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Sister act takes center court at Kings game

By: Lauren Weber, The Placer Herald
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The Dizon sisters shared the spotlight at last Wednesday’s Sacramento Kings game. But they weren’t shooting hoops or making a slam-dunk – they were the opening entertainment at the event, singing the national anthem for thousands to hear. “I was shaking,” 11-year-old Marlise Dizon said. But their nerves didn’t affect their performance. Marlise said her favorite part of performing was the audience’s reaction – lots of claps and “good jobs,” 13-year-old Kristina Dizon said. “They felt like stars,” said mom Lisa Dizon. For months leading up to their Feb. 18 performance, the girls practiced their vowel sounds, timing, harmony and making sure one voice didn’t overpower the other. They also worked with Gemma McKenney, a voice coach, to perfect their 90-second song, and practiced daily, just the two of them. In September, the sisters auditioned separately to sing at an upcoming game, but were asked to perform a duet instead – something they had never done before. “It came out of the blue,” Lisa said. “But it opened a whole new realm.” Kristina is no stranger to performing on the big stage, but Marlise made her debut at the Kings game. Kristina has performed a handful of times at the All American Speedway in Roseville and won the junior division at the Gold Country Fair, for her rendition of “Good Morning Baltimore” from the musical “Hairspray” last summer. Although the Dizons reside in Lincoln, Kristina said they live in Rocklin, but sleep in Lincoln. Kristina attends Horizon Charter School in Lincoln, while Marlise attends Rocklin Academy. The girls are involved in Rocklin Youth Theatre, where they began their acting and singing resume. “We were hooked,” Marlise said. That was almost two years ago and the girls may have found their passion. Both aspire to be Broadway stars and are getting as much practice until then. Much of their weekdays and weekends are filled with school and theater, dance and singing. Next up for the girls is a performance at the Filipino festival in Sacramento in March and Kristina playing Belle in Rocklin Youth Theatre’s upcoming performance of “Beauty and the Beast, Jr.” Despite their busy schedules, the girls said they wouldn’t have it any other way. “They love it, though, that’s the thing,” Lisa said. “It’s fun when kids love something that much, it’s a positive thing.” Kristina said she uses performing as an outlet for her energy, but still admits to getting nervous. “My nerves usually leave as soon as I’m there … I start to get confidence,” she said. Her sister agreed, adding that big crowds, like that at the Kings game, have a different vibe than smaller, intimate groups. “Sometimes when there’s a large crowd, it’s not as nerve-wracking because you can’t see all the people,” Marlise said. Performing is something that runs in the family – the girls’ father, Mark Dizon, sings as a team with his twin brother Louis. Kristina said Mark used to be a famous singer in Japan. As far as Lisa’s singing abilities, “I can carry a tune, but that’s about it,” Lisa said. Contact Lauren Weber at laurenw@goldcountrymedia.com.