Help! I don’t know how to judge an Interp speech!

I am actually privy to this sentiment fairly often.  Parents mostly know what they like best when they watch interps.  They might even know why they liked it best over some other interp. But they want to know how to say that articulately to the students on the ballot.  The point of this post is NOT to tell you what should rank higher than something else but to help you identify the bits and pieces that are part of any interp…bits and pieces that you can talk about from your own perspective on your ballots, giving students bits and pieces they can actually work on after the tournament. I was recently in a club meeting where the leader asked the students to share the most helpful comment they had received on a ballot.  The students struggled to find one.  I want students to have LOTS of helpful, useable things.  Things they can take to club and say, “can someone show me how to ___________?” Or “can someone help me change ___________?”  I want things filling in those blanks for our kids!

So here goes….How DO you look at an interp speech?

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The Biggest Mistakes I See Students Make in Interp Speeches

I’ve been at this a LONG time – teaching students how to manage the interpretive speech.  It is definitely a purist endeavor that relies on the student alone to create the entire context suggested by a reduced segment of a piece of literature.  There is nothing easy about it.  When it’s done well, it really works.  As students strive to reach that mark, I find that they make the same basic mistakes along the way, and these fall into two basic categories: technical mistakes and ownership mistakes.  Let me explain….

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Breaking the Fourth Wall… Why it Matters

Breaking the Fourth Wall results when people on a stage detach from the scene to reach out to the audience, speaking directly to that audience as though they were characters in the scene. I recently read an article comparing an Interpretive Speech to a movie, and that interpers should stay in their little bubble- in other words, the article suggested that interpretive speakers should NOT break the Fourth Wall that stands between themselves and the audience. Kristi and I both agree with each other that we could not DISAGREE more with this concept...

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Humorous Interp – A Deeper Purpose? By: Nina Romeo

Hallelujah! Humorous Interpretation has returned to the NCFCA. We should all celebrate our triumph in overcoming the great injustice that has been the last two humorousless years. How could they have done this to us? Do they even care? Well, it may come as a shock, but the answer is a resounding yes. They care for the judges who were forced to sit through eighty minutes of poorly timed jokes, an overuse of Patrick McManus, superficial characters, and hyper teens using Humorous as an excuse to be obnoxious. This event was misused for years, and it is my hope that it’s return this year will be stronger and more powerful than ever.

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Kristie breaks it down – What makes cutting soooooo hard?

If you ever tried to take on the task of cutting a story of any length at all down to a ten-minute “cut” for presentation, you’ve tasted the difficulty of the effort.  It’s HARD.  The longer the story and the more you love it, the harder it is.  Why is that?  What makes cutting such a difficult undertaking, and how do you know when you’ve got it right?

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The Difference Between an Informative Intro and an Impactful Intro

Definition of Introduction: the thing preliminary to something else, especially in an explanation section at the beginning of a book, report, or speech. If you have read any of the going on 400 articles Lasting Impact! has wrote, I have already made it very clear I think an Introduction is super important element in your Interpretive Speeches. But one type of Intro might have a little more punch when it comes to the judges...

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Interp Tip – Read Something NEW! by: Colin Rust

I met Colin quite a few years ago, ironically on the set of one of my favorite classic literary pieces, A Christmas Carol. Like all good cast mates we keep in touch over social media. I knew Colin was the guy I needed to go to when I needed help inspiring my Lasting Impact! Community to READ! I saw so many speeches last year that have been done before. Sure, it may be classic literature, but it left nothing for my imagination. I know those stories. Colin is constantly reading! People take note… if you want to have a fresh, new, inspiring Interpretive Speech – take Colin’s advice… Read Something New…

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Interp Rules to Consider

How many of you play by the rules? Every year, at this time, our team reads through the Speech and Debate Rules… again. We read through League Handbooks, the General Rules, the Guidelines, and whatever else pertains to making sure we fully UNDERSTAND the rules! Today we will break down some of the Interp Rules that pop out at us. I always say, “speech is real, organic, and constantly evolving.” Trends come and go. It's good that leagues look at the rules and adapt or alter them to fit the needs or desires of what they want their competitors to learn. So whether it's a new event, or perhaps a rule was just modified, our desire is to assist you on how to use the rules in unique and interesting ways, using them to the fullest - yet not crossing a line (or even getting close to it)! Staying above reproach. These rules are meant to be followed and understood. Please note, these are OUR understanding of the rules. You should always go to your league and ask for clarification, if needed.

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Interp Lessons I Learned From Last Year – Finding a Piece

Every year, we get asked to help teams find an awesome Duo piece, where can they get their hands on the ultimate Open, or the perfect Humorous Interpretation… Every year my answer sounds somewhat similar, however this year I want to share what I have learned from last year. It's especially important to look at the take aways from the previous year. These are my words of advice when you are starting to look for an Interpretive Speech for this new season... What choice of literature will you choose?

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Picking the Perfect Humorous Interpretation Piece by: Luke Crory

So you think you’re funny huh? Good. Because confidence is key In HI. If you want a joke or action to make the judges laugh you have to not be embarrassed about doing/saying it. You are the performer, the entertainer. If you just walk up and tell jokes no one will laugh. You must keep your audience engaged in the characters and scenes and then your jokes will start to land.

Now… where does one find a book that has rich characters and is funny?

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