Thursday, February 25, 2010

Karaoke Night

I stayed home from work today, and while I'm feeling a little better, I'm definitely not 100 percent. I had what I thought was a hot flash this afternoon and realized that it was a fever. So I holed up in the living room watching movies (The Time Traveler's Wife -- eh, too many plot holes and Night At The Museum 2 -- silly, but fun) and relaxing.

With all this time on my hands, I've been thinking a lot about the cruise and the best moments. I enjoyed seeing Key West and Cozumel, and being with my husband and friends, but for me, probably the best time was when we did karaoke in the ship's Xanadu lounge (and no, I did not sing anything by Olivia Newton-John, though I was tempted).

Though I'm an accomplished flute player, I love singing. I sing in the shower, sing along to the radio and especially love singing along to TV themes. I'm not a great singer, by any means, but I have a decent voice and can carry a tune. I've considered taking voice lessons because I think I could probably turn my above-average voice into a good voice, but I feel that singing is for fun while the flute is something I take more seriously. So while my impossible dream is to star in a Broadway show, I realize that won't happen because I can't dance or act, and don't sing well enough, I can live out that dream by singing show tunes.

For this reason, I looove karaoke. I love performing in general, but with the flute, tthere's a certain amount of pressure on me because people expect me to be good. People don't invite me to play at their weddings or with their bands so that I can goof around. But with karaoke, I can do that. I can sing whatever I want and be as crazy and uninhibited as I want ... and people will still cheer for me and treat me like a rock star -- even if I suck.

I really don't suck, though, if I pick the right type of song for my voice, which is a really low song. I am an alto with a voice that's deep enough to almost be a male tenor. I always enjoyed hearing Dorothy sing on The Golden Girls because portrayer Bea Arthur's voice was similar to mine -- deep and kind of raspy. While I don't have the chops to belt out Broadway tunes that span five octaves, I sound pretty good singing smoky jazz tunes or other songs that go low enough.

Luckily, my travel companions also like karaoke so we went for two nights in a row. The first night, I did songs with Jon and then Scott, and then the three of us sang. However, the guys wouldn't really agree with me on songs so we didn't exactly do ones that were great for my range. Jon and I sang Africa and then Scott and I did Obla-di Obla-da (though I wanted to do I Wanna Hold Your Hand because I do a kick-ass harmony on it, but Scott refused). The three of us then did Scenes From An Italian Restaurant, which was a little too long and nearly put the audience in a coma. Still, we had a great time and it was fun listening to everyone else.

However, the next night I chose to go solo. My first pick, Upside Down, was okay, but a little shaky on the high notes because I hadn't warmed up my voice enough. But the next two I did -- These Boots Were Made For Walking and Fever -- I, dare I say without sounding conceited, nailed. They were just in the right octave and key for me, my nasal passages were clear, my voice was warmed up and I was feeling confident, so I managed to hit all of the notes. On those two songs, I actually sounded like an experienced singer. Everyone was looking at me and cheered me loudly when I finished, but the attention was welcome. I was being regarded because the crowd admired me -- not because I was the largest woman in the room.

I suppose you're wondering what on earth this has to do with my weight-loss journey, but I guess what I want to get out of this whole thing is that *feeling* I had while doing karaoke that night -- that confidence, that ease at being who I am, that sense of being able to let everything go and have fun and not care what people think ... but then feeling successful, anyway. I want to feel as free as I did that evening -- even when I'm not on the stage.

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