Before I moved to Mexico, I had a karaoke machine in my basement and it was an instant party-maker any time friends came over. I brought the machine with me to Mexico in 2008 and by 2009 I was hosting private parties and charity events. In 2010 I got my first regular gig at a bar, and I’ve been hosting karaoke parties, public and private, ever since.
I wasn’t always willing to stand up in front of a crowd and sing, and it still makes me nervous, but that’s why I do it—to get over the fear. I know how my “karaoke virgins” feel at The Beer Company, where I host every Friday night. I remember the adrenaline, the desire to perform well when you’re too nervous to hear your own voice or even the music, and I remember the feeling of wanting to jump off a cliff when I screwed up.
Now I realize it takes practice—years of practice—to feel comfortable singing in public. But nobody’s buying a ticket. Karaoke is free, but for the beer and the tips. So as a singer, I don’t owe anything to the crowd. I owe it only to myself to embrace the adrenaline, to notice that everyone is there to support me, and to accept the discomfort that I’ll probably always feel. The point is just to be daring and have fun, and to support others in their quest to enjoy their 15 minutes of fame.
I wrote a story about why I didn’t sing a single peep from the age of 10 until the age of 40. Here’s the link:
If you’ve had a similar experience, please let me know in the comments below!