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WATCH THIS: Henry Rollins Discusses Resentment

Posted on August 28, 2012 by Stephanie Alderdice

Be it in competition or in life, it can be easy to fall into the trap of resentment. There those who "have" and those who "have not." There are those for whom winning seems to come without effort or pain. There are those who seem to have more resources and greater assistance on their path to success. That annoying old phrase, "Life isn't fair," just continues to echo. 

On its own, one could devote an entire speech to the topic of resentment. Singer, writer, performer, advocate Henry Rollins does a beautiful job of addressing the anger and frustration that comes with inequity in his Letter to a Young American. Watch the video. Maybe it speaks to your own feelings of overcoming the odds in competition, maybe it applies to your life outside of forensics, or maybe you just want an inspirational spark for the upcoming season. Hopefully you'll find it as inspiring as we do.

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WATCH THIS: Celebrity Impressionist Performance of Shakespeare's Richard III

Posted on August 22, 2012 by Stephanie Alderdice

Think you excel at vocal distinctions when performing multiple characters? Or do you get comments that your voices sound a bit 'similar'? Celebrity impressionist Jim Meskimen has built a career off of his ability to bring characters life using his voice. In this video, he performs an excerpt from Shakespeare's Richard III and switches voices every five seconds. The distinctions are subtle yet undeniably distinct. Watch it and take notes on how he not only uses accents, but makes choices in volume, fillers, pauses, speed, rate, emphasis, pitch, and tone to create believable and distinguishable character voices.

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WATCH THIS: “Letter To A Playground Bully From Andrea (Age 8)” by Andrea Gibson

Posted on August 14, 2012 by Stephanie Alderdice

 WATCH THIS is a new series that presents you with videos meant to spark ideas and discussions (and in some cases – can be used for competition).

“Maybe there are cartwheels in your mouth.
Maybe your words will grow up to be gymnasts.
Maybe you have been kicking people with them on accident.” – Andrea Gibson

 You may want to cover your chin with bandages before you watch poet Andrea Gibson perform. What is amazing on paper becomes jaw-dropping when you watch her speak with vibrating passion and urgency. Though many of her poems deal with complicated topics such as gender, identity, diversity and adversity – her “Letter To A Playground Bully…” speaks to anyone who has had to cope with an unpleasant or aggressive person. Unfortunately, that may apply to more of us than we'd like to admit.

A quick search on YouTube will allow you to watch several of her performances. If you're interested in reading more of Andrea Gibson's poetry (or using it in competition), you can order her books and cds through her website, Amazon or Write Bloody Publishers



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WATCH THIS: Bill Nye the Science Guy and Chris Hardwick On How To Tie A Bow Tie

Posted on August 09, 2012 by Stephanie Alderdice

Gentlemen (or any ladies who would find this applicable) -

Is your tournament wardrobe feeling as out-of-date as last year's extemp files? 

Do you want to try a new look for speech tournaments but don't want to spend a ton of money? 

Would you like to learn a skill that may one day make someone say, "Oh...hey...that's cool"? 

Two words, my friends: Bow Ties. They're dapper, dressy, and gaining popularity. Sure, they're not for everyone. Some guys prefer a tie they can leave knotted up and ready to slip on for an entire season so they never have to actually re-tie it. But, if you've ever resisted buying a bow tie because you didn't know how to tie it, or - if you're wearing clip-on bow ties and want the bonus points of doing it yourself - check out this video. It features Chris Hardwick from G4's Web Soup and the Nerdist podcast and Bill Nye the Science Guy of the science stuff. They'll walk you through the steps of tying the bow tie. 

Even if you're not planning on switching to bow ties, it's still a fun video to watch. 

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