How to Sing Karaoke, Sober

Not an actual representation of me on stage, but I am most definitely drunk in this photo.

Okay, that title is a bit misleading. Because it sounds like this entry will be a primer on how-to do something, and it’s something I’m not even sure I can do. But, seeing how it’s the eve of the big Three Imaginary Girls 10th Anniversary Rockstar Karaoke New Wave Bash, I felt like I had to write something about how my massive stage fright might hamper my desire to get up there and belt out a few tunes.

See, I suffer from this thing called “being old.” And yes, I know I’m not that old. And yet, for some reason, the combination of three things has a tendency to make me very, very, very ill: standing for extended periods of time + being out late + booze. Basically, if I’m out at a show, drinking even the littlest bit of alcohol is like injecting poison straight into my veins.

Even like 1 glass of cider can make me feel like I’m going to hurl all night—waking me up about every 30 minutes to stumble into the bathroom, praying I can eject whatever is making me feel HORRRIBLE as quickly as possible.

After asking my doctor 100x why this is, she said, definitively, and for the 100th time, “You’re just getting old, my dear.” Auuugh. Really? I mean, I realize I probably ruined my bladder with all that Bacardi and Jose Cuervo in the 80s (and 90s … and 2000s) but COME ON (wo)MAN.

The weirdest thing about it is that I can drink at a happy hour or dinner with no ill effects. And I can drink at home, just fine. It is only imbibing in combination with those two other things that makes me regret being alive. Again, I pressed the doc for an explanation, and again, she said “Old. Old. Old. Old. OLD.” (maybe not verbatim, but that’s how I hear it)

So now, here’s the problem. I have only attempted to sing karaoke sober ONE time, and it was a total disaster. Granted, maybe “Stacy’s Mom” wasn’t the best choice, but I got up there, I looked out at faces of people I didn’t know, and I totally. panicked. I’m just not comfortable being on stage or really anywhere I have to be in front of a crowd of more than 10 people—it’s like being afraid of heights (which I am also)—the second I look out at their faces, it’s all over. Which is where my friend Vodka usually comes in. A few Stoli & Tonics, and it’s no worries, good to go, ready to sing my heart out — and LOVING IT once I start! Usually to 80s tunes (or occasionally some Stones), which is why NEW WAVE NIGHT IS PERECT AND AWESOME.

But tonight, I’m not willing to risk feeling like I’m gonna die after the party is over, and so I am attempting to do this thing completely sober. There have been a few times in my life (less than 5) that I’ve managed to suck it up and get in front of a large audience and be perfectly fine, without having a major anxiety attack.

So tonight is either going to be the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen, or a total disaster—probably depending on how many drinks YOU’VE had.

Don’t let me down, party people. Come join me, and drink a lot. It’ll be good for everybody.

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6 responses to “How to Sing Karaoke, Sober

  • Karen

    I totally empathize. I remember my knees shaking uncontrollably the last couple times I tried to sing Karaoke. On my last attempt, I HAD to turn my back to the audience and I was still scared. But you have a lovely voice, and everyone will love it if you sing, so you should.

    • Amie

      Aw, you are too sweet! I just have to remember to breathe. Fluffy white clouds. Clear blue skies.

      And Jenny and I are going to hold hands for support on the first one! So it should be easier … I hope.

  • sugarcombsalon

    I’ve seen you do plenty of karaoke, you can do it! I believe in you!

    • Amie

      Thanks, Michelle! But – all the times you have seen me sing have been with the assistance of alcohol. 🙂

      (PS: That photo is from Licia’s slumber party birthday night wherein we all trudged up to the Chinese restaurant to sing!)

  • megan noel

    well you could use my approach to dancing. see, if you are sober but everyone else there is drunk, they might not notice if you suck. at least i tell myself that every time i am on a dance floor, which lately is almost never.

    • Amie

      Yeah, it’s weird. I’m not like that with dancing at all. I don’t really care if I suck! I just dance, and don’t worry about what people think, re: my dancing skillz.

      It’s the “being up on a stage in front of many strangers” part of karaoke that gives me the wigs. Not necc. the singing part. I know I’m not a pro songstress, I’m just having fun! But having so many pairs of eyes on me breaks my nerves a bit. 🙂

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