MARSHALL, Mich. — So far the Franke Center’s website has three videos posted of people singing: one is of a woman wearing a yogi bear-ish type mask, the other is of a man wearing a pug’s masking while playing the guitar, and in the last one the person is donning a black mask with devil horns.
And, they're all contestants in the Franke's Mask & Mic competition.
“We at the Franke Center are just looking for something positive and fun to do for the community this time,” said Jacob Gates, the executive director at the Franke. “It seemed like a great way to allow people to showcase their talent, have some fun and also promote positive aspects of wearing a mask.”
The competition is a spin on FOX’s popular show The Masked Singer.
Gates said the way it works is a contestant records a video of themselves singing that the center then puts on its website and all social media pages.
The catch, he said, is that the mask has to cover your face.
Isaiah Potter, who grew up performing on the stage at the Franke, said he’s keeping his mask concealed. He wants to be one of the last contestants to upload their videos by the August 23 deadline.
However Potter said he loves what he’s seen so far and appreciates people’s creativity.
“It doesn’t matter what you do. It can be a song, or a dance with a song, or even a little beat boxing and just rapping which I think is great,” Potter said. “It doesn’t just, you know, you have to be theatre or you have to be broadway”
Potter said he’s excited to perform once again, even if it’s on video. Not being able to do so since the shutdown began in mid-March, which closed the Franke center for months, has be tough.
“I was actually going to be in a show here right before everything got closed down on my last dress rehearsal. And then they told us we had to shut down production and postpone,” Potter recalled. “That in itself is a blessing because it could’ve just been ‘we’re done, thank you for the opportunity.’ But, it’s been a struggle. But, something like this is a light in the darkness.”
Gates said so far the community response has been great. People have been excited about it like Potter.
He added that in anyone can enter. There’s a $20 fee and all the proceeds go to the Frank and will support the arts in Calhoun County.
“We think people need the arts right now more than ever maybe. So, hopefully this is a chance for artists to get out there and create, and share their talent,” Gates said. “It’s also just a nice way for people to enjoy themselves and maybe get distracted from some of the headlines that are a little bit stressful right now.”
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