Shakespeare, who?

Shakespeare, who?

Thanks to the ESU,

I've developed a love

for the Bard's work, too!

Who knew?

I wasn't even in Acting II

(my class at school)

Yet out of the blue

Heart pounding

Nerves racing

I said, "I'll try it,

A competition seems fit!"

Why not have some fun?

After all, acting isn't just

an award to be won!

One by one

Several hundred sonnets

A million monologues

(Not really, but you get what I mean)

Father and teacher

Blum and Mahady

Potatoes and gravy

Were my guides as I peaked at sonnets,

numbers 120 to negative 80 (ha)

There were a lot, I thought

"Have no clue if I even got

What it takes..."

But they say...

Never doubt yourself...

any day!

Julia's Monologue

The Two Gentlemen in Verona

Little did I know,

the world would be struck by Corona....

During PE class

(and lunch)

I was lucky to have

friends who made me


A bunch!

Patiently seeing me perform,

They made me feel assured


A pat on the back

I left ready to attack!

Then on February 12, 2020

After many weeks of practice and study

I entered the room

of Acting II

Where the school-wide competition would commence

very soon

A nervous wreck

Had to double check

Should I go through with this,

or hide in a hole, shrink down to a speck?



Eyes shiftin'

Brave musterin'

"Please come on in!"

Judges say, "Begin."


All the self-doubt

enters out

the back door

You're no longer Ava,

you're Julia, once more!

I look as my maid

Leaves the room

before dropping to the ground

with an almighty boom!

"Oh, hateful hands!"

When I finish

There is no hate

for the hands who clap

Are ones who've determined my fate

But in that moment

Full of enjoyment

I floated through the halls

Free of stress, bitterness or disappointment

No matter what happened

I soared, feeling great

With my fellow competitor friends

We skipped on down the hallway.

And 2 hours later

a call to something greater

Appeared in my inbox

The sweetest of flavors

The judges had chosen me

for number 1! To the finals I'd go,

with my dear friend, Lauren.

My teacher Jim Mahady

Wrote here, please see:

"And now you also need to prepare a sonnet

Come see me and I'll guide you.

Anyway, the next round is on March 2,

so there's time, but I'd get on it."

116, sonnet dream

Worked each day

At first not sure

which way

to lean

But in the doghouse

Is where

I worked on the grand scheme

Boy, am I lucky to have such a

great team!

I think the lounge

where my dad and I

used to reside

As we went over things,

from Joy to strife,

- acting to life,


this cozy place is, in truth

the place where I've done

the most self-growth.

I practiced being myself

There's a reason Shakespeare has outlived

everything on the shelf

Talking to a friend

Who thought there were plenty of fish in the sea

Well, not to the kid in sonnet 116!

This piece is a testament

to humanity.

Won by won

Regional Branch at Madeira High


Wearing my purple sweater

All the finalists convened

I was shiver me timbers

Until 2 or 3

kids before me

Then I took a deep breath

And became Juli(a).

On the edge of the stage

I looked into the light

Once you become someone else

Your act will take flight....

I was quite young

I was bursting with pride

New York, New York

Time to strap in for the ride!


Every actor’s dream (hm)

Once word came around

we'd perform virtually

No more New York

But that is okay

For in acting you're transporting

yourself everyday!

Working from home

I was never alone

Support from my fam

As I prepped for Nationals!

Virtual auditions


Watching Netflix on the couch

The email came round

Holding my breath

as I stared at the ground

Peeking at the screen

Top 10, Ava Blum

was announced!

...Only one student at school

had made it this far

...Was there a chance

I could lift up the bar?

In the doghouse

and my bedroom

I would rehearse and pace

All afternoon

Adjusting the camera to

find the perfect angle

Dad and I prepared

For the live Zoom Finals

Just as nervous

behind screen as on stage

I thought of Julia

Who was simply enraged....

I had nothing to fear

My character was elsewhere engaged!

"Hello! My name is Ava Blum

and today I will be performing

Julia's Monologue from the Two

Gentlemen of Verona

followed by

Sonnet number 116"

My performance went a dream!



Returned to virtual classes

Acting like nothing happened

...And 2 hours later

The virtual ceremony was activated!

One by one

They worked up the ranks

Name by name and everyone would clap

Hoping to place,

Yet not to be the next called

That is the curse

Of the first place ballad

"The host

would like

you to


I kept ignoring this request

A little confused

But seconds before first place

The requests became urgent

And suddenly I knew

What news would be emerging!

I didn't expect it, yet here I was

First place at Nationals

My whole family was abuzz

This was

my greatest

accomplishment yet!

But there is something I cannot forget:

Behind every great actor

Is a great teacher & director

I learned to be real

And live truthfully

Acting, not pretending

That's what my teacher said

It's the recipe for success

On my long journey ahead.

One thing I now know

After driving down

that bumpy road:

Shakespeare is always on the rise

He captures humanity

And it's endured, to no surprise

The English-

Speaking Union

opened up our eyes

With this experience I've learned

It was the greatest prize.