When it was finally my turn to go up I opened with the following words to the judges: “I’m going to be doing quite a bit of acting: I’m going to be pretending I’m awake.” I wish I could say their laughter helped me from being too nervous, though I’m really glad they did laugh, because that would have been really awkward. I’ve had the awful experience of telling a joke in front of an audience and being met with silence, it’s not something you want to happen to you, let me tell you that.
After I was about halfway through the poem I started to get lost in Poe’s wonderful writing and I calmed down, and had fun. I didn’t really practice the closure to my interpretive reading, however, I didn’t tell the judges and they didn’t need to know.
Amazingly enough, I won the gold award in my category… It just shows that "The Raven" really is great... Shit, now I have to get ready for State next week; I might actually need to practice for that.