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Flair for the dramatic goes viral

Video spreads like wildfire on Internet

Created date

December 25th, 2012

Dressed in elaborate costumes and covered in ghoulish makeup, nearly a dozen Greenspring neighbors captivated people across the globe with their lip dub music video of Monster Mash, originally performed by Bobby Boris Pickett in 1962. Within a matter of hours, the two-minute video, posted on YouTube, the Internet s most popular video-sharing website, began to go viral. In addition to receiving more than 25,000 views on YouTube, the video caught the attention of numerous national and local media outlets, including MSN and The Huffington Post. Some retirement communities really do have all the amenities: exercise rooms, pottery classes, viral videos, The Huffington Post commented about the Erickson Living community in Springfield, Va. The video is super cute and even a bit inspirational as the group proves you re never too old to have a little fun even when that means putting a slasher knife in your hair and lip dubbing to Boris Pickett, stated The Monster Mash video was also shared on social media sites, Twitter, and Facebook. The Huffington Post tweeted the video to more than 78,000 followers, MSN tweeted it to more than 19,000, and the LeadingAge organization tweeted the video to more than 6,000. The video shows that Greenspring is full of fun, energetic seniors who love to have a good time, says Greenspring Public Affairs Manager Jessica McKay. It also shows they aren t afraid to try something new and step into a dimension of the unknown. The residents who participated had so many creative ideas throughout the making of the video.

National stars

Responding to the video s online appeal, news outlets began airing the video on TV. WTTG Fox5 included a segment of the Monster Mash on its 6 p.m. newscast to an estimated audience of 40,000. EvenThe Today Showwas eager to share the Greenspring Monster Mash with its more than 1.8 million viewers. A clip of the video appeared just after 10 a.m. during theKathie Lee & Hodabroadcast. I am absolutely surprised by the attention, says Shirley Shifflett, who appears in the video as the witch. I always try to find ways to add elements of fun to my day. When I heard about the video, I thought I d give it a try. It s good to know we are all still in touch with our nine-year-old selves! The best part about performing in the video was dressing up with great makeup and hearing from friends after I sent them the link to the YouTube video, says Betty Griffin, who portrays the Bride of Frankenstein. I loved watching every performance as it appeared on a new website or on television. I had never been on stage before appearing in this video, says Fred Griffin, who plays Frankenstein. I am as surprised as anyone at how successful it turned out and would definitely consider doing something like this again. Ernie Sult, who plays the lead role of the Mad Scientist, spent many years performing in local community theater productions, but this is his first viral video appearance. It was a ball, he says. I had so much fun, found some gel, tousled up my hair, sashayed around, mugged the camera, mouthed the words, and screamed my heart out. Other community members appearing in the Monster Mash video include Arlene Girod and Anne Houck as zombies; Bob Cromwell, Carolyn Posey, and Frances Huenemann as vampires; Gray Parks as a ghost; and Carl Nemecek as a mummy.

The stars behind the camera

Many stars shined in the making of the Monster Mash video, including Diane Havinga, producer at Greenspring s Telly-award winning, closed-circuit TV channel 6, and her staff, Andrew Seegers and Anthony Trueheart. They participated in the pre-taping meetings with residents, helped decorate the set, and taped and edited the video. We would definitely consider participating in another project like this in the future, Havinga says. I think having the opportunity to do a project like this enables us to think outside the box. It allows my team to grow and further develop their skills and provides them with opportunities very few video professionals enjoy. It also keeps the creative juices flowing and furthers our professional development and growth. I love that the video has become so popular, she adds. People don t traditionally think of residents in a retirement community doing something as wild, crazy, and fun as the Monster Mash. But it s projects like this that make Greenspring so special.