Last night I came in a close 1st place at the karaoke competition at the pub across the street.
I feel really fortunate to have won, particularly since I had to buy a new car battery yesterday in order to make sure I could start my car when I go to visit my kids in Smithers in a couple weeks. The old battery kept dying a little too often for me to trust that the car would start in -15°C weather.
Usually, at karaoke, I try not to ever double-up on songs; it's a fun challenge for myself to always try to track down something new. Buying the battery, however, pushed me to try to make sure that I chose a crowd pleaser. I realized that, instead of choosing some new, obscure song like I normally do, I should choose a familiar, upbeat, short, instrumental solo-free song with a cold open and close, in my vocal range and already memorized: Amy Winehouse's "Rehab" fit the bill. And I milked it, walking around the stage, mixing up my vocal intensity, and playing with the runs a little. And all my deliberation... well... paid off.
I know karaoke isn't necessarily musically expressive, but it has certainly helped me rebuild some of my confidence in performing. Between singing covers at karaoke and playing covers at the restaurant, I'm starting to enjoy playing and singing music again. It's helped me keep my voice in shape and study a little about how an audience works. This has been good, especially since I had declared a couple years ago that I didn't want to play solo anymore after a few consecutive botched performances. It's good to feel like I'm in the groove a bit.
I still don't have the confidence to play my own songs. But I feel like I'll be able to start writing again soon, if I'm able to get a break long enough to mellow out and do it. And maybe then I'll have the confidence to put my own music out there into the world.
Until then, I'll keep playing covers at the restaurant and singing karaoke here and there. It's not what I want to do, but it's certainly a few steps forward.
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