That event happened on this date eleven years ago. I had decided on Elvis Presley for my act about a week before I went on my class trip to Puerto Rico and when I got back, I really started to put everything together, ultimately deciding on the song “Jailhouse Rock” for my act.
I had done some Lip Syncs in elementary school so that was nothing new to me. But this time, it was a contest where you could win a hundred dollars in cash. Of course I was definitely in. I was also hoping that entering the Lip Sync would help boost my popularity. I also chose The King as my act because it would be the last thing that the people in the audience would expect me to do and sometimes people who choose unexpected things come out winners. From the beginning, I felt as though I had it in the bag.
Some of the other acts that I competed against were doing more contemporary (for 1996 anyway) acts like Garth Brooks, the Beastie Boys, Nirvana, and even 70’s disco tunes. In a way, Elvis kind of stood out. One person even performed live (that’s right, live!) before the audience. All were well received.
Then my act came up. Things went really well and I felt that I did do a very good job as far as impersonating the King went. A friend who was also in my act lent me an Elvis wig and a gold jacket. Halfway through the act, I took off the jacket and threw it on the stage, which really whipped the crowd into an uproar and in a way, probably helped tip the scales in my favor.
I still could not believe it when they announced my name stating that I had won the Red Hook High School Lip Sync, even though all along I knew I had it in the bag. It was like fate intervened in my case. People never forgot that night when they signed my yearbook for that year.
There was not another Lip Sync in 1997 because there was not enough interest, but I have done some singing in my post-high school life. I have done karaoke on various occasions during Tivoli Day events from 1998-2000, performing songs from artists like M.C. Hammer, Bon Jovi, and Garth Brooks (in fact, it was the very same song that I competed against in the Lip Sync: “Friends in Low Places.”) The last time was back in 2002 when I did an Eminem song at the Fonda Fair on Labor Day. Aside from that, I had not done any singing since then.
But as the old saying goes, “Hey. You never know.”