Bryan Wells and a cast of thousands (well, scores) provided a live version of the Oscar-winning animated movie ‘Coco’ last Saturday night, and in the end claimed a $3,000 scholarship fund prize.
The Fresno High principal – who returned from a weeklong education conference in Las Vegas in time to rehearse 8 hours before showtime – showed his lip-syncing talent at the Principal’s Lip Sync 2018 contest sponsored by the Fresno Latino Rotary.
“It took me a good solid month to learn it,” said Wells, who participated in the contest five years ago when he was principal at Roosevelt High.
Wells strutted on stage with a brown, charro outfit to the ‘Coco’ hit song ‘Recuerdame’ (Remember Me).
He was accompanied by the school’s folkloric dancers, instructor Rosemarie Pantoja, Spanish-language teacher Jesús Campos and vice principal Mike Rivard.
“The kids inspired me,” said Wells. “It’s about bringing our A game.”
Wells didn’t hog the spotlight, giving way to Campos and his impression of Mama Imelda singing ‘La Llorona’ (The Crying Woman) from the movie; and later to Rivard and another student who reprised the movie’s ‘Un Poco Loco’ song.
“I want to shine for them,” said Wells about his performance. “It’s all about the kids. The kids created the magic.”
Wells did get a tip from his wife: “Make sure they can see you enunciate.”
It worked. Wells had the second-highest mark for lip sync from the six judges.
Wells said he enjoys lip syncing to Spanish-language music.
“You’re able to live it! In Spanish, it’s so much about the soul and how you connect with the culture,” he said.
Fresno High School
Lip sync: 17 points
Creativity: 17 points
Performance/execution: 17 points
Set up/strike down: 18 points
Costumes: 17 points
Total: 86 points
Scholarship money: $3,000