Jordan Blythe is a rising senior at University High School in Normal, Illinois. She was originally attracted to ACT-SO because she is a very competitive person, and she enjoys showcasing her talents. She loved the program because it encourages Black youth to break stereotypes and pushes them to become the best individuals that they can be. She competed in the 2017 local Bloomington-Normal ACT-SO branch competition in two categories, Oratory and Music: Instrumental Classical. She received a gold medal in the Oratory category for her speech titled, Black Privilege, and she received another gold medal in the Music: Instrumental Classical category for her performance of Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca. Due to her accomplishments at the local competition, Jordyn has advanced to compete at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland this upcoming July!
Jordyn is a seasoned national ACT-SO competitor. She competed in the 2015 national competition in Philadelphia in the Oratory category with her speech titled, Service in Our Communities. Although she did not receive a medal for her work that year, she remained confident and returned to nationals the following year, in Cincinnati, where she competed in both the Oratory and Dramatics categories. In the Oratory category, she presented her speech titled, The Bail System, but she did not place in that category. However, in the Dramatics category, she placed as a gold medalist for her piece titled, Life Support. Jordyn is grateful to have competed at nationals for the past two years in a row, and she is excited to be back again this year.
Three Words to Describe Feelings about National Competition
Joyful, excited and nervous. Jordyn feels joyful to be surrounded by so many successful Black individuals. This experience fills her with so much pride and joy that it is difficult to effectively describe it in words. She is excited to compete at the national competition because she has always had a positive experience and is anxious to see what the other competitors have to offer this year. Lastly, Jordyn is not particularly nervous at the moment; however, she knows that when the competition day arrives, her nerves will be off the charts. She will not be able to eat anything until after she has completely finished her performance.
Then vs. Now
The first time that Jordyn competed nationally, she was terrified. Seeing all of the talented students from all around the country was overwhelming for her. She was also very disappointed that she did not receive a medal for her work that year. Now that this will be her third year competing, and she has placed as a national medalist, she knows exactly what she needs to do in order to be successful in all of her performances. She is excited to meet individuals who share her same passion, while also learning about other students’ passions that may be different from her own.
Nerves & Excitement
Jordyn is most nervous about competing in the Music: Instrumental Classical category. She knows that there are students who intend on seriously study musical performance in the future, whereas it is more of a fun hobby for her. However, she plans to use this experience as an opportunity to appreciate her own talent as well as the talents of her competitors. She is looking forward to networking and meeting new students from across the country who are interested in the same art fields as she is. She is also looking forward to being engulfed in such radiant, Black excellence at the competition, because it is truly an amazing feeling. From this competition, Jordyn hopes that she will grow as a performer and create connections with people that she otherwise would have never met, if she did not join ACT-SO.
“Just go for it. Try out different things, until you find your niche. If you don’t know what it is already, then actually put work into your project. You meet so many new friends in ACT-SO, and it’s really rewarding to be able to compete on a national stage with them. Also, there is SO MUCH Black excellence. I love seeing black people thrive.” – Jordyn Blythe
We wish you the best of luck, Jordyn, in the 2017 national competition!