I went to a karaoke bar with my friends for the first time over the weekend. Now let me preface this but saying I am a writer and contrary to perception, I am not an extrovert, at least not when it comes to singing. Writers usually find their voice in their words, down on paper, to be read by others, to be imagined in the mind. For me, I would never dream of expressing myself by singing, unless of course I’m alone in the shower and have a really catchy tune stuck in my head. My book characters would absolutely do it, me? Not so much.
So if you would have told me that I would be up on a stage singing my heart out as if I was on American Idol, I would have asked you if you were on something. But after this weekend, all has changed. I have to admit, I needed a little of cajoling, convincing, begging by my friends to get up there with them (and a few rounds of drinks to boot). But after the tingling of the alcohol did its magic on my senses, I boldly got up there and sang with my best girlfriends, singing like Pat Benetar, every single word of ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot.”
I am embarrassed to say, though, it didn’t end there. I preceded to take the mic and sing a solo rendition of the national anthem of every woman scorned, “I Will Survive”, followed by the Carrie Underwood hit of “Before He Cheats.” I am sure if this was in fact a singing competition, Simon Cowell would have left the judges table, not even wasting his breath with a comment and I would have made the ‘worst of’ reel. Bad singing makes for great T.V. it seems.
The wonderful thing about that night with my girlfriends is that I didn’t care. In fact, no one cared. The worse I sang, the more the crowd got into it. It reminded me of that scene from ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ when Cameron Dias got up and sang to Dermot Mulroney and Julia Roberts and had the entire crowd going. Hey, it takes talent to sing badly.
I also realized that no matter what, I had amazing women who would support me regardless of what silly, crazy things I may do. As I looked out over the small bar, I saw my best buddies right up front, screaming and shouting encouragement as if I was a rock star. So maybe I’m not an extrovert and can’t sing if my life depended on it but who cares! Your friends as it turns out can be tone deaf. So did I get the karaoke bug? Not exactly. I don’t think you’ll be seeing me there every weekend but I can certainly be persuaded to belt out a Pat Benetar tune every once in a while, with a little help from my friends. Hey, “With A Little Help From My Friends’? Now there’s an idea.