Thursday, July 19, 2012

Making of a Flashmob Event (from Somewhere Inside the Batcave)

The Sherman Oaks Galleria needs Batmen
Now I could watch a flashmob that suddenly appeared before my eyes and enjoy it as much as the next guy.  Granted, I might be watching the dancer-performers and thinking "There but for the grace of God..."  But then, I wouldn't be taking the floor to join a country line dance at a shitkicker bar, either, and that is what a flashmob sometimes reminds me of.

So when Hunter Communication invited me to covertly get into the mind of a flashmobber by following the steps a volunteer might take to join the "party", I felt like something between a spy and a Mean Girl.  But hey, people LOVE these flashmob thingies, so SOMEBODY has to be there in the trenches.

The process started with an announcement to the VIP mailing list of the Sherman Oaks Galleria:
 "BATMAN Flash Mob at the Sherman Oaks Galleria!
Thursday, July 19

Arrival: 6:30pm
Performances: 7:30pm and 7:45pm

Have you always wanted to be part of a Flash Mob? Well, now is your chance!
To celebrate the final installment of Christopher Nolan's epic Batman trilogy, we've teamed up with Billy Blanks Jr. and Sharon Catherine Blanks to put on a BATMAN themed flash mob like no other at the Sherman Oaks Galleria"

Prospective volunteers were invited to email and await further instructions. Then, organizers answered their emails and grouped them according to possible dance ability.  The next communication greeted them with a cheery:

"Thank you for committing to the Batman Flash Mob on Thursday July 19th at the Sherman Oaks Galleria with Billy Blanks Jr. and Sharon Catherine Blanks. If you are receiving this email, you are officially signed up to participate. Please arrive at the Galleria at 6:30pm (July 19th) to practice."

And then they were directed to a page of practice videos demonstrating the choreography aimed at their group number, and the downloadable music to practice along with. 

Granted, this is no simple 8-bar shuffle.  The dance practice page shows Billy Blank in NINE different choreography clips, with a specific combination of clips that you should follow as a member of your numbered group. Volunteers are directed:

"Please watch the entire video below so you see the sequence and then review and practice the videos under your GROUP #.
GROUP 2
LEARN VIDEOS 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9

GROUP 3
LEARN VIDEOS 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
GROUP 4
LEARN VIDEOS 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

GROUP 5
LEARN VIDEOS 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
GROUP 6
LEARN VIDEOS 6, 7, 8, 9

GROUP 7
LEARN VIDEOS 7, 8, 9
GROUP 8
LEARN VIDEOS 8, 9

GROUP 9
LEARN VIDEOS 9
ATTENTION: Be sure to reverse the steps since the video is facing you."

 It reminds me of what Miss America contestants must be faced with before coming to Las Vegas for the big pageant week (without the evening gowns and high heels, of course).

How does this all fall magically into place on the evening of the 19th?  Stay tuned--you will be as interested as I am (now that I have seen how much work goes into this).
And do I even need to add, "same Bat-time, same Bat-channel"?..

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