A dynamic duo
Angel Proctor and Alex Larsen make a great team.
The two senior members of the Chase High Speech and Debate team were recently named the 2013 State Champions in Duo Interpretation during the Tarheel Forensic League’s North Carolina State Championship tournament.
“Finding out we had won was the most beautiful moment in the world,” Proctor said.
Proctor and Larsen have only been partners for a short time but they have excelled at several tournaments, also qualifying for the National Forensic League (NFL) National Tournament that will be held in Birmingham, Al June 16-21.
Proctor has been a member of the speech and debate team since she was a freshman.
“I was talking to Bridgette Brainard (a member of the team) and she was telling me that I would be really good in speech and debate because I always tell stories and I always used my hands and act out the stories,” Proctor said. “I like to be competitive and that’s what it is, competitive acting. I ended up being pretty good at it and decided to stick with it.”
Larsen, who is also the drum major in the Chase marching band, joined the team his junior year at the request of coach J. Patrick Moss.
“My second semester of my junior year I decided to join because I had Mr. Moss for English my sophomore year. He told me ‘you should really join speech and debate, I would like you on my team.’ I didn’t have any other classes to take so I thought I would try it out,” Larsen said.
Larsen began in the Lincoln Douglas debate category, but switched to Duo Interpretation when Proctor needed a new partner.
“Angel was doing the piece we are doing now with a different partner, Drew Terrell, and they were doing well. But he wasn’t going to be able to do the class second semester because he is a big Beta Club guy, so they were just randomly like ‘Alex, do you want to pick up Duo?’ Larsen said. “Not even a month before our first competition, I was still being trained up.”
For Duo Interpretation, the pair perform a short script but are not allowed to use props, touch or look at each other. The scripts must be between eight and 10 minutes long and can be comedy or drama. The piece that Proctor and Larsen perform is a comedy called “The Princess and the Frog,” adapted from “The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon.”
“I started out in humorous interpretation and then I saw two people doing it together. It looked like it would be fun. It’s fun to play off of people and it’s more interesting instead of standing up there by yourself and talking,” Proctor said. “We have to create the illusion in people’s minds that we are looking and touching each other. It’s really cool and a lot of fun.”
“Alex Larsen did what so very few speech and debate students do, he has excelled in both speech categories and debate categories. Usually my students gravitate to either speech or debate, Alex has been successful in both,” Moss said. “He was the champion of Varsity Lincoln-Douglas at North West Guilford’s tournament facing foes from both east and west North Carolina and he’s a national qualifier and state champion in Duo Interpretation. It is so completely rare to have a student do so well in both. Alex is a very well-rounded individual.”
Along with being a state champion for Duo Interpretation, Proctor has broken all previous Chase records and acquired over 1,000 NFL points.
“Angel is by far and away the best performer in Chase’s forensic history. She has destroyed the all-time points record, been the first Chase student to achieve an NFL degree of Outstanding distinction (over 1,000 NFL points), and will have qualified for four national competitions,” Moss said. “She’s currently ranked 7th in the district and is a State Champion of Duo Interpretation. I will be very surprised to find a performer to top her achievements anytime in the near future.”
According to Moss, the average Chase High speech student usually accrues between 175-300 points in a career.
“Whenever I went as a freshman, my goal was to be a state champion. By my senior year I want to go to Nationals, be a state champion and beat everyone in points and I want to be number one. I got all that,” Proctor said. “It feels amazing. I feel like I have accomplished everything I wanted in speech and debate.”
Proctor and Larsen are currently practicing to compete at nationals in June where they will be up against over 200 teams.
“As a team they have excellent chemistry and perform very well together. I look forward to seeing that representation in the national arena,” Moss said.