The Rapidian

Lovin' the hubbub over senior lipdub

Participants in word's first-ever all-senior lipdub relish newfound spotlight. Article highlights local, national, and international interest in their music video project.
Faculty, students, and alumni of GVSU's Film & Video Production Program comprise the Clark Lipdub Crew.

Faculty, students, and alumni of GVSU's Film & Video Production Program comprise the Clark Lipdub Crew. /Danielle Leek

Underwriting support from:

Online comment from Jake Lodwick, creator of Vimeo and LipDubbing

“I created LipDubbing, so listen up. These seniors performed with more heart than practically any of the ‘big hit’ LipDubs on college campuses and Main Streets! I thought the direction was good, and the set design and costumes were excellent!”

The attention just keeps on coming for the seniors at Clark Retirement Community.  Less than one week after launch of the first all-senior lipdub video, view totals on Vimeo and YouTube have gone over 300,000.  As their video goes viral, the singers, dancers, and actors at Clark are surprised but also delighted by their newfound notoriety.  Exposure started in the local media, including The Grand Rapids Press, WJRW-1340, and TV stations WXMI-17, WOOD-8, and WZZM-13.

New to public attention, the lipdubbers are finding themselves live and under the lights in studios as in this WZZM interview. Below, excerpts from the interview tell what a ride they are enjoying.

Joyce Donaldson: “It was the best thing we ever did.”

Emily Cooper: “The students were great to work with.”

Rudy Cooper: “Everyone enjoyed it so much.  It was a delight, really.”

Quick on the heels of local exposure, the national media have followed up, with mentions coming on the Today Show, NPR, CNN, FoxNews, Huffington Post, Tosh.0, Yahoo News, and Good Morning, America.  This national interview with three Clark seniors (beginning at 1:50 mark) was recorded remotely from the WGVU studio in downtown Grand Rapids.

The following excerpts from that interview show how quickly they’re adapting to the spotlight and how enthusiastically they responded to the video project.

Sam Bush: “(We’re) feelin’ good!” (in response to the question, “How are you guys?”)

Bernie Hynes: “The highlight for me was working with the students.  We had Jackson (Ezinga) in our group, and he was just fabulous.”

Jim Hynes: “We didn’t even know something like this could happen until the students came in.  They came in the night before (the shoot in order to decorate) and slept in our building while they were setting up. ...”

Overseas popularity has mushroomed as word of the lipdub goes international, highlighting the universality of the topic of aging with fun, retirement life, and the breaking down of stereotypes.  An online commenter from Cornwall responded to the London Daily Mail article this way: “Magic, if all retirement homes had that much fun, I wouldn't mind being part of it. Rave to the Grave, guys!”

Clark resident Judy Whitwer was interviewed on radio station Majic-100 in Ottawa, Canada and summed it up this way, “We just had a wonderful time.”  The 3-minute interview can be heard here under the blog entry, “You rock, Grandma!”

National attention continues Monday evening (July 18) with interviews and special footage on CBS’s “Inside Edition.”  Clark will screen that show live in the TV lounge, where a packed house is expected.

Clark lipdub crew:

First Row: Melissa Bayer, Brian Kung, Dayna Campbell, André Guimond

Second Row: James Morse, Alan Ledford, Chris Coleman, Alicia Crawford, Erin Regula, A.C. Smith

Third Row:  Kim Roberts, Maggie Annerino, Ted Stewart, Clay Ledford, Jackson Ezinga, Charles Beale, Deanna Morse

Fourth Row:  Nathan K. Robertson, Christina Choriatis, Sarah Choriatis, Stephanie Choriatis, Anjalika Lobo, Jeremy Knickerbocker, Alan Headbloom, Chad Miller

Back Row:  Grant Hyde, Graham Koroleski

Missing:  Danielle Leek (Production Assistant) and Christopher Greene (Sound Designer)

Disclosure: Both the author and his wife were involved in the production of the Clark lipdub.

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The Wisconsin Board on Aging and Long-Term Care (Ombudsman Program) has requested permission to use this video as part of their community presentations. The goodness and glow continue to spread as ripples in a pond.  Now, with over 1 MM views on YouTube.