Sunday, March 12, 2017

#3: sing my heart out at karaoke


Okinawa is a jewel of an island adorned with waterfalls, adorable cafes, and some of the bluest blue water I've ever laid my eyes on. But not all of it is beautiful. One thing in particular is downright terrifyingly  h i d e o u s. 

And that my friends, is my performance of singing karaoke. 

Seriously though, 


Who HASN'T done solo-karaoke?


Me. I haven't; not reaaally. And for good reason.

Singing my heart out at karaoke seemed like a right of passage of sorts that I should've checked off my life list long, long, looooong ago. I had been to karaoke, sure. My experiences with the activity dabbled in the realm of epically late NYC nights involving adult beverages and comically out of tune duets to Grease's Summer Lovin'. I employed the 'pretend to sing' method, incorporating a dance move or two to distract from my very obvious singing avoidance tactic. That, and stretching my arm out of microphone amplification range like a boss.

I would never, NEVER go up for a solo act. That is, until now. I just don't like singing in front of other people. Using a device that would magnify my shaky-out-of-tune-adorned-with-nerves voice such as a microphone? That, I especially did not want any part of. 

#3 on my list loomed over me. And I knew, without a doubt, that the best possible location to check this item off the correct way would be in Japan. Obviously. 

So that's how myself and a gaggle of 3 other girls wearing random wigs found ourselves in a karaoke room ordering beer after beer on a telephone and singing at. the. top. of. our. lungs. 


Wigs, you say?


I don't know what it is about singing karaoke that terrifies me. It's one of those things that seems like a grand idea all the way up until picking out the song and the first few notes float out of the speakers. Right up until you have to open your mouth and produce a sound that people won't scrunch up their faces in disgust at. It's a lot of pressure. You may end up being solely responsible for ruining someone's favorite song. 

List of irrational thoughts surrounding my fear of karaoke:
-making people's ears bleed
-being SO amazing that someone offers me a record deal.
-Just kidding.
-ruining my own favorite song.
-what if I forget how to read for a second and then the timing is off?
-being kicked out of Japan, the mecca of Karaoke, on account I ruined it for the people.
-cracking every glass within a 2 mile radius.
-local children's fingers falling off from plugging their ears so hard.
-all the local dogs reporting to the karaoke establishment in response to high pitched nonsense.
-that a video would get out of the horror that would be my performance.


What I was positively certain of is that this would require a very specific number of drinks containing alcohol. I wasn't sure yet just how many, and spoiler alert: to this day I'm still not aware of the magic number. Because I was drunk. This being the result of Izakaya dinner with unlimited drinks & a karaoke room with a truly special and supremely enchanted phone with which you can pick up and demand drinks from. 



Izakaya restaurant: a traditional Japanese pub of sorts that serves tapas style eats. We sat on the floor in a closet sized space, and shared various plates of food which I could probably tell you about 68% what it was, that is, if I remembered. 

Photo by: Erin Diers

BUT BACK TO THE PHONE. I was more than impressed and pondering hard on how to install one of these majestic drink requesters in my future home when my blinding white olde timey mullet wig started to itch. I needed to take this damn thing off, but first, I must sing. Easier said than done.


you'll never unsee this- and for that, I am deeply sorry

I recall the night in what could only be described as jagged bits and pieces. (On account of the magical alcohol phone.) So in an attempt to assemble a decent picture of what went on as I sloppily checked off #3 from my list, the girl gaggle and my karaoke cheerleaders have chimed in:

8:01pm

"how fun could karaoke in a private room possibly be? 99% of the fun is watching all the poor suckers get up and sing, not actually singing myself!" -KJ


8:02 pm
"omg this alcohol phone is pure treasure." -ME
"this beer ordering via telephone is genius and real fun." -KJ
"put the phone down Lauren." -ERIN


PARTY IN THE U.S.A. Miley Cyrus

8:16pm

"should I let her know how many beers she has chugged in the past... 15 min?"  - ERIN

"finding just the right songs to sing is daunting." -KJ

"she's crazy nervous. Maybe the maracas and tambourine will help." -ERIN


THIS IS HOW WE DO Katy Perry

8:20pm

"wow, the wig really does help with confidence." -KJ
"you guys I need another beer." - ME
"you guys this wig is hideous." - ME
"you guys I have to pee again." - ME


BORN IN THE U.S.A Bruce Springsteen

8:28pm

"You're in diguise... you're wearing a wig... just let it go!" -ERIN

"NOT YET NOT YET NOT YET." -ME


8:43pm

"we're on a roll, keep em coming!" -KJ
"I have to pee." - ME
"probably because you're drinking beers like they're 25 cents!" -ERIN


I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW Tiffany

8:56pm

"we're DEF becoming better." - KJ

9:00pm TIMES UP: MYTHICAL PHONE RINGS.


"MOSHI, MOSHI!" -ERIN

"let's refuse to leave." -ME
"Let's add another hour." -KJ
"ONE MORE HOUR." (chanting). - ERIN

9:01pm 


"Ok we've got another hour." -ERIN


DOIN IT L.L. Cool J

9:15pm

"I look like George Washington." -ME


AFRICA Toto

9:22pm

"You should do another rap." -ME 



ALWAYS ON TIME Ja Rule

9:31pm


"You're running out of time." -KJ & ERIN
"I need to warm up more." -ME


                 I WANT IT THAT WAY Backstreet Boys

9:42pm

"This wig has got to go." - ME



DON'T SPEAK No Doubt


9:45pm

"I don't want to, I don't want to!" -ME
"You have to. Do it for THE LIST." - KJ & ERIN

It was time; I had put it off through the whole night, including a full MOSHI MOSHI inquiry, warming up with group songs, and drinking all of the fine Japanese establishment's beer. I knew one thing, and one thing only: this was about to become SCARYOKE.


HOLD ON FOR ONE MORE DAY Wilson Phillips

10:00pm

and when the last MOSHI MOSHI was called, a sea of empty brews coated the table, and ugly wigs riddled the floor- there was really only one question left to ask,

"should we start a band?" - ME


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The deed done, I wish I could say that finally singing solo karaoke made me feel free! I can't wait to go back! What did I wait so long for?!

NOPE.

I can't say that because I think everyone including myself would be better off if I never did a song on my own using a microphone again. Ever. I did however, have a fun night out with some fantastic friends, channeled my inner (embarrassed) diva, and ORDERED BEER VIA A MYTHICAL TELEPHONE. Let's be real, the phone is the real star here. Would it have been more authentic to do in a bar full of people? Sure. But let's all thank the heavens that wasn't actually the case.

WHY IS THIS THE ONLY PHOTO OF THE PHONE?

**Sing my heart out at karaoke? CHECK! Discover a beer phone and use the sh*t out of it? CHECK, CHECK!

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