Freshman qualifies for state in speech


Speech student Tam T. has qualified for state as a freshman.

Tam T.
Speech student Tam T. has qualified for state as a freshman.

“I am from a nudist colony and I was wondering if there is a method of integrating a natural cosmetic look for the completely naked human form.”

Armed with a fast mouth and a thick Asian accent, Tam T. rattles off the lines of her humorous performance, a piece about the trials and tribulations of a “new to the country” Asian woman trying to make her way through an American cosmetology school.

“No wonder you’re in a nudist colony,” her character responds to a customer. “You probably can’t find any clothes that fit your fat ***.”

With this piece, Tam became one of the first Kerr Speech and Debate members to make it to state as a freshman. The premise of it may seem a little inappropriate, but it is the topic coupled with Tam’s charm that has continually won audiences over.

Though the competition itself may be serious, Tam’s only way of winning is through making the judges laugh.

“The event I am performing at state is humorous interpretation,” she said. “In it, you’re supposed to read a piece and make it funny.”

Tran was attracted to the piece despite the challenges.

“I was just going through books and I saw that it was about cosmetology and I thought it would be interesting,”  Tam said. “When I showed the piece to Christine , she said it would be really good to do an accent because it was about cosmetology and nails and stuff.”

 Tam first began to hone her talent in speech at the beginning of this year, which happened to be her first year in debate as well. As an alumna of AMS, which does not offer debate as an extracurricular, Tam made the decision to join Kerr’s Speech and Debate team without any previous experience.

“I joined because I like to interact a lot with people,” Tam said. “And usually, I like to get involved in extracurricular activities.”

Her short time as part of the team has been validated with an accumulation of wins from tournaments.

“My favorite part about debate is going to competitions,” she said. “I love to win.”

But even the most talented of people still suffer from performance anxiety, and Tam is no exception.

“When I’m in a room with other people, especially the funny ones, I feel really scared because after watching their performance and seeing how funny it is, I get nervous,” she said. “[I always] wonder if my performance will be able to top theirs. Then when it’s my turn to perform, I feel as if I’m going to break down, but I don’t.”

In  Tam’s opinion, though making it to state this early is a great achievement, it still has its downfalls.

“Being the first freshman to make it to state for Speech and Debate, I feel excited but scared at the same time,” Tam said. “Other people are better than me and I don’t know what to expect for state.”

Tam feels as if her biggest weakness is her lack of technique, because she “didn’t have much practice in it.” She isn’t letting that hold her back, however. Tam is doing her best to prepare for both the competition and debate in the future.

Despite her preparations,  Tam still is not expecting much.

“I don’t expect to win at state,” she said. “I’m just going for the experience because so many other people have more experience than me, and so I’m just using this trip to learn.”