Imagine 15 mini surprise parties of hearty laughter and unadultered hollering. An evening of, willfully and gleefully, having no idea what to expect next… that’s Lip Sync. On an open air rooftop of Santo Domingo this past Friday night, the wind was howling and the sky was cloudy. If we were pirates on the high seas, I’d be worried. But the performers of our 4th Lip Sync Battle Party were on fire… if fire was doused with gasoline and then an explosive was thrown in. We say it every year, but every year, it’s true. The acts keep getting better; the mic drops get louder and the creativity gets bolder. The crowd is wow-ed further than they could have thought to be wow-ed. And though a video will never take the place of actually being there, the lip sync battle videos are too much fun to not share.
(As always, I can only share my videos to keep the privacy of others. Permission was asked.)
Four years ago, when Husband and I planned our first LSBP, we had zip idea how popular it would become in our community. We certainly weren’t thinking about “next” year; we were just hoping there’d be a good turn out that year. But by the end of the evening, everyone there knew this was special beyond measure. How do you quantify smiling so hard and for so long that your jaw hurts at the end of the evening? Or laughing so hard your body wakes up after-the-gym sore the next day?
Of course, this party is about creativity, talent, humor, and bullets of fun but more than that – much more than that – it is about the feel of a community. When you are fortunate enough to be part of a crew where you could make a fool of yourself and know they will not only support you but cheer you on, you should consider yourself lucky. I can’t speak for everyone else, but for me, that’s what Lip Sync has always been about. It is interpretive proof of trust in your people. Trust that you belong and trust that they will catch you.
Four Lip Sync Battles have passed and this was the last for Husband and I, at least in the Dominican Republic. We had high expectations for ourselves because there was so much we wanted to “say.” We thought it fitting to bring up our first friends here in DR to help close it down and, at the end, I think we said it all. I have left it all on that damn dance floor before but this was the first time I left tears during a performance.
People have come and gone and come back. Some of us have been at every Lip Sync Battle, some have just experienced their first. The performers change. The songs are never the same. New partnerships are created. But one thing has withstood. The Lip Sync Battle Banner has hung every year. Sadly, when we leave, it won’t come with us. It will stay behind, and I hope, in our absence, it hangs next year too. And the year after that.
It’s our pirate flag, a black banner raised as a warning: Batten down the hatches. Shit’s about to get crazy. But you’ve got the finest crew on the high seas.