The Lip Sync’s Ongoing Success

Originally Published on Cortes Radio.Ca

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 stellar record. There is a bit of self delusion wrapped up in this. The Lip Sync’s ongoing success is almost totally organic.

Success Is No Accident

Nancy Silver, Ian Watson and Wilford Welch in “Mumbo Italiano.” - courtesy Carole Angermeir
Nancy Silver, Ian Watson and Wilford Welch in “Mumbo Italiano.” – courtesy Carole Angermeir

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.

Part of my job is getting out of the way so people can do their jobs (the rest is a combination of “go-for” and doing any menial tasks that need doing).

Support Staff

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 have 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.)

The Show

Susana Vijaya with her angel (Lyle’s son Dakota)
Susana Vijaya with her angel (Lyle’s son Dakota)

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.” It was one of five acts that the Peacock family – Jeramie, Eolande, Seamus & Tayo, Caleb and “the kids” – delivered last night. Sadly, they are leaving Cortes on Wednesday. (We hope to see them back soon.)

As Rick points out, we may have another family dynasty in the making. Two of the island’s recently-weds arrived at rehearsal unexpectedly, just when it seemed as if we wouldn’t have the fourteen acts that you need for a decent show. 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 Bullock’s album Philadelphia Chickens. (Two of them were “Aardvarks,” the other a girl.)

Charlez (February 21, 2015 – August 25, 2018)
 - access his obituary here
Charlez (February 21, 2015 – August 25, 2018)
 – access his obituary here

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 accompanied her for one song and she gave us another taste of Portugal in the other.

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 Lip Sync’s Ongoing 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

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