Sunday, September 4, 2011

Super ‘70s and ‘80s: Sea World superheroes water ski show—the skiers, part 3 of 10

Introduction to series “Super ‘70s and ‘80s.”

Introduction to subseries “Sea World superheroes show” (including list of interviewees).

Skiers, part 2 of 10—the characters.

SWSH = Sea World superheroes


Who made the costumes?

Reyna Blasko: Two designers out of Hollywood. You had to have everything exactly like the comics, body types and all.

boat driver (rear)—Sharkey Schwartz, boat driver (fore)—Ric Jones, Batgirl—Lori Taylor,
Jimmy Olsen
—Curt Rector, Green Lantern—Scott McMurtrie, Aquaman—Greg Galloway,
Black Canary
—Suzanne Schwartz, man behind Aquaman and Black Canary—Mike Whittenton,
Supergirl 1
—Janet Shave (Rooks), Supergirl 2—Gay Schwartz (Peteet), Penguin—Bill Peterson,
—Jack Krips, first man in bathing suit—Jeff Parnell,
second man in bathing suit
(and mask)—John Macqueen, third man in bathing suit—Brad Whitmore,
Wonder Woman
—Sherry Satterfield Runion, Mera—Diane Smith

Did you keep any of the costumes?

Al Kelley: No, I would have liked to but even the well-worn costumes were not allowed to leave.
Andy Hansen: LOL, nope, they would not allow the costumes to be taken from the park. Although it would not surprise me if a couple snuck out. You will have to let me know what you learn here.
Bill Schwartz: Wish I did but unfortunately no. They kept a good eye on them.
Bubby Snow: I did not keep any costumes, but I wish I had some.
Doby Buesse: No, but that Batman costume was the best.
Jacque Cook (Kuntarich): No. We used to have these guys come from Las Vegas who did the showgirls. We would put on a skimpy bathing suit and they’d measure us everywhere. Property of Sea World.
Jeff Parnell: Nobody wanted those flesh-colored spandex tights.
Linda Knapp (Moffett): No, darn it.
Lori Taylor: No though I should have kept one of those bras.
Margie LaPoint (Bates): I never kept any of the costumes (did anybody ever do that?) and I loved the way I felt when wearing them.
Nancy Radant Combes: No, but I heard someone took a Wonder Woman.

How did you feel dressing like a superhero?

Al Kelley: Great. It was very empowering and very cool meeting the kids when the show was over.
Andy Hansen: Superhuman. During the autograph session especially.
Betsy Maher (Hawkins): More about the skiing than “being a superhero.” [Jacque Cook on Betsy: Betsy was the only one who was allowed to do Wonder Woman without a wig. She was the maid of honor at my wedding. For John Macqueen’s party, she made CDs of pictures for all of us.]
Bill Schwartz: Really cool. It was like my childhood fantasy to become a superhero.
Bubby Snow: I was used to dressing for shows, but out of all the shows I skied in, this was one of the more prestigious shows. I feel it was one of the best ski shows ever performed at Sea World.
Carl Lipsit: Kind of fun, but still had to wear muscle pads to get into superhero form. At least most of the costumes were tight fitting and didn’t drag when they got wet.
Cindy Barhoff (Clasen): Strange at first, however I loved the kids in the audience because they believed we were the real thing. I was a third grade teacher in the area during the year. My students would come to watch the show.
Sherry Wickstrom: We laughed a lot because of the padding for the chest area.
Doby Buesse: It’s all about the chest padding. : )
Janalee Zimmerman (Addleman): The whole experience was amazing! I did feel the part! Performing for an audience that size was humbling and awesome at the same time!
Jeff Parnell: Cool for Green Hornet [he later confirmed he meant Green Lantern] and Flash, Robin was okay. The bad guys were fun. A little silly as Superman, with the wig and all.
Jody Spence: Lots of fun, especially Wonder Woman—black hair and I’m blonde.
John Gillette: Sometimes special, sometimes corny.
Kaci Whittenton (Hedstrum): Sometimes silly, especially when taking a bow after a crash landing or wardrobe mishap.

Kerry Lloyd: It was fun. Totally fun. It was a trip.
Linda Knapp (Moffett): It was a lot of fun. The kids absolutely adored the heroes and it was fun seeing them interact with us after the shows. They really did believe we were the heroes—even my nephew’s friend; he had his picture taken with Wonder Woman (who happened to be me that show) and argued with my nephew when my nephew kept calling Wonder Woman “Aunt Linda.”
Margie LaPoint (Bates): My perspective of skiing at Sea World was based on the acts of the ski show, having skied at Cypress Gardens and Aqua Follies (another ski show in Fort Myers, Florida). The cartoon theme was not really foremost on my mind.
Mark Gutleben: It built your ego up a little bit.
Nancy Radant Combes: Are you kidding? We all felt like we had super powers.
Paula Nelson (Bloemer): You get used to it.
Randy Messer: Combine heightened awareness, heightened senses, the youth and vitality of a young athlete in front a large crowd displaying a feat that only a few people are capable of performing, and a costume that has been etched in our common psyche to represent extraordinary powers, and for the briefest of moments when the adrenaline spikes and exhilaration floods your body, you [do] feel [like] a superhero. A couple of things I have felt missing in many of the comic books I grew up on was that the writers did not have the superhero display the sheer joy of not only having the power but also the thrill of training. When this happens to a mere mortal, you are literally bouncing with energy. I also felt they missed expressing the many frustrations related to training and the body dealing with pain and aging. Captain America was one of the few that I read which did.
Shirley Duke: Once I put on the costume, wig, and makeup, I was in character. We were critiqued after every show so, for me, it never got to be “routine.” Kids in the audience made it enjoyable and worthwhile.

How did the costumes affect your ability to ski?

Al Kelley: No costume problems other than the occasional mask coming off.
Andy Hansen: LOL…some of them. Especially for some people. We had one guy who was too skinny try to play Batman. The cowl over his head would move to the side in the wind and cover his eyes. One time the cape came up over his head. Even better, one time it flew off and revealed his orange carrot top hair. It was soooo funny to us.
Betsy Maher (Hawkins): Capes, masks, and wigs could get in the way.

Bill Peterson: None, except sometimes the head gear, like on the Flash, would impair your vision.
Janalee Zimmerman (Addleman): The only costume that was at all difficult was the dress for Lois Lane. I had to jump on Clark Kent as he skied by and that was tricky to do in a dress! Two things I hated about skiing at Sea World: one, because your feet were always wet it would be very sore between my toes; two, I hated having to get in the water when it was cold!
John Gillette: No real effect, though we had a significant effect on the costumes. They were very expensive, custom spandex. [Exposure to] 35-40 mph of barefoot “tumbleturns” and other difficult maneuvers often tore them up pretty badly.
Linda Knapp (Moffett): The capes got in the way and were a real drag if they got wet. The wigs had to be maintained and the guys hated to wear them!
Nancy Radant Combes: You did feel like you had a certain responsibility to do your best since you were representing a character that was respected.
Randy Messer: Technically, masks and capes were hindrances; emotionally it had little affect except on rare occasions. Sometimes it may have boosted your self-image. Batman and Flash both had masks and the spandex would pull and lose it elasticity and many times you could only see out of one eye.

Lor Radant, Jeff Parnell

Roland Hillier
: Unusual at first because the air against your body without the suits helped with sense of speed.
Sherry Wickstrom: No problems except for the capes. They were heavy and if you fell you had to get them off before they pulled you down.
Suzanne Schwartz: [At that time,] it was almost impossible to wear a wetsuit under the girls costumes, so during the winters, we froze our tushies off and that definitely hampered our ability. The Batgirl costume was challenging because it was a full headpiece/mask and a huge, heavy cape that weighed a ton when it got wet.

Next: skiers, part 4 of 10—the show (including stunts, funny incidents, and salary).

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