Today I helped coach someone's daughter for an elocution contest, which was a rather unusual situation, to say the least. It also stirred up old memories of my school years when I'd regularly participate in elocution and interpretative reading competitions. There's a sort of a familiar feel to things with respect to what sounds right or how to tweak a performance to have greater impact. And that goes beyond intonation and enunciation but also includes pacing and your chosen actions and all that fun stuff. Elocution contests are quite the performance piece and it feels odd to me now that I ever got into it despite my occasional social awkwardness.
But hey, that's just how we were raised to not give in to such limitations. Public speaking has always been a part of my life regardless of how uncomfortable I'd feel at times getting up on that stage to recite this or that piece or read whichever surprise text in front of the rest of my batch. Even now the words to Reverse Creation, a piece I managed to win the gold medal for, come to my mind quite easily still. So much hard work went into preparing for those performances and some of them are still burned into memory.
No regrets, definitely. Such exercises were certainly character-building and helped me to grow into the person that I am today. But it just felt a little surreal to be helping someone else to prepare for such a performance and feel the old tips and tricks come out of my mouth instead of someone else's. And yet at the same time I also found myself feeling the same feelings as before when I'd be practicing and get similar advice on how to improve my performance. It was pretty weird.
Life can be funny.