Winning a prestigious award was an overwhelming feeling for local teenager Ashton McGarvie.
Rotorua's school age drama talent was on display at the 74th Annual Speech and Drama Competitions recently.
Over two days at Distinction Hotel, 150 5 to 20-year-olds participated in group drama items, reading recitals, Shakespeare, light verse, character recitals, poetry recitals, impromptu performances and more.
The premier event was the Performer of the Year Award, where senior competitors take to the stage to compete for the prestigious award.
The two days of competitions finish with a prizegiving where more than 50 trophies and scholarships are presented.
The winner of this year's Performer of the Year Award was Ashton McGarvie, a Western Heights High School Year 13 student.
He was one of 10 students competing for the title. It was his ninth and final year competing.
Ashton says Performer of the Year included performing prose, poetry and character, and linking it with speech and impromptu, so five different aspects overall.
He also entered the Shakespeare in costume, impromptu talk and reading at sight categories.
He says doing character performances is his favourite, because he can really get into the character and you can perform some stand out parts.
Overwhelming was how it felt when he was announced the winner of the award, he says.
"I've done speech and drama for a long time, since I was in Year 5, and it's always been the big award at the end of prizegiving, so it's crazy for it to be me winning the award in my final year."
He says he enjoyed many aspects of the competition, but he really enjoys competing and the fun of getting up on stage.
Ashton has now qualified and will now go on to compete in the National Young Performer Awards in October.
Apart from that, he has other speech and drama exams coming up too.
Catch A Rising Star drama teacher Gabrielle Thurston has taught Ashton since he was in Year 5.
"He's a really hard-working, intelligent young man and I'm so proud of him."
She says he really deserved to win the award.
"His work was outstanding, it showed off his abilities in public speaking, prose, poetry and his character performance was very moving. He then did an impromptu which was very creative, well-structured and funny."
Gabrielle says he is now working on achieving his first teaching diploma with Speech NZ.
A full list of results and trophy winners are available at rotoruacompetitionsociety.org.nz.
Rotorua Performer of the Year Group A - 16 Years and Under 21 Years
Competitor Place Mark
1. Ashton McGarvie first place 90
2. Olivia Temm second place 89