Forensic Flashback




Words on the wall know the score.

I had the opportunity recently to judge a high school forensics meet. No, there are no bodies, no ballistics to study or fibers to test. As a matter of fact, it’s about as far as you can get from a police procedural drama as you can get. In this case, forensics is a speech competition where students participate in different categories like interpretation, extemporaneous, and my favorite category, informative.


That’s right, I competed in high school and in college. I loved it, in a masochistic kind of way. You stand up in front of six or eight students and a judge who listened to your speech/performance and rank you against the other people in the round. Considering most people are not fans of public speaking, doing it for fun and competition makes you a special kind of strange. Or at least a special kind of attention seeker.

It was really exciting for me to be back at a meet as a judge (I judged a bit while I was in college too), and I was surprised at just how familiar it all was. It’s been….let’s leave it at a while, shall we…since I was competing, or judging for that matter. But the nervous energy when you walk into the room is the same (whether you’re a competitor or judge). The pieces were different – we would have had points taken off for four-letter words when I competed, but the feeling was the same.20170129_174823

I didn’t realize how much I missed it. Okay, I encouraged my daughter to join her HS team this year, and I helped her work on her piece, but I didn’t realize how much I missed being part of the competitions. Was it nostalgia? Probably. But it was also the love of performing, competing, watching your fellow competitors get better and better (and maybe hoping  just a little that they would get a case of brain freeze), and the feeling of being in a cafeteria or auditorium in a school somewhere filled with people just as excited and nervous as you.

The good news is that I’ve been asked back to judge another competition – I’m not saying when or where to try to keep things fair. But I’m really looking forward to it.

Tell Me a Story Tuesday – Award Show Style!

Publicity photo of Shirley Jones for the 1962 ...

After a brief break from my Tuesday requests for your stories, I am back and I have a twist.  The somewhat office Hollywood Award Season wrapped up on Sunday with the Oscars. At least one presenter alluded to practicing their acceptance speech in front of a mirror over the years. Come on, admit it, you have too. Here is your chance to share your speech with the world.

Here’s what I’m looking for…give me your best acceptance speech for the award of your choice (see example Aor give the acceptance speech you wish someone would give at an awards ceremony (see example B).

Example A: I would like to thank the Academy for this unbelievable honor. I am honored to be the company of these great nominees and all of them deserve this honor. Thank you to the cast and crew who really are what made this possible. I need to thank my family for their support and encouragement. Thank you to all the teacher and professors that saw something special in me and encouraged me. Lastly, this is for my mom who told me before she died that I would be standing here some day.

Example B:I’m gonna let you finish announcing the winner I just need to say somethin’ first. I want to thanks to all the people who voted for me, I’m glad you liked the gifts my publicist sent you during voting. Thanks to the other nominees who all did a good job, just not good enough. Come on Meryl, you’ve got to admit that voice you did just was just wrong. And you, how many times are we going to see you die on screen before you just stay dead? I’d like to thank my family and friends, I’d like to but they’re all money grubbing gold diggers with straws up their noses or needles in their arms. Which reminds me, I want to thank my dealer because we all know I wouldn’t have made it through without you Buzz. One last thing, this gold statue means a major pay day for me – my starting price just doubled. Thanks again and Buzz I’ll need you to come backstage.

Now it’s your turn. Same rules apply as previous weeks. Give me your best (or worst) acceptance speech!