21.08.2010 OMSC Blog 1 Comment

Interview: OMSC Founder Vince Simansky

Probably the most exciting birth of any Alan Ross Karaoke Show Host, Vince was born in Maryland on March 7th at the height of the infamous “Ash Wednesday Storm”, a three day Nor Easter which laid siege to the eastern coast causing heavy damage to the barrier islands of North Carolina.  If you know when this storm occurred, you know in which year Vince was born.

This picture reflects the result of the storm, not Vince’s birth.

Vince would like us to remind both visitors and local residents that although he was born in Maryland, Maryland was a neutral state during the Civil War, or “The War Between The States”, and it is below the Mason-Dixon Line, so technically, he is NOT a Yankee.

Known to audiences as “The Stiff White Guy”, Vince blames this billing on his strict Catholic School roots.  In the 70′s the Nuns were still allowed to practice their “hand ruler discipline”.  To our knowledge, this practice continues and although we could visit a Maryland Catholic school to confirm this assumption, no one has volunteered to do so.  The human fear response is very strong.  Vivid memories, don’tcha know.  Regardless, Vince learned to speak only when spoken to or when absolutely necessary.  It was also the start of his singing career – y’all know how those Nuns love to sing!

In high school, Vince lettered in sports and although that sounds impressive, he humbly admits that the sport was Golf.  He also claims it was because he tore up his knee in baseball, but we all know that Golf is the chosen sport of Stiff White Guys.  We find it difficult to believe that a New Wave punk like the one pictured here (Vince, 1983) could become The Stiff White Guy.

It was in 1976, during summer vacation from high school, when Vince began visiting the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  A true water baby, he taught himself to surf and learned the art of sailing, both passions still consume him.

After successfully completing courses in computer science and photography, while attending colleges in both Pennsylvania(a Yankee state) and Maryland(a pseudo-Yankee state), Vince was certified as a lifeguard.  In the summer of 1983, he brought that certification to the Outer Banks where he became an Ocean Rescue Guard.  His main location was at a lifeguard stand in Nags Head in front of The Armada which is now the Comfort Inn South.  Those of you who may have been here in 1983, may have seen him on duty as you made your way to the pool.

In 1984, Vince drove the rescue truck for the Lifeguard Beach Service.  Vince laughingly cliams that if you were ever forced off the road by the slowest emergency vehicle on duty, it was probably him.  The old International Harvester Scout diesel pickup had the amazing ability to zoom from zero to 50mph in about three minutes.  Truly impressive.

Regardless, Vince had plenty of time to pursue his passions for surfing and sailing as you can see from these contrasting pictures from 1983 and 2000.

In 1987, Vince married, then he and his wife began to increased their family number to five with the births of their three wonderful children: Andrew, now 12; Julie, 8 and Lindsay, 4.

Since college, Vince has worked a myriad of jobs including janitorial services, photo lab technician, photo lab manager, photo processor service tech and manager, shift supervisor for the largest photo finisher in the country and distribution manager for Rite Aid.

It was during his time with Rite Aid that his experience with Karaoke began.  Vince took a bet from his coworkers to sing at a local sports/Karaoke bar.  His friends teased him about being too stiff to do it, but he proved them wrong when he got up and sang.  It was apparent that even with paramedic assistance it was going to be a tough job to pry their awed jaws from the floor.  The teasing was instantly replaced with sincerely stunned appreciation.  His hidden talent was revealed and there was no going back.

But back in his mind, Vince’s passions for the water sports he so loved developed a desire to live on the Outer Banks permanently and in 2000, his dream came true when he was able to purchase a photo lab and relocate his family to the quiet village of Manteo.

Slowly and almost shyly at first, Vince began to go out with friends Dennis and Tina to Karaoke on the Outer Banks.  They discovered The Alan Ross Karaoke Roadshow and were impressed.  It soon became a plan for them to go out to Alan’s shows whenever possible.  Vince and his friend, Dennis caught Alan’s attention immediately one night when they
got up together and sang Seven Bridges Road, by The Eagles.  Alan, always with an eye for talent, approached Vince about the possibility of joining the family.  Unfortunately, Vince’s work schedule at the time didn’t leave him time for the task, but the idea continued to swirl in Vince’s head.  Vince felt comfortable with his voice, but he worried about his ability to present the shows with the kind of personality he’d seen in Alan Ross.

It took a couple of years and Alan’s persistent encouragement and assurance that Vince’s “Stiff White Guy” personea might actually be fun for the audiences to play with, before Vince began to seriously entertain the idea.  His work load had lessened some and although he now ran a pool cleaning service as well as his photo shop, in 2003, Vince accepted Alan’s offer.

It’s important to note that although Vince has a great vocal talent, he tries to sing songs which have meaning to him.  We can’t blame him for being raised in the pseudo-Yankee state of Maryland which adversely affected his musical tastes.  He doesn’t sing Country or Disco songs and if you ask him about a Country music artist, he will probably give you a clueless look and refer you to the Karaoke song book.  He will sing almost any song from The Beatles and sings mostly music from the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s.

Alan’s Note: “While we respect the individual personalities of our show hosts, it would please us if Vince found the joy of singing Country and Disco music.  I personally think Vince’s voice is well suited for some of today’s Country music.”

Vince can currently be found performing at The Jolly Roger every Monday night for the Alan Ross Karaoke Roadshow.  He also runs a pool cleaning service.  In addition, Vince established the Old Man Surf Club which you can access on the web at www.oldmansurfclub.com.  We’ve added the link here for your convenience.