There are two categories of people in this world- People that love the limelight and people who don’t. For those who detest attention, sweaty palms, shaky voices, dilated pupils and a serious case of the-cat’s-got your tongue- are sometimes, they need to die of embarrassment on stage. But others who soar in the limelight revel in the audience’s affection. People in this category are found in one place: in SAS’s Forensics afterschool cohort.
After school Tuesdays, 3- 4:30 are “sacred” times for the Forensics team who aim to develop their public speaking skills. Touted as the club who stormed through last year’s China cup, leaving with their chins up high with the silver medal in their hands, Forensics has been SAS’s pride since it was first established.
Time in Forensics meetings is always spent wisely. Although the club runs year round, the club only expects attendance in the second semester, in which forensic members get ready for their linguistic matches. This allows prospective members to participate in other extra curricular activities as well as seasonal sports.
This win-win situation however is not offered to newcomers who are expected to attend meetings in Semester 1 because they have yet to understand rules and the format of the six categories Forensics offer: Impromptu, Extemporaneous speaking, Original oratory, Oral interpretation, Solo acting and Debate.
Two of the six categories: sole acting and oral interpretation, which involves choosing a poem or extract from a text and presenting it with vocal gymnastics, requires a lot of time and effort. Members who choose these two events spend their afternoons searching for the perfect piece to present.
Last year in 2013, Forensics took 20 of their strongest members to China cup and 10 to APAC. The result? Edgar and former student JX stood on the pedestal to receive 2ndplace in Debate, while Austin Cheng and Harry Grey also received victory in their respective categories. Amanda Lee, the president of the club, who made it into the finals the former year, also repeated history.
This year, Forensics is gunning for more. Although the year has just begun and things have just started heating up in meetings- with effective impromptu warm-ups followed by practice debates, oratorical oratories and more, Forensics has already welcomed with open arms 30 newcomers into the team.
Amanda has also expressed concern for the direction the club is heading. “I think Forensics is not taken too seriously right now.” “Unlike MUN”, she says, that has one sole purpose, “to debate”; Forensics has an array of purposes. “It is a lot about your ability to stand up in front of an audience and speak your mind.,” she continued. “I think its such an important skill and Forensics is about honing your skills”. Although she didn’t specify her visions for the club, she informed The Pudong Press that she would be striving to correct the club members’ attitude in the following years.
By: Grace Ang