Mr. Rochester production must go on


Photo courtesy of Faith Cabalum.

Alyssa Hart, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Lights, camera, action! Except… no audience.

This year’s Mr. Rochester production is off to an impressive start as the team works towards creating a show to remember.
Mr. Rochester is a tradition at Rochester High school where an elected group of senior boys go head to head in a battle of comedic proportions. The competition is broken into four parts: dance, talent, pickup lines, and questionnaire. A panel of judges scores the boys based on their performance in each category, and the top three contestants are chosen. At the end of the night the audience sends their vote as to who they think did the best out of the chosen boys, and the winner is crowned Mr. Rochester.

This year’s elected seniors include: Paul Batt, Michael Cichowski, Balaaj Forcon, Aiden Harris, Chris Johnson, Tyler Louton, Kyle Stross, and Mark Williams.

The show is organized by the senior class president, Stephanie Glaspie, and the senior class vice president, Kate Breitschuh, who have been putting a lot of work into making this show perfect. However, just like everything else this year, Mr. Rochester looks a little different.

“This year we’re having Mr. Rochester as a livestream on YouTube since we can’t be physically together for the show,” Glaspie said, “Since we must have everything filmed beforehand for the show, we have to put in extra time and effort to make sure everything is perfect.”

The final production will be live-streamed on the Good Morning Rochester YouTube channel on Feb. 12 at 7:00 p.m. Afterwards students will get the opportunity to vote for a winner and tune in to an instagram livestream on the senior instagram @2021roc.

“During the livestream we will be having the top three contestants do a final questionnaire to welcome everyone in,” Glaspie said, “After voting is over, we will be crowning the winner of Mr. Rochester.”

The group has been gathering weekly to practice and film for the show, while abiding by Covid-19 regulation of course. Senior Faith Cabalum has taken on the job of filming and producing the entire production. Cabalum has a talent for photography and videography, and has showcased it in her work through the school yearbook, as well as on her instagram

“It’s been exciting because the show isn’t normally filmed and edited so it’s really cool to be a part of this year’s show in a way that hasn’t been done before,” she said, “My favorite part is definitely being able to go back in the school and create a show week by week with all the boys and the hosts Steph and Kate.”

The boys have really enjoyed the production process so far, and especially enjoy the sense of normalcy they receive from being back in the building.

“My favorite thing has been coming to school and just having a good time, using my imagination and having fun,” Forcon said. “It’s like we’re back in school and it feels so nice.”

Another positive aspect of their filming process has been being able to be in person once again. Williams and Louton are both glad to be able to have fun with the other contestants while filming.

“My favorite part has been getting to hang out with the guys and just have fun because we all know none of us are actually talented in the stuff we’re doing so it’s been really fun and low stress,” Louton said.

The contestants have put in a lot of time and effort to make this year’s production as amazing as possible.

“Between little things like choosing music for their pickup lines to organizing scripts and choreography for their talents, the boys have been giving 110 percent to the filming process and we can’t wait to see how it turns out,” Glaspie said.
The lights and audio crew has also sacrificed their own time to help make the show run as smoothly as possible.

“Special thanks to the lights and audio crew, Paige Lawson, Kaija Windeler, Nate Kurokawa and Charlotte Perry for making this whole show possible,” Glaspie said.

The production hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows however. This is the first time a Mr. Rochester production has been completely virtual, and the team definitely had to overcome some challenges.

“The show is much different when watching from a screen because when filmed there’s no audience to build off of and a lot of clips are separate compared to a live show,” Cabalum said. “Another concern is wearing masks, it’s been harder to hear and read emotion when the boys are performing with a mask.”

From Covid restrictions to technical issues, the group had a lot of obstacles to work around. Nonetheless, the group has done everything to make this production as normal as possible, and is ready to release a successful show by the 12th.
Another difficult aspect of a virtual production is the strenuous task of cutting and editing the footage. Cabalum has spent a total of 25 hours in editing alone to create a cohesive finished product.

The group cannot wait for the audience to see all of the hard work that they have put into this show. Specifically, Williams is looking forward to having the audience see their choreographed dance routine:

“I’m looking forward to the audience seeing the little dance that we’re gonna do,” Williams said. “We’ve been practicing it for a minute but I think it’s going to come together well, and I think they’re gonna like the act we put together.”

After putting so much thought and effort into creating the perfect individual talent, Louton is excited for the audience to see how it turned out.

“I’m most looking forward to showing off my talent because I think it’s going to win me the show if it goes off well,” he said. “I just want to thank Stephanie for all the hard work she’s put in planning this and putting up with all of our chaos.”

After the many hours of practicing, filming and editing put in by the contestants and organizers, the final production is ready to air on Feb. 12th at 7:00 p.m. Don’t forget to tune in!