The great thing about being a Karaoke DJ is that the show is different every night. Yeah, we have to endure some creative showmanship, but folks love it. When the crowd is really into it, everybody has a great time. Over the past almost 15 years, I have self-cataloged some of my favorite types of singers with their unique moniker. Here, for the first time ever, is my encyclopedia of the Karaoke Stereotypes. Which one are you?
Cherry-O-Ke : Tonight is the night you are going to sing for the first time. You announce your intention to your friends, the bartender, and the person in the next stall while you are peeing. Maybe if you spend another half an hour with the song list, the perfect one will come to you. You pick a safe tune somewhere between “Twinkle Twinkle” and “Sweet Caroline” and you make your way on stage. The words go too fast at first and then you catch up (almost) at the chorus. With the vocal support of the whole bar, you get on track with about 30 seconds left. Suddenly you have the fever. Your cherry-o-ke has popped and we will see you next week.
Kara-Pro-Ke: You arrive at the same time as the DJ and are setting up your mike stand and grabbing a stool from the bar for you to sit on when it is your turn to sing. Anticipating the DJ’s readiness, you have three completed song slips with the appropriate tempo and key changes. Regrettably, your Carnegie Hall caliber performance is hampered by a self-perceived buzz in the speaker, the atrocious acoustics of Hank’s Place and your constant adjustment of the sound through hand gestures to the DJ. Someday, these local miscreants will finally recognize you for the talent you are.
Drunk-E-Off-Key: “There’s no way I am getting up there unless I have a couple of drinks in me.” This is your weekly promise to the DJ and tonight is the night. Your com padres in inebriation put you in for a song you sing in the car all of the time. Stumbling to the microphone, you have something terribly clever to say before you begin. In your mind, you are Frank Sinatra in all his showmanship and poise. Actually, you are Frank Costanza, George’s father from Seinfeld. Ironically, the crowd begs for Serenity NOW.
Kara-Yuk-Key: “Make ‘em Laugh” is your mantra as you live everyday following Donald O’ Connor’s sage advice. You have sunglasses to wear at night when singing Corey Hart’s smash hit from the 80’s. Never mind your corpulent 48 year-old frame; you can “Stand by Your Man” and be “Sexy and I Know It” all in the same night. Your ability to change lyrics on the fly is spot on. Comic effect is the name of the game and you, my friend, are an All-American.
Kara-One Trick Pony: No one said Toby Keith only had one place in mind when he wrote “I Love This Bar.” Heck, you can sing that bad boy everywhere you go! Expanding your repertoire is for amateurs. You sing one song and you do it better than anyone out there.