For a woman who has spent the better part of her life on stage doing plays, singing, and now improvising, it's probably surprising that when it comes to regular karaoke (a hobby I've had since I was 18 - yes, I snuck into a bar. Our friend was the bartender. And hey, I only drank alcohol there ONCE(ish). Anyways...)
...when it comes to regular karaoke...I am the biggest chicken shit in the world of chicken shits. Sure, I'll sing. Heck, I'll even belt it sometimes. But when it comes to looking like I'm having a great time on stage (even though I am---or thought I was), I fail miserably.
Because truth be told, I'm afraid. Of what, I don't know. It's karaoke, not some sort of twisted "Sing for your life!" torture method. Maybe it's of being judged. Maybe it's of sounding bad and not wanting to have to admit it.
Maybe it's just some rare form of stage fright that only occurs at bars.
I don't know. But this is precisely why I added "Do karaoke, but actually have stage presence" to my list.
And last night...it happened.
Laughs and I had plans for a night in my neck of the woods on Tuesday night. (He's really great about sharing the back and forth, which makes me one happytastic gal.)
We decided to hit up my favorite hole-in-the-wall for some karaoke. (Which, by the way, because this needs to be said: The man can sing. I mean, just...wow. Yeah. Laughs has some rad pipes.)
As the night wore on, I knew I needed to make good on that list item. I knew I needed to push past my fear, and get out there and perform. Not just stand on the stage, hiding, with a mic up to my mush. But rock and roll and have fun, not caring about what the heck anyone thought.
"If you're gonna fail, fail big." Words of advice from a smart guy. And so I just kept repeating that over and over. Until finally, "Next up, we've got Tiff singing..."
This was it. The moment of truth. The moment of accomplishing something else on my list.
The moment of I might piss my pants out of adrenaline and nerves but who cares.
I walked up, grabbed the mic, and sang Let's Get it On by Marvin Gaye. Not only did I sing but I walked around, I danced, and at one point the music got into my muscles and bones and I jumped around like a fool.
A very happy fool who was having so much fun.
When the song ended, I walked back to where Laughs and I were sitting, feeling like a new person entirely. I also wondered how for so long, I did this thing I loved for over a decade without having THAT much fun. And sure, I crossed something off the list, but more than that I discovered that I need not be afraid to fail. That what should be driving me is a passion for what I'm doing, and the desire to make everything I do as enjoyable as I possibly can. Whoa. Mind blown.
I had to thank Laughs for reminding me that it's okay to fail, especially if you do so in the biggest way possible. Luckily that night, I didn't fail. But the truth is, I couldn't fail. Because I had already succeeded in pushing past my own silly barrier just by making the attempt and following through.
After my song, Laughs went up to sing. And he too sang his song in the middle of the room...and tore the place up. (Do I remember a little air guitar in there? I think I do, L. I think I do.)
And in that moment, not only did I appreciate the fact that I had just challenged myself and succeeded, but here I am with this guy who supported me in my nerves and fear, and is now performing his karaoke song to the crowd as well (and killing it).
I'm hoping that lesson sticks, and not just with karaoke but with everything I do or hope to do.
I mean, I know it'll stick with me for karaoke---it was so much fun to be silly and free, why would I ever go back to the alternative?!