Five Minutes with Viva student Sophia

“If you just keep practising, you’ll know what to do and you won’t be scared.”

In this interview, Viva Voice student Sophia shares how her skills developed in Voice and Acting™ benefit her other extra-curricular activities, and gives memorable advice to news students.

Sophia is an all-rounder; in 2017 she went to Regionals for the Premier’s Spelling Bee, she’s an active choir member and an enthusiastic Voice and Acting™ student. We can count on Sophia to enlighten her classmates (and teacher!) every week during News of the Week, as she shares details on projects she works on at school and the things she has learnt.

Sophia participated in her first eisteddfod in 2017. Last weekend, she did her second eisteddfod and received 1st Place in the Memorised Prose section, and Highly Commended in Verse Speaking!

Her commitment to developing her speaking and performance skills inspire her classmates – we’re lucky to hear her great advice in this interview!

This is the third in a series of interviews with Viva students.

Can’t watch the interview right now? You can read the full transcript below.

My name is Sophia and I’m nine turning ten. I started coming to Viva Voice last year in term one.
I like coming to Viva Voice because I can learn new things and I get a lot of really great opportunities. I’ve learnt how to use appropriate gestures. I’ve learnt how to have a good posture. I’ve learnt how to make my voice louder and more expressive. I’ve learnt how to improvise.

Well, when I do speeches it really helps… I can make my voice clearer, I can use gestures. It makes it more entertaining for the audience and when I sing in choir, I don’t fidget because I’ve learnt not to. It’s helpful also to speak up when you’re in class, like reading something out.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in Speech & Drama?
If anyone new just wanted to try, I would tell them just to be confident with yourself, and if you just keep practicing then you’ll know what to do and you won’t be scared. You’ll make friends and you’ll get to know people and you get to do really exciting things, so there’s no reason to be afraid.

Tell us about the Premier’s Spelling Bee!
Last year I went to a regional spelling bee. First it started out in my class, which was seven rounds, and there was three people left so we went on to Zone. It was in front of my school. I was the first one to officially get into Regionals and my class was so happy. They were just screaming and they were just like, “Yeah!” They were really just ecstatic.

I do get very nervous. I kind of just breathe. I breathe in four seconds and I hold it for two and then I breathe out for seven. Then I sort of just jump around a bit until it’s time, and just practise and practise and practise. It’s sort of helpful to feel nervous because it makes you kind of aware of your surroundings and it actually makes you more confident when you go on because when you’re nervous you try to calm yourself down so eventually you will actually calm yourself down and you’ll be more confident than you were before.

With the eisteddfod, I was really scared because no one I knew was there. There was actually a playground but I didn’t go on it because I was too nervous! When I actually got on, I realised that I didn’t notice anyone except the two judges and my parents and I remember that my Lola, my grandmother, she has a really loud whisper, and she whispered to my mum “She did a good job!” Everyone heard, but it was pretty great.

Poems or monologues?
Monologues!

Roald Dahl or J. K. Rowling?
J.K. Rowling!

Books or films?
Books!

Favourite super hero?
Wonder Woman!

Favourite tongue twister?
Maybe that one… green glass globes glow greenly!

Favourite letter of the alphabet?
I like “V”!