: Yeah!

CHAPEL: Thank you!

HANNAH: Thank you so much!

SCENE FROM LIES

LINDSAY: Okay. So, I am at the Florida Thespian Festival and I am with…

NATALIE: Natalie.

LINDSAY: Natalie. What’s your last name, Natalie?

NATALIE: Veater. Natalie Veater.

LINDSAY: Okay, I’m going to get you to spell that later. And?

LENA: Lena Robertson.

LINDSAY: Lena Robertson.

And you guys just competed at state with your duet acting scene, yes?

NATALIE: Yes.

LINDSAY: And you have your troop here. Troop, give them some support!

And you just did a scene from one of my plays called “Lies.” In order to get to state, you have to get a certain grade at your districts, right? So, this is not the first time you’ve performed this scene?

NATALIE: No, yeah.

LINDSAY: No. So, let’s go back to the beginning. Why did you choose this scene? Why did you like it?

LENA: Well, at first, to be honest, I didn’t have a Veater at the time. I had a different partner but she had to go to Italy. And this scene, what was going on, we read the whole thing but what was going on, it just seemed something that we could do that we could probably change up slightly to make it wonderful and make it work.

LINDSAY: Yeah?

LENA: Yes.

LINDSAY: Cool. What did you like about it?

NATALIE: I love how it’s so emotional. A lot of teenagers kind of feel that same sense of abandonment – not to that extent, obviously, but, I mean, everybody’s gone through that one phase in their life and they feel left alone.

LINDSAY: Yeah, it’s a different experience because that’s what makes it something theatre. We take something ordinary – like a sister relationship – and then we take it to the extreme – that there’s something extreme going on here. In this scene, it’s two sisters and their mom is AOL and one of the sisters looks like they might be going down the same path and it’s called “Lies” and there’s a lot of different types of lies.

So, what kinds of things did you do when you were working on this scene? Your teacher talked about you did some backstory? Tell me about the backstory.

LENA: Well, the backstory, since we paid attention to this one part in your play where Martine is saying that she’s gone off with Brad, Chad, or Winston so we kind of assume that she’s been fooling around with certain guys. So, she might have fooled around with someone who looks something like me and then went off with someone else that looks like Veater and then had these two little babies or we could be foster kids and she’s just using us for money.

LINDSAY: You know what? What I was really impressed with about the scene is that it didn’t matter to me at all. It was the relationship that you guys made together that made you sisters. Did you feel that, too? Did you work on making a sister relationship?

NATALIE: Yeah, we worked on it a lot, especially character work and also, when we met each other for the first time, we immediately hit it off and we became really good friends through the scene. It was really cool.

LINDSAY: Cool. Now, you had said you’d never done thespians before.

LENA: I haven’t.

LINDSAY: What’s this experience been like?

LENA: Well, so far, it’s been really fun though I was crazy nervous before performing because, well, the other acts before us, they were all funny and all really good and then we’re just hitting everyone with an emotional wave. But we know we could do better – like, somewhat better than all of them.

LINDSAY: Yeah, you didn’t come across as nervous. How about you? Are you nervous?

NATALIE: A little bit, yeah.

LINDSAY: And what’s your thespian experience?

NATALIE: This is my second year. I went here the first time last year. I feel like, yeah, everybody gets those nerves right before they start performing.

LINDSAY: I think so, too, because you can use nerves sometimes. Like, it can really hype up your energy at times. And I would say you guys didn’t come across as nervous at all.

Now, how did you approach your character? Because you did a little bit where some of the lines you came across as comedic and I really quite liked that. Was that just natural that it just came out of your naturally?

LENA: Well, I thought Martine herself was somewhat comedic because, you know, she was young and she’s actually my age, too.

LINDSAY: Right.

LENA: Basically, that’s it.

LINDSAY: You were just drawing off… you were responding to her as a character as you would as a person.

LENA: Yeah.

LINDSAY: Cool. Okay, was there anything do you think that you’d like to change or were you really happy with your approach?

NATALIE: I think that we had a very good approach. I liked our approach a lot, actually.

LINDSAY: How about you? You looked like you were thinking there for a second.

LENA: Yeah, I can’t find anything. I liked how we did everything.

LINDSAY: Awesome. Because I know that you guys had to do this once and then you receive an adjudication and then you have to do it again. Did you take your adjudication into account last time? What are some of the things that were said to you that you listened to?

NATALIE: They talked a lot about eye contact since we had a couple of issues with that the first time and that makes the emotion in the scene just so much more prevalent. So, we worked on that a lot.

LINDSAY: Yeah, absolutely.

LENA: We also had this problem where I was yelling too much. So, the lady – I don’t know if it was the lady or the man.

LINDSAY: It all blurs.

LENA: It all blurs. I forgot who our judges were but they said that shouting is not the only way to express anger.

LINDSAY: Yes!

LENA: So, I took that into account and hopefully I did that.

LINDSAY: Absolutely. I really got your eye contact and that’s a really great point because sometimes we feel, when we get frustrated, when we get angry, it all has to come out very loud and you always, always have to think about an audience will be yelled at for only so long because you only want to be yelled at for so long. What are the different ways? Because there’s cold anger and there’s frustrated and there’s a lot of different peaks and valleys and that I really think that, when you find those nuances, that that’s what really heightens you work.

So, what’s next for you guys? So, this was your first, are you going to come back?

LENA: Of course, I am.

LINDSAY: Yeah, excellent! That’s what we like to hear!

LENA: Especially because I think she’s going to find me at some point.

LINDSAY: Pointing at her teacher.

LENA: That and I’m bringing my little brother in, too.

LINDSAY: Awesome! So, this was your second year here. What’s the future for you?

NATALIE: I’d love to continue. It’s such a great opportunity to perform and to meet people like you. It’s so amazing.

LINDSAY: Awesome. Well, I really enjoyed your work, ladies. So, fingers crossed for your adjudication.

Okay, thanks!

SCENE FROM THE BIG LIE

LINDSAY: And these guys have both just come off their duet acting scene at the Florida State Thespian Festival with a play of mine called “The Big Lie.” It’s extra special because the way that the system works. Now, you guys have already found out that you got a superior which is their highest mark. That must feel really great.

EMILY: It’s amazing.

TYRIQUE: Yes, definitely.

EMILY: It’s incredible.

LINDSAY: So, just talk about how did you feel? Because it’s different to perform for competition than it is for a play, don’t you think?

EMILY: Yeah.

TYRIQUE: Yes.

LINDSAY: What is that like?

EMILY: You really have to adjust your levels of volume and the way you do things, how you interpret things in a ballroom as opposed to on stage. But you still have to project, you still have to enunciate, and it’s incredible to perform in front of that many people because it’s really intimate, I feel, so they’re really a part of the story.

LINDSAY: I think that’s excellent. I’m going to come to you but I just wanted to comment just as we’re talking about competition. I love the notion of you have to adjust. It’s not the same as performing onstage. Performing in a ballroom to three judges and a little bit else, it’s a different energy.

EMILY: It is, yeah.

LINDSAY: What do you have to take into consideration for competition?

TYRIQUE: What I have to take into consideration is that the difference in a play is that you have different scenes that can compliment the scene that you’re performing. However, in competition, you have to bring the story to the competition room because they don’t know the other scenes. They probably don’t even know the play themselves. For us, we have to make sure they understand. We have to bring them into the story.

LINDSAY: The relationships have to be there.

TYRIQUE: Yes.

LINDSAY: That’s a really great comment, too. Your adjudicators might not know the play at all.

EMILY: Yeah.

LINDSAY: The Big Lie is a small play but you could take a scene from a two-act work. I think that’s a really interesting point, too – that everything has to be immediate.

TYRIQUE: Yes.

LINDSAY: It used to be eight minutes but you only have five minutes.

EMILY: Yes.

LINDSAY: What is that like? To prepare a five-minute piece.

EMILY: It’s crazy. Like, you really have to sit down and think about exactly your movements because you can’t take too long on anything. You can’t really procrastinate anything.

TYRIQUE: Delivering the lines, making sure that every line is getting the right portrayal and integrity of what you’re trying to give you audience.

LINDSAY: Because you could go either way. You could rush or you could lounge and go overtime because I saw her hand go up and I loved that you guys still kept because there was the last line is deal pause deal and you actually didn’t rush it and you let it go even though you were like, “Oh, we’ve got to make sure we’re going to finish.” I think that’s really important to know in competition. You need to have that balance.

EMILY: Yeah.

LINDSAY: What kinds of things did you do preparing for this scene? Well, a big thing is that, in the original script, this is a teacher and a student scene and the teacher is female and the student is male. You guys decided to switch it up. Talk about that.

EMILY: Yeah, we had originally had it as I was the teacher but we realized that he is much more dramatic than I am and he can do a lot more than I can with the character so I gave the character to him.

LINDSAY: Yeah. And then, what was that like? Talk about what are some of the things that was like when you sort of went, “Okay, how do I take on this and make it mine?”

TYRIQUE: Personally, I’m very childish so finding a portrayal of a teacher was very hard for me. We performed in front of our director our first time. He said, “You need to find a persona. You need to find someone – an influential character of the school – such as a teacher that you can have to influence your character.” That’s exactly what I did and I started to work with Emily and I started to find the character and I started to basically make sure it blended with how the script portrayed the two characters and how we wanted to portray the two characters.

LINDSAY: Absolutely. It’s interesting from a playwright’s perspective to see. It’s one of the great things I like about coming to a festival. I get to see a whole bunch of different scenes and monologues. To see a different interpretation and go, “Yeah, I love that it works.” I think that I like that when a scene has flexibility like that.

Now, you guys had really a lot of engaged staging. It wasn’t static. At one point, you jumped on the table.

EMILY: I did.

LINDSAY: You jumped onto the table and then jumped on the table!

EMILY: Yes.

LINDSAY: A lot of times, when I see competition scenes, that’s the number one thing I comment on – static staging. There’s not a lot of character movement and it’s the same kind of movement.

Talk about creating the staging for this scene.

TYRIQUE: Creating the staging of this scene, we wanted the scene to continue to rise. We didn’t want it to plateau because, since we start out very strong, we didn’t want it to remain at that constant level. So, it started out as the lines – the delivering of the lines – but we found ourselves continuing to plateau on the lines so we moved to the blocking and that’s when we started to go to the table and flip over the chair and moving around the space.

LINDSAY: Isn’t that interesting? That’s a good suggestion – that, if you’re speaking and things are plateauing, to look to the blocking and to see how you can escalate there and it always has to be character-driven, you know? It always has to come from what the character wants and how they want to express it. I think that this character, it’s so funny, I actually think that, if the student was played by a boy, the boy would never have gotten on the table.

EMILY: Yeah.

LINDSAY: And jumped on the table like that, don’t you think so?

EMILY: Originally, I had kicked the chair over but then we were like, “This doesn’t work at all.” So, I was like, “What am I going to do?” and he was like, “Get on the table!” and I was like, “Okay!”

TYRIQUE: Jump on the table and I’ll flip over the chair!

LINDSAY: It was so fascinating to see how that works.

The stamping on the table, was that something that you worked up to or a thing like, “Oh, this is where we can climax to,” and then you worked backwards?

EMILY: It was like a thing that we worked up to because, originally, the climax had been me kicking over a chair and him freaking out. And then, we just kind of went up to eventually I was on the table, screaming and jumping.

TYRIQUE: The script escalates itself. So, we decided to just enhance it – put whipped cream and a cherry on top.

LINDSAY: Also, it’s a status play so what’s better status than her getting up the table?

What suggestion would you give to students who are either afraid to compete or they haven’t been successful at competing? Because you guys got superior here. You guys got…

TYRIQUE: Runner-up critics choice.

LINDSAY: Yeah, runner-up critics choice in your district which is a big deal – let me tell you.

So, what is your advice to those who want to compete?

EMILY: I would say act through the nerves because I am always nervous before, during, and after we perform. Just act through the nerves. Make sure you know everything that you have to do and be prepared.

LINDSAY: That’s lovely. I think that’s great because you didn’t look nervous at all.

EMILY: I was terrified!

LINDSAY: So, act through the nerves. What about you?

TYRIQUE: My advice is to remain positive. Positive energy got me a long way with not only individual events but through all the shows that I have performed in. Just sitting back and saying you’ve got this. Like, “We’re going to get a superior.” If your mindset is that we’re going to get a superior, then it triples the probability of you getting a superior. That is my advice to any thespian out there. Have positive energy. Always remain confident but never comfortable.

LINDSAY: I like that! Confident but not lax, not comfortable. That is a great piece of advice to end on and I think too that, you know, you really do have to do your best. You have to do your best because you never know what the judges are going to say, right? You know, you could have gotten judges who love that kind of physical humor at districts and then you come to a higher level and they’re like, “No.” They like the more refined stuff and there’s nothing you can do to control that. All you can do is make sure that your work is…

TYRIQUE: Make sure the story that you wanted to tell and the script is what you want the audience to gain.

LINDSAY: Brilliant. I love it. Congratulations, guys!

TYRIQUE: Thank you so much!

LINDSAY: Thank you so much, guys!

It was such a joy to talk to you and hear all about your experiences.

Again, that’s Brandon Craft, Cameron Logan, Jordan Capps, Hannah Groves, Chapel Darley, Lena Robertson, Natalie Veater, Emily Ravenell, and Tyrique Moore.

Thank you very much!

Okay. We go weird places.

Before we go, let’s do some THEATREFOLK NEWS.

I searched the Theatrefolk website just for you – yes, you, and you over there, oh, and you behind there, too.

I searched the website to give you some more competition resources. Check out the show notes. You can find those at Theatrefolk.com/episode160.

We’ve got two other podcasts celebrating competition and taking students to competition. You can find those, go to the show notes. We also have a three-part series on choosing, rehearsing, and day of competition tips with one-acts.

Finally, there’s How to Choose a Monologue for Auditions and Competitions. If there’s something you’re looking for, there’s a topic you want more resources on, or an exercise for, you know, go to our website – theatrefolk.com. Search around. I was amazed at how much we had for competition and this was just actually the first two pages that came up when I used the search function. You know, we’ve got stuff, man. We’ve got stuff.

Again, you can find links for everything I mentioned in the show notes at Theatrefolk.com/episode160.

Finally, where, where, where? Where, oh, where can you find this podcast? We post new episodes every second Tuesday at theatrefolk.com and on our Facebook page and Twitter. You can find us on youtube.com/theatrefolk and on the Stitcher app. You can subscribe to TFP on iTunes. All you have to do is search for the word: “Theatrefolk.”

And that’s where we’re going to end. Take care, my friends. Take care.

Music credit: ”Ave” by Alex (feat. Morusque) is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

 

About the author

Lindsay Price

Leave a Comment