The Wall

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Ten minutes. Ten minutes could be gone in an instant yet feel like an eternity when she was staring at The Wall. She had a love-hate relationship with it. She loved the honesty it brought. Ten minutes prior to a round and the only judge is The Wall. All the flaws, all the brilliant flashes of alteration, all the blank moments of herself were reflected back. The truth of the piece was revealed. Yet, a wall cannot give advice. It leaves you with yourself—alone. This loneliness is what she hated. The Wall was selfish. It took everything from her and left her nothing but herself. And this clarity is why she kept returning to the white bricks. She needed the reminder of what worked and what could be improved because without this challenge, her art would wilt. Even though she competed with five other performers, she ultimately was competing with herself; pushing herself to the next level of speechie Nirvana.

She takes a hand and gently caresses the blankness soon to be filled with her skill. The black book opens, revealing the dreams within, and she whispers her story to her greedy love while time freezes.

Okay, so I write creatively from time to time. That does not mean this rushed something-or-other is without merit. I loved the moments prior to a competition when I had my wall time. I would find a desolate hallway near my round room, embrace a section of bricks or plaster, and work on the bits I deemed most needy. Aside from Impromptu, Extemp, and Duo I recommend every speechie become familiar with The Wall. It can be your best friend. I always found performing to a wall helped gather my focus. I had no eyes watching me to make me conscious of myself. I had no distracting movements to make my eyes stray. I had my Wall. I could hear my words being bounced back so I heard what my audience heard. I could mentally visualize my performance. And if I made a mistake and looked cross, no one could see my face and deem me weak competition. I was thus an enigma when I went to compete.

Finding blank space lets you paint the canvass with your art and gets you hyped. It is also a great way to practice during the week when you staying after school and are getting ready for a tournament. Trust me, if I would have practiced my piece facing outwards towards a hallway, I would have gotten quizzical and degrading looks from 98% of the student population roaming the hallways going to clubs; which does not help boost my ego.

It’s hard finding a “private” and calm area to practice anyplace you go, but The Wall offers the illusion of safety and isolation which feels extremely real.

For how much I competed, i was never a wall person. I guess that never really caught on with me. But I will say, it was amusing to see 15 to 20 people lined up next to each other practicing and you could look at them and try to guess what their category was...lol

I also am in love with "The Wall"...speech and Pink Floyd variety.

You might not have used The Wall directly but The Wall still touched you! AND laughing and releasing tension by guessing categories like that you have used a byproduct of the Wall. I'm serious. The Wall holds the secret to success and life, haha. Kidding. It's just bricks.

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