I'm not good with time. I mean, if I look at a clock, I can tell you what time it is; that's not an issue. What I'm not good at is looking at a script and telling you how long it is. Or whenever I think I'm right, I'm wrong. Or whenever I time an interp or platform, and the timer says ten minutes, it's actually not. In competition it will be 11. Which is, you know, fantastic.
So then it's back to the drawing board, or word-processing program, as the case may be. It is time to cut. So I cut and cut and cut and cut and cut. I then do one of two things: I will either read everything I have cut in succession to determine how long it took me to read, and assume that that time is the approximate amount of seconds I just shaved off this speech. Alternatively, I may calculate my words-per-minute reading rate, add up the amount of words I cut, and go from there. If I want to be really sure I've cut enough, I do both. This is the process I followed with a recent DI that was going much, much too long. I estimated a 45-second decrease in time based on my two experiments.
Naturally, the dang speech just got longer.
Timing is hard. I should also mention that I have never, ever had a speech that was too ridiculously short. Oh, except once. My first interp I ever gave was, like, 7:30. But it didn't really make sense. So I added stuff. A few short weeks later, it was up 3 minutes. Like I said, I hardly ever have luck with time. I feel bad. I get why judges rank me down for it. It's not fair of me to take up a bunch of extra time that other people could have been putting to good use if they went over time. Please forgive me, other people. And judges.
That's why it's so great when you have a speech that's an even 10. Or close to an even 10. Some people get away with 11:00. Some people break with 8:05. Some people win tournaments with 13 minute interps, or so I've heard. But those people are weird and not normal, and are certainly not me.
Having a ten minute interp or platform is an often-eluding goal. But man, it feels good when you get there. It feels awesome to hear the high-pitched voice of an adorable timer tell you everything's all right. Then you can live in peace until the next pattern.
You're homeschooled. Time's up.