The Loy Norrix Forensics Team has been a large part of junior Riley Dominianni’s high school career since the start. Before coming to Norrix, Dominianni participated in many theatrical productions. Because she enjoyed acting, she quickly joined the forensics team when she arrived at Loy Norrix.
“I’ve always liked acting and I thought it [forensics] was a super unique idea,” said Dominianni.
Forensics is competitive speaking: acting, debating, poetry, speeches, creative writing, and more. There is a variety of different events to suit different interests and skill sets.
“The forensics team is all about competitive acting and public speaking,” said Dominianni. “We just compete with other students from other schools with prepared pieces that we come up with, rehearse, and memorize.”
Dominianni and her teammates are putting together acting pieces, which they will perform at competitions later in the year. For the first time, Dominianni is captaining an event this year. She is overseeing all the students in the duos event, where two people partner up to perform a piece.
“I’ve done that [duos event] for the past two years, but this year, I’m actually not gonna do that. I’m gonna captain all the other kids who want to do it,” said Dominianni. “I’ll have a role in pairing up students and helping them pick a piece, and helping them revise it.”
In March, they will be competing in tournaments at Grand Rapids Christian High School, Portage Northern High School, Portage Central High School, and here at Loy Norrix. They will also participate in the regional competition in Holland High School and have the opportunity move on to the state finals at Oakland University.
“We do it [perform] for a panel of judges who rank us, and then at the end, we see who did the best,” said Dominianni.
Dominianni’s first year on the forensics team, her freshman year, was one of the team’s lowest points since she started at Loy Norrix.
“We didn’t even break regionals, so we didn’t get far at all freshman year,” said Dominianni, “That made us feel awful.”
During her second year, the team made it to the state competition, which “made up for it,” said Dominianni.
“That was really, really exciting because we felt pretty discouraged after regionals,” Dominianni continued, “We didn’t think that we did well, and then to find out we had done well enough to move forward to the state competition, that was really exciting.”
According to PBS, being on a forensics team helps with critical thinking and communication skills. It is also a good way for participants to express their interests and opinions.
As an upperclassman, Dominianni has reflected on how her time on the forensics team may help in her future.
“It’s definitely made me better with time management,” said Dominianni, “It’s made me a lot better with nerves because it’s super nerve racking to compete all the time.”