As the first forensics meet approaches on the 23rd, participants are left curious for what’s to come. Forensics, a competitive club based around public speaking and acting, will be modified and changed to best fit safety standards of the COVID era. The dynamic of the meets will definitely be different, and sponsors ensure they prepare their participants for their best performance. Students will have to take into account their punctuality and voice levels more than ever before. With the way forensics is structured, the main aspects will be greatly affected by the rules required for pandemic safety. Factors like facial expressions, speaking, and more can be hindered and become harder with masks, and acting masks that show the face still greatly hinder voice level and the typical amount of clarity the judges usually experience. Events such as informative and persuasive speech, impromptu, an event of an unprepared 5 minute speech, and others like debate or interpretation of literature, will all be greatly affected by the new changes.
“In regard to Forensics, there will most assuredly be dramatic changes in how the meets are run. One of the most important aspects of performance is the ability to express what you are performing. Covering one’s face with a mask greatly reduces facial expressions and muffles voices, making it difficult to convey emotion, purpose, and direction. This difficulty, along with the number of students allowed in one area at one time, will change the entire meet environment,” says Makenna Roths, when asked about the situation.
Even though the changes will greatly affect the overall feeling, students remain optimistic and hopeful, not letting the changes affect them in their performance. Some may even see the smaller groups as an easier target to pertain to, allowing them to more accurately depict what they are presenting. Others may have less nerves, as they would only have to perform in front of the judges, but for those who love to perform for people, the empty crowd may discourage them slightly. Many in forensics participate for the act of performing. They love to entertain and make people laugh, but with an empty crowd, judges may have to fill that role along with maintaining their current occupations.
“I am deeply saddened by some of the changes that have occurred this year. Performing at forensics meets and in the play, providing a delightful show for an audience, and bringing smiles and emotion to others was one of my favorite activities. Not having an audience or even the activity as a whole was heartbreaking. However, this disappointment and sadness is temporary. I’m ready to face the challenge of COVID-19 and find new ways to enjoy the activities I participate in[…].”
As forensics approaches, students will surely have a learning experience, getting used to new rules and regulations for this year. It will surely be hard for some, seeing the very basis of what they participate for nearly missing. Although it may be tough, we strive to remain optimistic and not discouraged for the near future.