Sunday, September 19, 2010

Karaoke Hero

So, I wasn't going to say anything about this, but I just get so thoughtful sitting there by myself and think the strangest thing you've ever heard, and I figured I'd say just a few words about the little karaoke contest I entered this week. My Evil Cousin Ryan and I got together and went to the karaoke bar up the road, where my family had gone for my birthday in July, and I hadn't been since (though I had tried a couple of times). We had some food and sang a couple of songs, and had a good time. I pretty much always do at karaoke bars.

And I guess I understand how other people don't enjoy them, since the concentration seems to be on the singing rather than the drinking, but I'm not much a boozer myself, so I've often found it hard to understand people who go to dance clubs or regular bars, alone or in groups. Regardless, I really enjoy the whole singing thing, and I think my cousin does too, so there's that.

Anyhoo, we sang a couple of songs, and saw that there was a contest on Saturday night, and even though I knew my cousin would catch Sweet Home Alabama Hell for it, I tried to convince him to sign up for it. And he did.

More impressive, though, was his wife's positive reaction when he told her he'd entered the contest. And that was cool.

So, I didn't much feel like I needed to practice or anything (apparently, I never studied any of the Greek myths about hubris), but sang a couple songs to warm myself up during a lengthy drive I had from a barbecue at a friend's house. I got to the bar, and found a large crowd gathered, ostensibly* there to cheer on the contestants. My cousin and his wife were there, and my sister, niece, and mother all showed up to support me. We drew numbers, and our of thirty participants, my cousin was twelfth and I was twenty-sixth in line.

My cousin said he was a bit nervous, but as the people sang their numbers, mostly Ballads and Country songs, he started getting antsy, and even took off to the bathroom for a minute. I asked him if he was puking, but he claimed he wasn't. Ryan sang She Blinded Me With Science by Thomas Dolby, and he did a fine job. But there were a couple of really, really good singers in the line-up, and I started to get into the competitive spirit, judging each performance against my own still-to-come, and hoping most of them were found lacking.

The night wore on, and finally, it was closing in on my turn. And you know, I started getting that awful, Dan-Underwood-says-he's-going-to-beat-me-up-after-class/trying-to-work-up-the-guts-to-ask-Christianne-Morris-on-a-date feeling of nerves and nausea. Weird. But I've been getting up and performing in front of people since 1984, so I got up when it was my turn, and sang.

And, well, it wasn't so great. The version I know and love was not the version they played, and even though I had a bridge and two refrains to go, the song ended with me looking (and probably sounding) confused.

This is totally how I looked and sounded.
I didn't win the contest, or even place. And while I wasn't bummed out about it, necessarily, I did feel like a dork for not doing my best, and was absolutely broken of the desire to go karaokeing again for the foreseeable future.

But then, a couple days passed, and I sang along to a couple of songs on the radio (and of course everybody sounds good to their own ears, but I thought I did real well), and I started to get a feeling--not dissimilar to the one I had when I got my little story rejected--that I ought to practice harder, choose another song, and see if I couldn't come out triumphant the next karaoke contest some poor DJ declares.

I wish this newfound sense of determined positivity would last me the rest of my life, but I'm pretty pleased to have felt it at all.

Rish "Sy Snootles" Outfield

*I use that word, "ostensibly," even though I had a conversation with Jeff about it last week. Ostensibly, I know what it means, but just between you and me, I'm not sure.

1 comment:

ryanlb said...

Eh, you sounded fine. The people that won didn't do just a little bit better than you (or me, or anyone else), they did WAAAAY better than everyone else. They had no business competing in a karaoke contest in a little bar like that, they should be looking for bigger, better competitions.

Anyway, It's about time for us to go again.