Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mr E's Karaoke Blogging Begins

I will tell you one thing is for sure, I like being the life of the party. There is nothing quite like walking into a bar on karaoke night in a trench coat, sunglasses, a hat, and a gratuitously false mustache. On a Tuesday night I walk in an empty place and all of the sudden something is actually happening, and it's me. It's very interesting to me to watch how people react, they can't tell if I'm looking at them because of the sunglasses but if someone is clearly staring I'll give my mustache a little wiggle and see if that will get a smile out of them. Some nights nobody says a word to me, some nights I walk out knowing everyone in the place by name, most nights something interesting happens. A few times I've taken Mr. E out with a group of friends to karaoke and it just doesn't work, I guess he's loner. I'd rather go out with my friends as me and go out as Mr. E into a group of complete strangers. For those of you that haven't heard the story half a dozen times already, here's how Mr. E came to be.

First, some back-story. Saying that I used to be afraid of singing in front of people would be a gross understatement. To explain the depth of my fear I usually tell people that I hadn't sung (outside of a choir) in front of anyone (except maybe my mom in the car) until I was about 26. Some time in my mid-twenties we had a game called "Sing Star" for the playstation (2?) and I went through the entire career mode in the brief moments of time when I was home alone. If Jon (my husband) came home while I was in the middle of a song, it didn't matter if I had the highest score or had never gotten that far or ANYTHING- the machine got shut off. Right away. It's not like I thought he would be critical, he's just not that kind of guy, I was just terrified to be heard singing. I haven't figured out what's behind it. I think I believed that I was actually quite a good singer and I was willing to do anything to hold on to that belief, like make sure nobody else had an opinion about it.

Enter Rock Band. We had been playing guitar hero for years already and I was very comfortable with the reality that I was approaching 30 and really enjoying jumping around playing plastic instruments in my pajamas with my husband on a regular basis. The addition of drums was exciting for both of us, I'm not sure how Jon felt about the singing part but I was apprehensive. It didn't take long for me to realize that if there were four of us playing and nobody wanted to sing, I could sing really quietly and hope that everyone else was too busy trying to play their part to hear me or think about it. I don't know quite when it happened but all of the sudden the microphone was the thing everyone was after. People were getting bold, actually enjoying it, putting themselves out there. I was jealous. After a year or so I was able to hold my own singing on rockband... I enjoyed it enough to want to do it on my own when nobody else was playing but that ended up being pretty boring. One day I decided to try to sing and play guitar at the same time. I was totally rocking it, I found a way to wrap the mic around a laundry basket as a make-shift stand and I was howling bon jovi at the top of my lungs when one of my mates came walking down our path and looked in the window to see me strumming a plastic guitar and wearing a laundry basket. My instinct was to shut the whole thing off before he could get in the door and pretend that he was crazy! What laundry basket?

Instead I tried not to laugh too much while I finished my song in front of him, took off my laundry basket, and pretended to be completely unfazed. "What? We don't have a mic stand." Now we have two mic stands and even though I still feel a little foolish enjoying myself quite so much, Rockband 1, 2, lego, Beatles, (and soon to be released 3!) have eaten up a LOT of the last four years.

Enter Craig. Our friend Craig has got his very own Karaoke set up. Not some little consumer party machine, like the real deal. There's a big difference between Rock Band and Karaoke. Primarily, the fact that everyone is watching you and usually you don't already know and love every single person in the room. This was so cool because my first karaoke experience got to be at a Heidi Von Haught's birthday party where I knew at least half the people and I was pretty sure nobody would boo me AND said birthday girl had recently just completely WOWed me by singing Nina Simone's Feeling Good for her first time in front of a huge audience at her burlesque show AND she was going to sing with me so that I didn't feel so alone out there.

By the end I had no idea how it went, my head was pulsing, the adrenalin had hit, I was pretty drunk before we started too. It didn't matter, I already knew I was in trouble. I *heart* fear and adrenalin. I emailed Craig to forewarn him of my impending addiction, I also encouraged him to be an enabler. He rose to the challenge.

Story's gotta stop here for now, lovelies. I have other matters to attend to. To be continued...

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