Convention 2013 brought us the amazing opportunity of competing in a brand new competition for previous LABBS gold medal winning quartets.
The rules of the competition were different to the usual two song set, so we got to put together a contrasting package of material of up to 12 minutes in length. This got the creative juices flowing, oh… and the wine helped too.
Just under a year ago, we floated the idea of a Muppet Quartet and from there the ideas for the performance got bigger and bigger. We had two Muppet songs arranged into a medley by the amazing British arranger, Liz Garnet; Mr. Bassman and Mahna Mahnah. It was brilliant to work with Liz as she knew the personality of The MIX and arranged it with us in mind – even going as far as to check the vocal range of our Tenor, Andrea, to ensure that she could get the really low notes towards the end for the punchline of the song.
We are exceptionally lucky to have our very own, exceptionally talented dress maker, Lynn Day as the Mum of Andrea. No sooner had we suggested the idea of four huge puppets to appear on stage with us, has she started work giving “birth” to Kermit, Mr. Bassman and two monstrous pink cows, short followed by Statler and Waldorf.
As the year and the ideas developed we gathered inspiration from Avenue Q, spoke to professional puppeteers, watched online puppet workshops and worked with our fabulous and creative coach Dale Kynaston. There was a lot of laughter, a lot of re-writes and a lot of practice but eventually it came together.
To add to the 12 minutes that we had on stage on the day, we wanted to really create a buzz around the whole competition, so we paid attention to how we could heighten anticipation for the big day. We decided to take inspiration from the Toronto Northern Lights and create our own little video to release the week before LABBS convention weekend.
We weaved plenty of Muppet references through the video and throughout the week on Facebook – however only one very clever 14 year old lad managed to guess what we were up to behind the scenes. Well done Joe Berry!
With all the preparations complete, there was just one job left; to go out there and hope that the crowd were entertained by what our creative, if slightly odd brains had come up with. By the sounds of the cheers, claps and laughter we think that we did OK.
Huge congratulations to Finesse on their winning performance it was a pleasure to be up against the best in the country.
With all this said, there are a lot more than four people in The MIX; a huge thank you to our friends and amazing families that support us while we do bonkers things like this on stage. We really couldnt do it without any of them.
Also, thank you to everyone that took the time to speak to us after our performance either in person or on Facebook or email. Never before have we had such wonderful comments and words of encouragement; that means the world to us.
The MIX -x-