I watched Duo finals at Nationals last year. It felt like a Stoa reunion. Everyone was there. Well, almost everyone. Those that couldn't fit in the Duo room (yes, it was ginormous, but it was quite filled to compacity) were in HI. Which, I'm told, was also quite full. (I'm also told that OI is just the overflow of people who wouldn't fit in the afformentioned event rooms.) But hey, everyone loves Duos and HIs. I am certainly no exception.
My first time in finals was for my Dramatic Interp last year. The room was very tiny. There was a timer, a guy taking pictures, two guys in the back row who probably meant to go to a different room, and five judges around one of those awkward round tables that I practically had to lay on top of in order to thank them for judging. But do you see the problem? There were way more judges than audience members. IN FINALS. But, that's how DI works, I guess. I went first (so far I have gone first each time I was in finals) and then made my way over to the duo room to watch that. Even I didn't stick around in DI. Oh, I thought upon arriving in duo, here's where everyone is.
My second time in finals was for novice impromptu. The room was huge. There were three judges around a rectangular table (yes!), a timer, two or three young kids who may have been his friends, and a parent from my club whose daughter was also in finals and was most likely there to watch her. Again, notice the lack of audience. Not that I blame them. Actually, the fact that anyone was watching novice impromptu startled me. Yes, there were only two or three kids watching who didn't appear to have a reason to be there, but if you're going to watch impromptu finals, why not regular? I don't get it. I spoke first, of course, and fortunately had plenty of time to watch all eight of the duo finalists, in a room with about 100,000 other people who have good taste in speeches.
The third time I was in finals was for HI. I was definitely looking forward to having an audience, and yes, I finally did. Now, I went first, as usual, because I was listed as second but the first guy wasn't there yet so I had to go, even though I wanted to wait. About fifteen people walked in after I finished, which is always annoying, but oh well. People watched. I was thrilled. Note: If you're ever in finals for something people might actually watch, go third or fourth. The order you speak does not affect your ranking, but it does affect your audience. Never go last, if you can avoid it, because a lot of people leave after #7 thinking that the round is over. Try not to go first, either, because some of your audience will not have arrived yet. Trust me. I think about these things.
Anyway, maybe we can sit together in Duo finals next time. That would be fun. You're homeschooled, so I'm sure I'll see you there.