By Camille Wyss, Empire ’12, ’13
Empire brings together mockers from across the world so chances are you will be one of few representatives from your region, state, or even country. That means everyone else is from somewhere you’ve only ever been on vacation or seen on TV. At Empire you will have no trouble meeting new people, but perhaps the prospect of SO MANY new people can be frightening. Fear not, and know that there are a few people you are bound to befriend at some point during your experience no matter what…
From the second you hear them speak in their exotic, foreign accent, you’ll be mesmerized. You’ll ask them non-stop questions about their home country, gasp in awe when they tell you there’s no such thing as objections in their legal system, and instantly add them on Facebook so all of your friends back home know how cool and international you are.
Whether you’re in San Francisco or New York you will meet a Californian. You will ask them which celebrities they know and if they know how to surf. They will kindly explain not all Californians surf or know famous people. You won’t mind, connections to a celebrity or not, you’ve always wanted a Californian friend.
The Mock Star
The man, the myth, the legend. That one mocker from that one school that has never scored less than a 10 and wins every award they go for. You will initially stare in amazement, but when you muster the courage, you will go talk to them, quietly suppressing your urge to tell them that you’re a huge fan.
The Mock Master
The one who knows all the rules. That one person who knows every hearsay exception, every rule number, and every case in the case law section. You will sit in awe-struck silence as they casually explain Rule 801, D, 2, a. You will wish you could be the same and suddenly you are motivated to learn every rule before your next round.
Much like the Californian, you will meet a mocker who hails from south of the Mason-Dixon line. You’ll ask them if everything actually is bigger in Texas, or if everyone in Florida owns a crocodile. Because they exude southern charm and hospitality they will never ask you to stop asking them ridiculous, southern stereotype questions.
The Intense Coach
Team huddles after motivational speeches followed by periods of self-reflection. Reminiscent of the coaches from movies like Coach Carter, The Intense Coach will have an intimidatingly beautiful way with words and a never-ending supply of uplifting stories. That coach who will scare you and motivate you beyond expectation, despite the fact you’re not actually on their team.
The Mock Mom
Hair ties? Check. Lint roller? Check. Snacks illegally brought into the courthouse? Check. The Mock Mom might be an actual parent or an assistant coach or maybe even a senior team member. No matter who takes on the role, you will be amazed by the Mock Mom’s organization and ability to have literally anything you could ever need at a mock trial competition. You will constantly forget to thank the Mock Mom for all that he/she does, but at the end of the day you’ll appreciate them the most.
The Empire connoisseur who has seen it all. The Vet will tell you stories of his or her first harbor cruises, the unique scoring judges encountered over the years and the never ending list of teams they have faced. Like listening to your grandparents tell stories from World War II, you will listen in silent respect to the tales of the Veteran and anxiously await the day you return with your own war stories.
You’ve only been at the hotel for 10 minutes and already The Flirt is chatting up another team’s Andy Allen. By opening ceremonies, The Flirt has acquired at least ten phone numbers and by the end of the pin ceremony you’re pretty sure everyone in the room knows him/her. You want to dislike The Flirt but he or she is just too damn charming…you just hope you don’t have to face The Flirt in the courtroom. You know that charm is bringing in nothing but straight tens.
The Judge You’ll Never Forget
The accent. The celebrity connection. The strange interpretation of Hearsay. Scoring or presiding the judges of Empire are a unique and accomplished group. For whatever reason it may be, you will find a judge whose words and ways will stick with you far beyond the end of the trial.
Camille Wyss is the Assistant Editor of The Bench Press. She competed twice for Dos Pueblos High School in Empire New York.