Attention all aspiring poets and actors! On January 17th, there were official tryouts for this year’s Poetry Out Loud competition.
Although it may seem intimidating, the teachers who organize the program are incredibly kind, and with practice, it is an accomplishable fear. As someone who got fairly far in this competition last year, I would like to offer a few words of advice for anyone who might plan to compete in this year’s POL.
First of all, be confident! Even if you aren’t the most seasoned public speaker, you have the potential to improve upon those skills through this experience. The teachers who judge you at the school level are welcoming and helpful, and will never hesitate to offer you help if needed! By bringing confidence to your performance, you will help all of your audience to truly see your talent and encourage them to listen to what you have to say.
Also, be prepared! If anything contributes to a win in this competition, it would be preparation. Make sure that you memorize the poems that you select thoroughly, so you can really put a performance into it, rather than struggling through the recitation. If you practice a little bit every day, you will surely become a master at your poems!
Lastly, be yourself! A successful poetry performance is highly dependent upon your individuality, since you will be competing against many strong personalities! Put your own spin on your poems, and make sure to truly act out what you are saying. By using your own experiences and opinions in your performance, you help your audience to see your unique interpretation of the poem, which is truly important! What you have to say, matters!
This competition is truly an enlightening experience, by which you will visit interesting new places, and meet friendly people! From traveling around Massachusetts, I made multiple friends, with whom I stay in contact to this day! Even if you don’t make it past the school level, this is an opportunity to meet some others from around the school that you may not have had the opportunity to meet in the past. I greatly encourage you to participate in this incredible experience and hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did!