Trophies Part 1

image.jpgFinally home. 🙂 In our family, most often than not, we lose medals, certificates, trophies, and yep, even diplomas. As a family unit, we help each other get the awards. Once we’ve got them—we congratulate each other, tell the winning family member that they did a great job, talk about it for usually like a day, and then we forget about it.

I don’t know how this thing with us started, but it has always been the case. Personally, it has kept me grounded, never letting me rest on my laurels.

This humorous speech was years in the making. I really had so many doubts the whole time. I don’t know how to be purposely funny, especially in English. The first time I tried to make a humorous speech for a contest, the comment was that it was more inspirational than funny. Which at the time frustrated me a bit.

The speech I made for this contest was years in the making. Borne out of a joke teasing the boyfriend. I was very apprehensive about telling the jokes and letting other people hear me.

I tried numerous times before the area contest to write this speech, and I always floundered because I really didn’t know how to start.

But come a week before the area contest, I knew I had to write. And I thank the training I have had in my writing sideline because I was able to write something. The first draft was as shitty as they come. The message came to me because I saw it in a Facebook post. The first message of this speech involved communicating that Love Is Deaf, not Blind. I thank Sheila, our president for not saying it wasn’t funny, and helping me edit out my lapses. It was not a winning speech, and I knew it, but I said it can do because my Area Director told me that I was the lone contestant from the area.

I struggled a lot after I wrote the first draft. I didn’t know what “voice” I would use. In all the free time that I had, I watched stand-up comedy routines of Ellen, Amy Schumer, Angela Johnson, Kevin Hart, and Jerry Seinfeld. I read a lot of material on how to write comedy, revisited my notes on the seminars given in toastmasters about it (Thanks, Gov Ed!), and I watched all the district humorous champion women winners that I could find online. I also was on the lookout for material. Jotting down things I hear, like Minty going “deadmathology 101” in a converation, or watching a showcase of having a group of persons laugh at command with skill and humor from Mr. Pacheco. And as I laughed at the jokes, I was really going crazy because I really didn’t know how to deliver the speech. Plus, I really thought the speech was crap.

At the eve of the contest, I wanted to practice, but my boyfriend convinced me to watch a play instead. Almost, Maine– a play with multiple love story vignettes — some funny and poignant. Before the play started, I received a text from Sasi telling me that I now had a fellow contestant for the area.

I remember being really really really angry at the boyfriend. “I’m going to mess up!” I told him. And he told me to just watch the play, not to worry, and he believed I would win. At this point, all he knew was that the speech was about him, but he never heard it or read it before. I had no choice, so I watched the play, immersed myself in it, but when intermission came — I was really going crazy.

I was going crazy because of a lot of things. Summer is the ultimate crazy time for my business, and  I was juggling so many things– helping organize TM meetings, preparing for a speech contest, writing reviews, sitting in trainings to learn for to be a trainer, helping in teambuilding activities, creating training modules, going for a norm, etc, etc. I was in tears going home from the theatre.

Well, once I got to my office (house in Makati), I really did lock myself up in the bathroom and cried while brushing my teeth. And when I finished, my teeth were clean, and I was cried out. I remember looking at myself in the mirror, and just saying–“Get yourself together and do this!”

And I kid you not, the LSS kicked in. I heard Rihanna’s “Work” about 4x that day, and it played in my head at that moment.

And WORK popped into my head, and I thought (perhaps courtesy of the play I just watched, I should include Aldub), and I said outloud “he’s like Maine, and I’m Alden because I had to work hard for this relationship. But that’s okay because WHEN YOU WORK HARD AT SOMETHING THE MORE IT HAS VALUE.

My friends call me Dory, so I completely forgot what I said right after. I grabbed my phone, sang Work a few times to remember, and wrote the message in my phone. I locked myself up in an interview room (beside the bathroom), and rewrote my whole speech in the notes of my phone. Copying and pasting bits that I could use and just writing new material when I needed it. The twist came out– I don’t know how, it wasn’t in the first speech. After 30 minutes of concentrating on my phone, I finally had a speech, which I really liked. I practiced it– ack 8 minutes!

I am deathly afraid of going overtime in contests. Thanks to that stint I had previously where I was disqualified because of it. I just realized that I had to just deliver it as fast as I can. I spent 2 hours just reading and re-reading the speech on my phone that night.

Contest morning came– I was a nervous wreck! I had my phone read the speech to me on the way to the venue. And during the contest, all I did was read and read the speech in my phone. I was unprepared but I knew my material was good. I just hoped that they would laugh.

And they did. I performed my speech for the first time, I used a Mike, just like a real stand-up comedian, and they laughed. I won, and now it was off to division!



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