I am Paulo Chiossi, the winner of the Tucson branch regional
Shakespeare competition earlier this year. My trip to New York City, for nationals, was fantastic and I had the greatest time. I was even able to bring home a trophy! I was voted the most congenial contestant!
I'd like to really thank you all for organizing the Shakespeare competition every year. It has a very special place in my heart. When I first got to the United States, in 2013, I had a hard time with English, I knew close to nothing about acting, and I had never read anything from Shakespeare. But at the beginning of my second semester there, when we started working on Shakespeare, I finally got a grasp of how much I really loved acting. It wasn't easy at first; working with Shakespeare's English on top of actually learning English was quite a challenge. My monologue for that year was Launce, from Two Gentlemen of Verona, talking about his dog-- it is a hilarious monologue. After performing it a couple times getting absolutely no laughs I had to sit down with a friend and my teacher so that they could explain all of the jokes to me. There were jokes all over that monologue that I had completely missed! Shakespeare was incredibly clever, and I feel like his plays have helped me a lot with understanding and, especially, interpreting the English language.
Participating in 2014 was a fantastic experience, and winning in 2015 was like a dream come true! That competition really does have an amazing influence on students, and has helped not only me, but tons of kids to learn and improve in theatre! Shakespeare is something that every student and, well, every person in the world should be able to experience. So thank you for bringing me closer to Shakespeare.
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