Sunday, November 28, 2010

2. Embarrassing youtube karaoke videos

A couple months ago we had an on-campus company party where two things were provided: booze and a karaoke machine, which is a fantastic combination because just in case drunk-you isn't quite loud enough, we can amplify it and set it to a soundtrack. Nevertheless, after hearing other people William-Shatner various other songs, I decided to give it a shot.

Like the Spanish inquisition, I decided to use the element of surprise, so I ascended to the stage to the guitar riffs of Slash. My co-workers looked confused. As I pulled the microphone up violently and screeched out "Welcome to the Jeee-ungle!!!" as loudly as I could, the crowd went wild. People started filming me with their phones. Everyone gave me high fives and for days afterward, everyone referred to me as "Axl Rose."

Of course, the next day, I saw the video that was posted. I could see how most people were surprised when a frumpily-dressed short girl started dancing, singing with hand gestures more associated with rap, and screeching one high, long, out-of-tune note into the instrumental break. It was a lot of stage presence that night. I was torn between the glowing reviews everyone had given me in person and the slightly dimmer review I gave myself.

I didn't think much about it until several months later. By then I was working on a new project with people who were mostly unaware of this video, and my new supervisor, who'd been slipped the video on the downlow, told me he had a treat. He sent me a link to a youtube video featuring one of our other co-workers singing an 80's love song at a karaoke bar. The intense passion of his voice and the slightly out of tune melodies weaving in and out of background noises made me laugh so hard that one of my co-workers had to check up on me because he thought I was crying.

It turns out this co-worker also has a love of karaoke, and many more videos of him, all which would have given me stomach cramps had I not paused the video. He has a great stage presence, but better than that, he knows how to make fun of himself, allowing him to lose himself in the moment and bring out gushing performances, complete with dance moves.

I started to feel a little guilty talking to him seriously about work while "Total Eclipse of the Heart" would be stuck in my head, so finally I broke down and in a work email, added a hesitant P.S. that mentioned I'd seen his videos. As payment for the immense joy they'd given me, I sent him the video of me singing "Welcome to the Jungle." I felt like a Stonecutter showing a fellow member his Stonecutter ring. It was like saying, "Look, I know about your karaoke double life, but it's okay! I have one too!"

My co-worker's never openly mentioned the video to me or commented on what he thinks of it. I used to wonder if he'd watched it. But then, in other people's presence, we will discuss karaoke as a general topic, and we'll give each other stealthy, knowing nods. And strangely enough, I'll feel pride in the three minutes, now being watched completely out of context, where I was a rock star.

No comments:

Post a Comment