Speech, Debate Teams Showcase Talents

Jennifer Tinoco

Members of the Speech and Debate Team demonstrated their energetic speeches and entertainment skills that have racked up numerous national awards in Kreider Hall on May 24.

Language Arts instructor Ira Heffler explained that, “this presentation is a way of showcasing our talented club members. They have won numerous awards and I think this is great exposure for the club and for students who are interested in joining.”

Club president Robert Cannon and club members David Hale and Tiffany Brain performed Interpretation of Literature, which is similar to acting. But unlike in stage acting, the performers do not wear make up, or costumes nor are props involved. The performance is all about their body language, facial expressions and vocals.

According to the head coach of the team, Josh Fleming, there are 11 different styles of speaking, “[although] we only saw some of the most entertaining styles of speaking, which included poetry interpretation, prose and dramatic duo.”

Only 10 minutes is allowed for each student to perform.

Hale, who placed first in poetry interpretation last fall, performed a sketch about America and fear.

“Armageddon is hot right now,” yelled Hale as he stepped onto the stage, addressing topics such as aliens, the sky falling, terrorists and the government. Hale really jumped into action by getting close to the first rows of the audience.

Brain performed a prose interpretation in which the character was struck by love with a boy who, was involved with her older sister.

With a comedy twist and a dramatic ending, Brain illustrated her actions as she spoke by pretending to write in her journal and knocking on her sister’s door.

“I had a lot of fun doing this since many here at GCC do not get to see our team perform,” said Brain.

Cannon, who has received numerous awards in the past, including first place in a duo competition with student Tracy Reed, also performed a poetry interpretation.

One of Cannon’s scenarios was that of very angry and powerful elementary school superintendent. His character explained, “I am not mean, I just want the kids to write definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, over and over again so that they will never spell those words wrong ever again.”

Hale and Cannon also performed in a dramatic duo together.

“The special thing about a dramatic duo is the similarities it has with that of traditional plays and films. But the way we present it is a bit different,” said Fleming.

Throughout their performance, Hale and Cannon faced the audience. With a black folder in their hands, they did not look at each other during the entire performance.
It is really all about the way the speakers move that makes the audience imagine where the story is all taking place. “Listening to the speakers enhances my imagination to picture what is going on with the particular scene. It was really entertaining,” said Liberal Arts Major, Sarah Mestico, 19.
“They always do a great job and I’m very proud of them,” said Heffler about the team members performances.

“I definitely enjoy doing this for the campus,” said Cannon. “It is a way of showing students and faculty what we do since none of our competitions are held on campus,” he said.

“I think that being on such a team is a very unique experience. They do get to perform formal and more serious speeches in addition to the very entertaining ones,” said Fleming.

“All of the elements that the students put into this team are very cultivating for their future goals and careers. And it looks great on a resume,” Fleming added.

Team meetings are held in AD 205 every Thursday from noon to 1 p.m.

For more information on the Speech and Debate Team, Fleming may be contacted at (818) 240-1000 ext. 3179. Heffler may be reached at (818) 240-1000, ext. 3113. Jean Perry, who is the chair of the Language Arts Department, may also be reached at (818) 240-1000 ext. 5504.