Yesterday I went to the coffee shop and a musical broke out.
I was heading down to Miss Lily's Café; when I got there I saw, taped to the front door, a sign that read it was closed for the day. I turned, sadly, and walked away. Then I heard a voice calling me in the distance. I turned around and, standing outside of Miss Lily's was Susanne Larner, whom I went to high school with, and who is now the manager at Miss Lily's.
"Colin," she said. "We're shooting a music video. Do you want to be in it?"
"Yes!" I said.
What else would you say when such an offer comes along?
I went back and into the café.
"Just set up your laptop and work like you always do," Susanne said.
"I can do that," I said—and I did.
Then they started handing out scripts. Miss Lily's the Musical, the title read.
"You need to memorize some of the lyrics," the director, Victor Cooper, said. "Especially, the chorus."
"What?" I said. "I have to sing?"
"Don't worry," Victor said. "We wouldn't be using your voice on the video, you just need to sing along."
I let out a sigh of relief. Despite my own youtube videos, I'm not keen on my singing voice.
They had us sign some release forms.
Susanne gave me a mug and told me to help myself to the coffee.
"Thanks," I said.
I went over and filled my cup with an Organic Costa Rican single estate coffee.
Fellow County author, Andrew Binks (The Summer Between), came in and we had a chat, about this and that. He needed to play the trombone in the video. Having never played the trombone before, he wasn't 100% sure how to do it. I tried to give him some pointers since I had played it in grade 8. I wasn't very helpful: I couldn't remember much.
I returned to my seat and my little LG laptop.
The director then told me that I would be singing the first line into the camera.
"What?" I said.
"The first line is 'I got a smile on my face'," Victor said. "You've been smiling since you came in. I have to use that smile."
Susanne, and Skye (one of the staff at Miss Lily's), laughed.
"You do smile a lot," Skye said.
I've known Skye for years, also. That's the thing with small towns, you've known so many of the people for most of your life that, even when if don't see them that often, there is a familiarity, like an extended family.
The video got under way.
More people came in, some who I knew, others I only recognized. Everyone jumped right in, filling the café with laughter and energy like we were all, well, in a musical.
Graham and Vicky, who own Chesterfield's Café in Picton, dropped into take part; and Jody Bain, who I also went to high school with, and I've been trying to organize a meeting with over a book he's writing, unexpectedly dropped in. Jody, along with Victor, and Trevor Crowe, were the Crowe Video Productions crew.
In the end of the video we all got to sing in the chorus, dancing out of the attached bookstore (Books and Company) and into Miss Lily's, following Andrew who was doing a great job playing the trombone.
As strange a story as this may seen, going to a coffee shop and a musical breaking out, that's just one of the many adventures one has when living in Prince Edward County; or The County, as the locals call it. And, when the video comes out, you can it see for yourself.