Sunday, January 30, 2011

Karaoke Dreams

I love American Idol this year. Steven Tyler is such a fun addition to the judges panel that I don't miss Simon telling people they should be singing on a cruise ship or a theme park or telling them their performance was bad karaoke.

Besides, if Simon told one of the kids in the top 12 they were doing bad karaoke, I might get delusions of grandeur. Cause, Baby, I can do some bad karaoke!

Don't believe me? Consider my friend, Pam's, assessment of my most recent performance.

"It wasn't awful, but I would be a true friend and stop you if you tried to go on American Idol. No, WAIT! I would totally let you go on American Idol, so you could meet Steven!!"

True friends are hard to come by. Thank you, Pam.

Karaoke is a newfound diversion. Last fall, my friends and I were invited by Linda's daughter and her friends to a karaoke bar to celebrate a birthday. I sang Eminem's "Lose Yourself" with former student, Chad, and I've been hooked ever since.

I have noticed some things and learned some lessons the hard way, so I thought I'd share some tips for karaoke success.

  • Unless you have real chops, don't choose a slow, serious song. If you can't wow 'em with your vocals, you're just gonna bring the room down. This mistake is compounded if your downer immediately follows a crowd-pleaser.

  • (Three seconds in, I knew my song choice was a mistake. Hence, the closed eyes.)

  • Find a partner. Even better? Find a partner who sings better than you. You get the rush of performing in front of a crowd while they do all the heavy lifting.

  • (Guess who's doing the heavy lifting?)

  • The later in the evening your performance, the more likely you are to please the crowd. Folks are more forgiving of bad vocals several drinks in.

    (No appropriate pic here. ;)

  • Choose something everybody knows. When the whole crowd is singing along, they are happy, and it just doesn't matter how off-key you are. "Sweet Caroline" and surprisingly, "Ice Ice Baby" are excellent choices.

  • (Or just look extremely cute while you're singing.)

  • Whatever you choose, sing it right. Someone in the crowd might take offense and snatch the mic right out of your hand. Case in point: Some poor schmuck was singing Seal's "Kiss from a Rose." Linda decided he was doing it wrong and pulled me onto the stage where we promptly commandeered the poor guy's song.

(My eyes are fixed on the screen, terrified of botching the lyrics after Linda ripped the mic out of someone's hand.)

The best advice?? Don't take yourself too seriously. Have fun, and the audience will have fun. Now, get out there and live your Karaoke Dreams!

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