“Just move your mouth, don’t sing.” Yes, a nun really told me that. Just because I couldn’t strike the first chord on key with her pitch-pipe, I was deemed unable to carry a tune. The nerve!
In all fairness, when I accompanied a friend many years later to her first Sweet Adeline meeting and was encouraged to “audition.” I told the director I was just there for moral support, “I’m not a singer.” She plucked a key on the piano; I was supposed to belt out the same note. She quickly agreed, and I never went back to practice again.
Many times in between the nun and the highest Adeline, I discovered something. I am a good performer, unfortunately, my best voice is found in the car. All alone with my carefully selected CDs. My backup singers include, Gloria Estefan; Barbra Streisand; Billy Ocean; Earth, Wind, and Fire; Santana; Sly and the Family Stones; Josh Groban – the list is endless and diverse. To my lead, they are awesome! I can really project, too.
Prior to driving, I spent many hours lipsincing in front of the mirror; hairbrush in hand. I developed great moves and mic techniques. Dusty Springfield; The Supremes; anything Motwon; and the Dave Clark Five were my inspiration back then. Oh, how can I forget Dionne and all those Philly sound singers!
In church or other crowds, my voice seems to blend and harmonize without offending – at least to my ear. I seem to do do better in lower keys – which or what note or key I know not. But with that in the back of my head, and all the rehearsal hours in the car; not to mention a big swallow of Long Island Iced Tea, I found the confidence to – Karaoke!
Another creek resident actually does have a voice worthy of singing the National Anthem a capella in the club house for the Memorial Day event. Her end of the week outlet is singing at karaoke. I’m her silent wing woman of sorts. After a couple of outings, I found a song I thought I could handle. “Sweet Dreams are Made of These,” the AJ, Marilyn is great at adjusting all the levels to enhance the voice of the moment. Some, like mine require a bit of magic.
Most of the singers, some more gifted than others, just stand and sing. I have the moves and the mic technique so – I perform! The crowd is usually polite and applauds for everyone – and some are sad to say – worse than me. Another Long Island Iced Tea and I was up for some Brenda Lee and Lee Greenwood, as it turned out, those selections didn’t feel as good as Annie Lennox’ “Sweet Dreams…”
KJ Marilyn sets up every Friday at a nearby sports pub and pizzeria, Caesar’s in Dunedin. The owner asked if we would write a review, which I did on Yelp and Travel Advisor. She greeted me with a big hug – I must say the place was nearly full. I’d like to believe my review brought them in to check things out! It is a small pub and closes at 10:00 p.m. The karaoke crowd is just warming up at that hour so they migrate to the bowling alley bar a few blocks away… until 1 a.m.
The KJ there, Frank, owns Certified Karaoke and will perform duets with guests. He also provides flat guitars, I think from a video game. Ironically, I am a rocking air guitarist. The performer in me, and a third specially blended tea, encouraged the mute musician personality in my body to literally jump into action. Some guy singing Country Western was all alone during a long guitar riff. I hesitated not for one second to fill the void. Never heard the song before; an actual flat prop guitar and my alter ego front and center, it’s so easy to fake it!
KJ Frank didn’t hesitate to sing “Oye Como Va,” so I could rock out impersonating Carlos Santana. I found my karoke niche! I did purchase a flat guitar at a resale shop upon arrival to Safety Harbor. I’m bringing it with me next time in hopes that KJ Marilyn and one or two other singers will go along with my true calling. The crowd goes wild…and I rock out!
Have guitar. Will karaoke.