I’ve been debating with myself over the past few days as to whether I’d post about this – it’s a bit more personal than most of my posts, but it is a music-related adventure and that is one of the things I blog about. So. Here goes.
When I say “I broke my karaoke cherry,” I mean my pub karaoke cherry. I have sung karaoke at private parties/events but never in a pub, and the last time I got up in front of a crowd of folks who were mostly strangers, it didn’t go so well (years ago, I sang Melissa Manchester’s Don’t Cry Out Loud with insufficient vocal warm-up and cacked the high notes).
Anyway, my friend Tricia (a pal of my friend Kerri) started this annual tradition of having a birthday gathering at Spirits Bar and Grill on the Saturday closest to her birthday. And Saturday night at Spirits is karaoke night. I’d been before, but was never able to stick around long enough for the singing (which starts around 10 p.m.) – I always had some theatre event or other commitment to get to. On this occasion, I wasn’t even sure I’d be getting up to sing. It had been a while since I’d sung in public, period, and I’d only recently got back to singing at all, so I was nervous to say the least. But after hanging out there with Tricia’s assembled friends, and finding a relaxed atmosphere, and a crowd (which included another birthday gathering) and MC (Tara) that were lots of fun, I decided to go for it.
I chose Elton John’s Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, a comfortable song for my voice and I knew it pretty well. When I got up there, though, I promptly forgot the one thing I’d reminded myself about singing with the karaoke machine: don’t count on the screen to prompt the timing of your vocals – follow the music instead. So after a bumpy start, I remembered to just follow the music and use the screen to remind me of the lyrics. It went really well in the end, and the audience was great – holding up candles and cell phones to light my way and show their support.
And I had such a good time, I made bold to submit another song: Adele’s Someone Like You. Another singer beat me to it, so Tara offered me the option of choosing another song. I stayed with Adele and went with Make You Feel My Love. By the time this transaction went down, however, there was a mass movement at my table to pay tabs and leave. I told Tricia and Kerri that I was going to stay for one more song. Just after they left, Tara asked me if I was good to go. All my friends were gone, but I still wanted to sing. So I did and it went much more smoothly this time. With the hours and pints rolling by, the crowd was a bit more subdued but still with me – and I had a blast.
I left the bar feeling proud of myself – that I had overcome the fear of making a mistake so I could do something I love. I’ve been singing since I could talk, pretty much – and I really should do it more often.
Got any karaoke stories you wanna share?