View Full Version : Your Piece Isn't Important. Really.
02-16-2006, 10:00 PM
I've noticed a lot of people on here seem to put a lot more emphasis on a piece than it's performance. People using phrases like "Does this piece place?" and "Judges will punish you just for doing that piece", etc.
Your piece is essentially irrelevant to how you are judged.
As Foreniscators, we all worry so much about "getting it right." We worry about what exactly we need to do to impress the judge and get that 1, and since your piece is what is performed, it's very easy to get caught in the trap of thinking that your piece is a deciding factor in the judge's decision. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it's not. The other 1% is attributable to ignorant judges.
What matters is your performance. The rules of the NFL allow for almost any piece of literature imaginable to be performed (if you can find an ISBN number, you're good to go). The number of pieces available is practically infinite. And, if performed at their absolute fullest potential, just about any of them can win a tournament.
Does this mean you can do absolutely any piece? Probably not. It would be hard for Calista Flockhart to pull off a biography of Malcolm X as an HI. It would be difficult for Michael Duncan Clarke to perform "Mein Kampf" as prose.
But you know what? It's not impossible.
Performances are what get 1's, not pieces. A well-written piece is fine, but if you can't perform, what's the point? The point of forensics is not to find literature to cut, it's to interpret and speak the literature in the most engaging way possible.
Pieces don't win rounds, performances do. Pieces don't put you on stage, performances do. You aren't given a place in "Literature Selection", you're given a place in "Humorous INTERPRETATION" or "Duo INTEPRETATION" or "StoryTELLING". Remember that ultimately, speech is just that...speech.
(Happy 4,000th post to me!)
02-18-2006, 11:19 AM
02-18-2006, 11:59 AM
02-18-2006, 10:16 PM
Goddammit. That's it. I'm just going to say the exact OPPOSITE of what I think so we can actually stimulate some discussion on these boards.
Where the **** are you guys, anyway? We've had about THIRTY posts over the past two days!
02-18-2006, 10:32 PM
I disagree. A well written piece is just - if not more, important than a good performance. You could have the greatest performance in the world but if you have simplistic literature how far is that going to get you?
I do however, agree that a great performance with mediocre literature will beat an average performance with great literature.
I think there are three things that determine how well you do, the piece, the cut and the performance. I think performance is the most important aspect but you can't disregard the other to things to the one percentile.
This is interpretation after all.
02-18-2006, 11:13 PM
I see both sides, honestly. If I had to give a bottom line, I'd say a selection does matter. But, performance is undoubtedly more essential to a mesmerizing performance, but what can sometimes lead to that precise amount of mesmerence is the selection in and of itself. Saying selections don't matter would mean that, I dunno, The Write Stuff could be more dramatically performed than, say, a slave narrative. That, I seriously doubt, will ever happen. So, all in all, I do not FULLY disagree with Chewie, as I do not want to get banned once again like the Tarantino thread :D .
02-20-2006, 07:48 AM
I agree with Chewie. I've heard of a person who cut the phone book as an HI.
Oh, and it's Michael Clarke Duncan, not Michael Duncan Clarke.
07-17-2008, 07:58 PM
I know this post is dead and has been dead for like 2 years, but I was just browsisn old forums, and I found this thread. After reading the above post
I've heard of a person who cut the phone book as an HI.
Oh, and it's Michael Clarke Duncan, not Michael Duncan Clarke.
I must say has anyone else headr of something like tis? I'm honestly intrigued. How did it go? How as it done? What the heck?
07-17-2008, 08:27 PM
well this isnt as crazy as the phonebook
but about four years ago or maybe more. a person from my team cut The BIBLE.......and broke at Harvard.
i thought that was pretty crazy
07-21-2008, 06:27 PM
I would disagree, but since it's Chewie, I will not voice an opinion that might disregard his potency as a loyal leader of his faithful followers.
07-22-2008, 09:29 AM
two years ago I saw The Phone Book as an HI. The performing was amazing, obviously, and broke into several finals. He basically went through advertisements, starting at Doctors giving birth to his "character" to preschools to toy shops, to bars, to strip clubs, to churches for a wedding, etc. etc. up to a doctor where his character dies of a heart attack. He used the character's heartbeat as a constant thread throughout the piece to connect everything together.
07-22-2008, 09:30 AM
two years ago I saw The Phone Book as an HI. The performer was amazing, obviously, and broke into several finals. He basically went through advertisements, starting at Doctors giving birth to his "character" to preschools to toy shops, to bars, to strip clubs, to churches for a wedding, etc. etc. up to a doctor where his character dies of a heart attack. He used the character's heartbeat as a constant thread throughout the piece to connect everything together.
07-22-2008, 12:05 PM
I say it does matter. Because I have seen great performers held back by bad material. A bad piece has limits as so does a performer.
In this instance i am talking about. Someone did the piece "camp" but yet i knew that he could do much better with the piece holding him back from what he could really show off.
07-22-2008, 01:37 PM
I think the piece doesn't matter much at all.
I believe that the cutting is FARR more important than the actual piece itself, because I've seen terrible pieces turned into brilliant work by making the cutting completely different.
03-17-2009, 12:06 PM
I'm going to disagree. The piece is just important as the performance. You need a piece that you can work with. Many judges (in my state) don't just want a crapload of tech. The speech should have humor IN IT as well. When you pick a childish story that is only funny because of your performance.. you are cheating yourself. If you can do well with a piece that isn't very funny because of your interpretation.. think how much you could do with a GOOD SCRIPT? It's that simple. Last year I did a piece that was a little more "storytelling" than humor, I executed it superbly but could only take it to a certain point.. there comes a time when you just can't change anymore. This year, I chose a funny script and have had GREAT results.
03-23-2009, 07:01 PM
I agree with the fact that the piece is very important, but the interpretation and cutting matter as well. There is a girl I frequently compete with, especially at small meets, who has the same piece I do. The piece is cut slightly differently but have some parts that are exactly the same, and the interpretations couldn't be more different. When we both compete with this piece (The Insanity of Mary Girard) we usually both make it to finals. However, each time we have made it to finals, I place above her. Why? Her cutting isn't bad, but it does not show as much emotional development. In her interpretation as well, she does not quite connect with mary's emotional collapse. I'm not saying that her performance is bad as there are some really good parts and I enjoy watching her. But she does not interpret it in a way that makes the judges want to pay quite as much attention. There are MANY factors in interpretation other than piece choice.
05-10-2009, 11:15 AM
I'd say it all matters.
You can get by with a great performance and a badly-written/cut piece, or vice versa. But only to an extent. A truly successful interper is one who can find good literature, cut a good piece, AND give a consistently great performance.
I see people all over my district (and some on my team) who genuinely have talent...but they are unable to find good literature that suits their style.
And guess what? They do well at local tournaments, but at bigger ones and/or qualifiers, they wonder why they don't break.
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