Here is a little known fact about yours truly...I love some karaoke.
Have you ever seen someone get onstage, grab the microphone, and just completely silence the crowd with a totally Idol-worthy performance of "Fancy" or maybe even "Purple Rain"?
Well, that's not me.
Don't get me wrong, in reality I completely realize that I am by no means talented. I can carry a tune, and maybe even do it halfway decently, but NO ONE is mistaking me for Carrie Underwood. (And it ain't just because of my legs). In my head (and in the privacy of my shower) I sound ah-mazing!
But here's the thing about karaoke, and it's what makes me love it even more...
You don't have to be great, you just need to commit.
I am a self-proclaimed karaoke professional, performing in exciting venues from Troy, AL to the famous taverns of Dauphin Island. (The Pub and The Oarhouse, maybe you've heard of me?) What I have found to be true across the nation (or southern region of Alabama, whatever) is that the crowd just wants a show.
So whether it be a version of Salt & Peppa's "Push It" or an old classic like "Freebird", you just have to entertain. Nobody expects it to be perfect, but everyone expects it to be funny, loud, and sang with enthusiasm. And, if at all possible, get the crowd involved. Everyone loves to sing along with "Sweet Caroline" and Heaven help us all, "Sweet Home Alabama".
Just grab the microphone, and take the stage like you really are Carrie Underwood. Or a white-girl version of Salt & Peppa in a Banana Republic sundress and cardigan.
I have a couple of songs in my wheelhouse, and I tend to stick with what I know. For instance, I can't sing high notes worth a darn, so I like to go with some Janis Joplin or Bonnie Rait. Or maybe even some Jimmy Buffett or Alabama if the mood seems right.
And although there was that one time I sang 'Wind Beneath My Wings" on a dare in college, I usually play it safe. (By the way, the wager was free drinks all night if I would sing it a la Bette Midler, and I totally. rocked. it.)
That's why I like karaoke so much -- it's not so much about the talent, it's about the effort. And if you're in the audience, remember to cheer. It takes a lot of testicular fortitude to get up on stage and sing in public, so remember to clap and sing along like you're watching the next big thing on the music scene.
Unless you happen to catch me singing "Wind Beneath My Wings" again, in which case just sit back and enjoy the experience. And record it on your handy-dandy iPhone for future blackmail opportunities.