Last night I did something for the first time.
I sang at a karaoke bar.
Okay, it wasn’t a karaoke bar. We were at an Indian restaurant that has karaoke on Saturday nights (weird, I know). With the smell of curry wafting through the room, the long-haired dj sang his heart out, waiting for people to get the courage to come on up and sing.
While the few people in the room were trying to convince all the other people to sing, my friend nodded his head across the way.
“What about that guy over there? Why don’t you go hit on him?”
I looked over at the only man at the bar – a guy around my age. He had his nose buried in his iPod, and I don’t think he looked up for ten minutes.
I rolled my eyes. “Yeah, I don’t think so.”
“Okay, how about him?” he said, gesturing toward a portly gray-haired man who was barely taller than I am.
“What the heck?! Cut it out.”
So after an hour or so of witty banter and teasing, he finally coerced me and B, my roommate from college, to sing. I should’ve known better. I kept saying, “No, no thanks. Not really interested in embarrassing myself.” And they just couldn’t understand why two women with degrees in music would pass up an opportunity to sing in front of people.
Maybe because I don’t know how to sing with a microphone?
Maybe because I’m used to practicing for hours before getting up there?
Maybe because I’m classically trained and don’t know a thing about belting or how to perform a pop song and make it sound good?
Maybe all three of those reasons?
[This is a little more up my alley. Or at least this is how I’m more used to performing. Here I’m singing a setting of some of my favorite Psalms composed by a friend of mine from college. I can’t wait til I can say I knew him when!]
But I got up there and did it. My friend and I sang together, but our song choice was horrible. That’s also part of the problem: all the songs that sound good in my voice and that I can perform well are so sad. Give me a melancholy song any day, and I’ll rock it. “Cry Me a River” is a powerful, knock-your-socks-off number. But that’s not the kind of song that makes for good karaoke.
Nobody booed or threw their garlic naan at us, but there was a general sense of BUMMER. When I sat down, I thought: I am never doing this again.
I’d changed my mind by the time I woke up this morning. I have to redeem myself. Next time, I’m singing something a little more sassy, a little more upbeat. Something that says “I’m fun and I sing at karaoke nights.”
Let’s Give ’em Something to Talk About.