Chapter 104: Why Karaoke is so damn important

The Karaoke bar is full of misfits, the kind of people who only fit in with other people that don’t fit in. This isn’t the Irish bar, the frat bar, the posh bar. This is the place where nights end. This is the place where lives begin.

Three songs. That’s how long until your name is called. Three songs of freedom before you walk up onto the stage, grab the microphone and orgasm on every single person sitting in front of you, their rapt attention standing in marked contrast to the incredible cacophony ready to exit from your waiting tongue.

Song number one is the first example of how to lose the crowd. Four dolled up girls get up to sing about having fun, and from the looks of it they’re having the time of their lives. Next month they’ll remember back to “that crazy night” they had, but they likely won’t remember getting much applause; there wasn’t any. There’s nothing quite as selfish as getting up and singing for yourself, so don’t let the door hit you on your way out.

Song number two. Second example of how to lose the crowd. Sucka picks a song that’s too fast for his flow and all of a sudden he’s staring at words flying by the screen but there’s nothing hitting the microphone. He fell off the train and now it’s hurtling by him at fifty miles an hour and every time he tries to jump back on he’s a beat off. I’ve been that guy before, it sucks (old school). Know the damn song.

The last singer gets it right. He knows that it’s not about how good of a singer he is, it’s about changing costumes. He knows that Karaoke is the game of make believe and dress up reincarnated in bar form. He knows that the karaoke rock stars are the actors, the ones without fear or shame.

When he gets up on stage, he’s no longer the loner by the bar. This man’s a fucking god, and he knows it. He walks over humbly to his seat after he finishes and no one talks to him. They wouldn’t be talking to Him, because he’s not the same Him that just made half the audience feverish. When you step up you step into the shoes of someone bigger than you.

The stage lets you be a rock star for one song in exchange for remembering one crucial little detail. It’s not just karaoke. It’s a microcosm of Real Life. Check your ego at the door, put on your fancy hat and dance.

It’s dinner parties, black tie functions, fancy restaurants, theater stages, the wedding chapel, your college graduation, thanksgiving at your girlfriend’s grandparents house, the court appearance and the moment you expect her to say “Yes!”

Remember, kid, you’re not doing this for you. You’re doing this for them.

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