Finding an unexpected expression

I have done acting and forensics in school since the fifth grade. The main reason for this was because I thought that it might help me get out of my shell – and because this really cute boy was also in it but that’s beside the point!

In the beginning, there was a big meeting where you get to see who the coaches would be, who else was on the team, and of course what categories were available to partake in. Some of those categories included poetry (where you read a collection of small poetic works), sales (you get to sell a product- like the Snuggie), dramatic interpretation (you act off a script from a movie, TV show, or other work), informative (give an information-filled speech on a topic you feel strongly about), or storytelling (which I’m pretty sure speaks for itself).

You were given a list of all the possibilities and then you were told to choose three of the options listed and number them where number one was the one you REALLY wanted to do, down to three where you felt, eh, I would do this if I had no other choice. My list was: No.1- Dramatic Interpretation, No.2- Sales, and No. 3- Poetry.

We were told that, odds are, whatever you put down for number one, you’d probably get. So I figured, no problem, I’ll get Dramatic Interp. or at least Sales, or (at the time) I was even willing to do poetry! But, as you had most likely assumed all along, I didn’t get to do Dramatic Interpretation. I didn’t get to do Sales. I didn’t even get to do Poetry. I got placed into Informative.

In a conspiracy-type way, I’m pretty sure the only reason I was put into Informative was because none of the coaches thought I could talk. Or, at least, talk in a way deserving of any other category. I despised it with all of my heart, but I had committed thirty dollars and a dream to burst out of my shell and be amazing. I couldn’t quit. That would be too easy. I came in last every time, but I did what I could do try to break my shell.

The next year I gave them the same list and a bunch of stars bordering the words Dramatic Interpretation. In return, I got put into Informative again. In receiving the same results, I finally decided to do something about it. The following year, I decided to audition for a duo, so this time they would have see the acting talent that I had. In the end, a few others and I were pulled aside. We weren’t deemed good enough to be in duo. However, when they asked me what category I would like to be put in I almost screamed anything but informative! The next day we got to see what category we would be in, and finally, by the category Dramatic Interpretation, I saw my name.

I did the best I could in this category. I actually had fun in forensics for once! To everyone’s surprise (including my own) I managed to place in every single tournament. Granted the highest place I ever got was fourth, but I didn’t care. While I didn’t quite break out of my shell, I think I found something better. I found my voice.

Editor’s note: Theresa Hermann, 15, is a sophomore at Marquette Senior High School. She is a member of the 8-18 Media Senior Team and she plays trumpet in the high school band. In her spare time she likes to write and make movies. She is a daughter of James and Gail Hermann. 8-18 Media is a youth journalism program of the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum. Through the program, teams of kids write news stories and commentaries on issues important to youth and about any good, or bad, things youth are up to. For more information call 906-226-7874, or email at