A couple weeks ago, me and a couple other students from our school participated in the 4th annual Kiwanis Fraser Valley Speech Arts & Drama Festival. I participated in this same competition last year, performing my very well-received and somewhat over-used, Tuna Fish monologue (receiving a gold standing). This is partly why I decided, this year, to do a more serious, dramatic monologue: Horror from Apocalypse Now. After watching Brando’s performance and the brilliant cinematography of the scene, I thought it would be interesting to study the piece in theatre. Transitioning the setting from film to stage posed much more challenging than I had expected, although sessions with my Theatre teacher were drastically helpful. We managed to exaggerate the true motivations of the character and extend his emotional limitations; the audience needed this added engagement as, unlike the film, they have no knowledge of the leading plotline. This was the first time that I had ever transformed a movie script to theatre, and I definitely underestimated the difficulty.
After a couple months of preparation, I finally performed Horror on April 12th at the White Rock First United Church. This was the same location as the year before so I had some sense of comfort, although the acoustics weren’t ideal so I had to be much louder than usual. The adjudicator was very impressive, a professional actor, director and theatre instructor: Scott Bellis. I really enjoyed performing for him, his first words broke from his laughter, “Why did you choose this monologue. That was horrifying.” He then went on giving suggestions and asked me to try running through it again. I felt as if I was in a workshop rather than performing at a competition. After giving some final constructive advice, Scott Bellis awarded me gold standing with a certificate and an evaluation.
I’m not sure if I’ll have another opportunity to perform this piece, but if I do, I have a lot of things to work on thanks to Scott Bellis. I’m very satisfied with my standing and look forward to attending the Honors Performances in early June.
Mine was a much less bone-chilling rendition: