I had been asking my sister, “what do you want to do for your 30th birthday?” for months (years really) when she finally answered my pressing question a little more than a month before her 30th birthday. “I want to host a lip sync battle 30th birthday party,” she said. Never one to shy away from any crazy party idea, I was immediately on board, the logistics already running through my head. We’d have to get someone to play DJ, everyone coming would have to practice their songs, and we’d have to be 150 percent into the idea in order to convince all those weary of lip syncing in front of a crowd to participate. We’d need ample amounts of booze, a venue that had some sort of stage, delectable hearty snacks that would ensure guests didn’t get too wasted before their performances, and an invite that got everyone excited about the opportunity to lip sync.
Luckily, lip sync-ing is incredibly trendy right now. Thanks to Jimmy Fallon’s hysterical late night lip sync battles (if you’ve never watched the Will Farrell one, please stop what you are doing and enjoy it now) and the show it spiraled into, Lip Sync Battle, everyone and their mother’s are lip syncing. If you think about it, it sort of makes sense. Karaoke has always been a thing, but not everyone (myself included) can sing, so lip syncing (where you fake sing the lyrics by moving your lips) is an attainable feat.
Trish’s 30th birthday party went off without any hitches. It was wildly successful and super fun. Seriously, everyone had a blast and we’re thinking it has to be some sort of annual event or repeated for someone else’s birthday. The party is definitely worth hosting and recreating with your own flair. Here’s how to host the ultimate lip sync battle party.
- Start by figuring out the where and when. Hopefully you have a who for the occasion (in my case it was my amazing sister) and the what is simple: lip sync battle party. From there you need the where, preferably someplace with a make shift stage (we used the front porch and steps to my sister’s cottage) and the when, the date and time of the event. We started our party at 4 pm, which is the ideal time for a lip sync. The party won’t really get going until about 5:30 pm. Give everyone enough time to come and have a few drinks before starting with the faux singing.
- Send an invite that will get all your friends excited. Include links to sample lip sync battles. Designate one trusted and responsible friend or family member to be the MC and DJ. On the invite, tell everyone to email the MC/DJ their songs. The DJ will make sure that no songs are repeats and get all of the music downloaded correctly.
- Practice your lip sync routines. Costumes, choreography — come up with it all! The more you get into character the better
- The day of the party make sure everyone knows their roles. Set a time to start the singing and have the MC/DJ keep everyone on track. Serve hearty and delicious finger foods (on our menu: bacon-wrapped manchego-stuffed dates, Buffalo chicken meatballs, asparagus pizzas, charcuterie and cheese boards, hummus and pita chips, jalapeño artichoke dip). Have as much fun as humanly possible.
- Have an after party plan. Get the group to go to a local bar to carry on the festivities or head to your favorite Karaoke bar and try actually singing.
Lastly, if you need help with the actual lip syncing, here are my sister’s boyfriend’s tips. He sent these out to everyone invited to the party to get them stoked and excited to lip sync.
Chaz’s Seven Steps for Highly Effective Lip Syncers:
- Memorize the lyrics: Duh. Listening to the song while reading the lyrics is the best way to start, then move on to singing the song without music, then practicing syncing to the song.
- Memorize the non-lyrical parts: Memorize the little, nonverbal parts of the songs. Humming, breathing, intonation, punctatory grunts. These all add character to the lyrics and realism to the performance.
- Practice in front of a mirror: This will get you more comfortable with the performance and allow you to see yourself as the audience will. Exaggerate all facial and mouth movements!
- You’re an actor on stage: Bring real emotion to the song. Lip syncing is acting, and as an actor put yourself in the shoes of the singer and the words of the song. COMMIT to the song! Exaggerate all facial and mouth movements!
- Sync like you’d sing: Sync the words as if they are actually coming out of your mouth. You can’t just mouth the words, act like your body would act if you were REALLY singing. Exaggerate all facial and mouth movements!
- Own the stage: If you have stage presence and own the space, with body language, movement and high kicks, the focus will be off your lips and will take some of the pressure off of you to lip sync perfectly.
- Use props: Duh.
Also, watch this video. Skip to minute 2:59 to learn how to do “The Lip Quiver.”