NEWSWEEK: PS-22 Chorus Sings Man in the Mirror
This is probably my favorite video that I did while at Newsweek, and it seems like it merits reposting today. Back in 2010, on the first anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death, I was able to arrange for the famous PS-22 Chorus to perform my favorite MJ tune as a tribute. They did not disappoint.
This just popped up on Netflix. Please, dear God, tell me the answer to the title’s question is indeed yes. The description boasts that the film contains “actual footage that may prove the King of Pop is still alive.” Actual footage!
Two things make me skeptical about this film’s legitimacy: the name of the production company is Elbow Grease Productions and the director is named Pearl, Jr. Pearl, Jr.? So is there a Pearl, Sr. that also opted to drop the last name?
Irrelevant! If she can show me some living MJ, she can call herself whatever she wants. I’ve added the movie to the queue. I’ll keep you posted as to Michael’s vital signs.
On the occasion of the first anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death, I offer the following remembrance:
This is a picture of me from 3rd grade, performing to Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean at my elementary school’s annual talent show. At the time, I was approximately 2 years into my die-hard fandom of the King of Pop. I know that the ensemble looks like it was professionally done, but I actually handled all the costuming personally. I glued each of those sequins on one by one, spelling out ‘Jackson 5’ on the front of the shirt, and making perfect rows up and down the trademark glove. Yes, I know the glove is blue. It was all I could find.
After auditioning and making it into the talent show, my mom asked me good naturedly, “Ryan, aren’t you worried that people are going to laugh at you?” I responded simply, “Why would they do that?” I had no idea what she meant, why someone would find it amusing that a little white boy in big glasses was impersonating Michael Jackson. When I was home last week, my mom told me that she was so scared for me, but her fears were quickly assuaged when I began my performance.
I marched to center stage, and when that well known bass began to thump in the acoustically challenged auditorium, I planted a black fedora on my head and began to move to the beat just as Michael had during the famous Motown 25 performance. When I threw my hat into the crowd, the kids erupted and soon began clapping to the rhythm. It was glorious, even if I did run out of moves halfway through and had to improvise. My moonwalk wasn’t aided by the high-top Chuck’s I was wearing, but no matter. Everyone loved it, and told me so afterward. In the video, you can see the P.E. teacher, Mr. Murphy (who sported a similar MJ-circa-1985 Jheri curl mullet) with a huge smile on his face, moving to the tempo from his chair. I can still hear the applause and the cheers.