For something like the 21st time in a row, Cortes Islanders packed Manson’s Hall to see the Lip Sync. This was a relief. Speaking as the first time “Producer” this summer, I did not want to be the man “in charge” when we break that record. There is a bit of self delusion wrapped up in this. The Lip Sync’s continued success is almost totally organic.
Success Is No Accident
According to the world famous soccer star Pelé, “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, sacrifice, and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”
This is true, but it is the hard work and perseverance of our performers and support staff that make shows of this calibre possible.
My job is to assist the people who make evenings like this possible. Sometimes this means getting out of the way so they can do their jobs. More often, I am a “go-for,” carrying out any number of menial tasks that need doing.
As many of you are aware, the only rehearsal takes place the night prior to the show - but you probably didn’t know It isn’t for the performers. Rick Bockner, our MC, needs to get a feel of the kind of show we’re going to produce so that he can draw up the final line up (and get material for a few more jokes). Lella Gmiener, our Green Room Queen, circulates amongst the performers taking notes on their many and varied needs. Victor Van Buskirk, our stage manager, discovers what kind of props are needed and when. Hannu Huuskonen finds out what each act needs in terms of lighting; Sean Coyote brings his expertise with sound.
Some of the support staff you often don’t hear about:
- Publicity: Victor drew up that incredible poster.
- Julia Rendall, Rochelle Baker, Maureen Bader and Gillian Fast baked, prepared, bought and/or served all of the refreshments
- Set-up and take down: Ken Hanuse, Lella, Victor, Nassau & I - and a host of people who pitched in at the end of the evening.
- Merchandise table: Paul the K and Angela Hales.
- Tickets: Leonard Woywitka and I.
From a fiscal perspective, the show took in close to $1,950 through ticket sales, merchandise and refreshments - which is a little less than 10% of what the station needs or a year. (This is separate from projects like Deep Roots, which are financed by grants and donations.)
Nancy Silver, Ian Watson and Wilford Welch started the evening off with an upbeat rendition of “Mumbo Italiano.” (The crowd went wild).
Jeramie Peacock and Jenny Hartwick teamed up to perform as a potbellied cowboy and his curler bedecked wife for “You’re the Reason our Children are Ugly.” (Click here to access the video on You-Tube) It was one of five acts that the Peacock family - Jeramie, Eolande, Seamus & Tayo, Caleb and “the kids” - delivered last night.
Sadly, the Peacocks are leaving Cortes on Wednesday. Looking back at their contributions to Lip Syncs, one of the other performers asks “What will we do without Jeremie family???”
Rick quipped that we may have another family dynasty in the making. They saved our bacon at Fridays rehearsal. Just when it seemed as if we wouldn’t have the fourteen acts that you need for a decent show, two of Cortes Island’s recently-weds arrived. Bobbie-Gene delivered an impressive solo and was joined by hubbie Jason and some of their extended family for “The Hunter Gets Captured By the Game.”
Lily, Zella and Rose brought the first set to an end with “The Intermission Song” from Sandra Boynton’s album Philadelphia Chickens. (Two of them were the “Aardvarks with extraordinarily long noses,” the other was a little girl in a cute dress.)
Quadra Island’s young thespian Aquilina Mitchell once again captivated us with her intricate dance routines.
As she promised, Susana Vijaya was both a Rock Star and a Diva. A bearded angel in a party dress joined her for one of her songs. The other was “Cancao do mar,” in Portugese.
The Lip Sync’s most celebrated puppet’s career has come to an end. Five minutes before showtime, his creator (Meinsje) accidentally put her fist through his face. She was able to stitch him together for one last performance. Charlez and “Gizelle,” operated by Norleen Lillico, mimicked Sonny and Cher in a comic rendition of “I’ve Got You Babe,”
The Secret of the Lip Sync’s Success
So what was the highlight of the show? - I think everyone you ask will have a different answer.
The secret of the Lip Sync’s success? We continue to have sold out crowds because Cortes Islanders have taken the Lip Sync into their hearts.
Top illustration: Victor Van Buskirk’s poster for the 2018 Summer Lip Sync