Saturday, February 12, 2011

Do Something New: Karaoke!

Last night I headed out with some friends to one of my favorite bars here in Hartford, Tisane's. Tisane's has this really neat atmosphere, but let me be honest: my real reasons for suggesting this particular location was so that I could tame the beast known as Karaoke as it has been on my list of things to do for awhile. Every time I've been in a karaoke bar I've always wished I had the guts to get up and belt it out. I don't know why I've been intimidated--there are plenty of people that have such awful voices that all the dogs in the neighborhood probably vacate the area when they sing, but that sure doesn't stop them. The last time I was at Tisane's for karaoke someone sang that song from "The Little Mermaid" (you know that one that's like "look at this stuffff, isn't it neeeeaaattt, wouldn't you think my collection's coooommmppplleeeettteee) that was so out of tune that Prince Eric would have wished she would have remained mute. I sat there contemplating if tonight would be the night. Come on Jess! I thought over a Sex on the Beach. Get over yourself! These people will never see you again! While the 60 year old singing "Ice Ice Baby" from memory seemed like a tough act to follow, I decided to seize the day. This would be my something new and there would be no turning back. After all, I felt moderately qualified as I've had a lot of practice singing in the shower, and the acoustics make me sound really delightful if I do say so myself. I'd also sang for years alone in the car, so maybe it was time to take my talents public--I thought I sounded pretty damn good when loudly singing along to Lady Gaga. Maybe there was a music critic in the crowd who would discover me and I would be on my way to Broadway! We pulled out the list of songs, and with Tai by my side I settled on "Total Eclipse of the Heart" as guilty pleasure songs seem to really get the crowd going, and I love the passion Bonnie Tyler sings with (turn around brrriggghhttt eyes--every now and then I fall appparrrrrrtttt was going to be Tai's part as my back-up singer). As I got up to belt it out, the DJ disclosed that there would be no "Total Eclipse of the Heart" as the CD wasn't working--it was time to pull out the big guns here and return to my roots. Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" it was--it was a sign. While I had tried to go with something unexpected by picking "T.E.O.T.H." it now seemed necessary to return to a staple. As the red light started moving through the lyrics and with Tai by my side, my courage began to mount. We hit the chorus and the whole crowd was singing along! I pumped my fist in the air! I pretended my hair was giant, crimped and aerosoled! I got my rock on! I let it loose, belted that sucker out! TOMMY USED TO WORK ON THE DOCKS!!!!!!! UNIONS BEEN ON STRIKE!!!!! HE'S DOWN ON HIS LUCK IT'S TOOOOUUUUGGGHHHH!!!! SOOOOO TOOOOUUUGGGGHHH!!!! As we rounded the last chorus, I realized how terrible I was (the key wasn't really working in my favor), and frankly my performance had really taken a lot out of me. I had given myself emotionally to this crowd, and I hoped they were grateful and realized that they had gotten to be apart of a very magical moment, regardless of what it sounded like. I wondered how Jon did this night after night and thanked the Good Lord that I had not decided to try out for American Idol this year. It turns out that I sound a LOT better in the car ALONE, but nonetheless I hope that crowd appreciated my spirited performance. It may have been a once in a lifetime opportunity for them...we'll see.

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