We welcome Maro Orlando back with his next blog post.

Marco Orlando

Not long after I started performing karaoke at Jesters on Friday nights, I began to settle into a routine. I realized that I liked to change things up and keep people guessing. I could do 80s-90s “prime country” one week and 80s “hair metal” the next. I don’t want to have to rely on the same songs every week. That may work for some of DJ Kat’s other performers, but it doesn’t work for me. I also like to plan what I’m going to sing each week ahead of time, sometimes up to a month in advance. I’ll look up songs on YouTube, memorize the lyrics, then rehearse each song alone until I feel comfortable performing them in front of a live audience.

I continue to perform karaoke because I enjoy it. The more I perform karaoke, the more I enjoy it. Kat tells people all the time that karaoke isn’t meant to be a competition. It’s okay to mess up. Sometimes, half the fun is messing up. I’m considerably musically inclined, and on any given Friday, I like to think I do well for someone who has never had any formal training growing up. I can only imagine how much better I would sound after I’ve had lessons.

Every now and then, I’ll need to be reminded that because I’m performing karaoke at a bar, certain things are bound to happen and that it pretty much comes with the territory. I’ve had to learn the hard way how to read the room when I come to the bar to perform every week. I almost feel bad for people who truly feel they’re not capable of having a good time if they’re not drinking. I’m not particularly crazy about drunks, even though I’ve learned to tolerate their antics in recent times. I’ve never understood the appeal of having so much to drink that I make a complete fool of myself in public. I can’t imagine hangovers being that much fun. Alcohol just has a way of bringing out the worst in some people.

I mean, I’d like to be able to have a drink or two once in a while, maybe a rum and Coke on the rocks if I feel up to it. But I just don’t trust myself around the stuff, and I don’t dare take up drinking with the medications I’m currently taking. That, and I’ve never really needed alcohol or other drugs in my life to be happy or to have a good time. That’s just not who I am. I would prefer people at the bar remember me because I was awesome, not because I was drunk.

I’ve had people ask me how I’m able to perform karaoke at a bar sober while everything else is going on around me. Honestly, performing is the easy part for me. It’s when I’m not performing that’s challenging to me. I hate feeling like I have to keep my head on a swivel when I’m trying to have a good time. But I owe it to myself to pay attention to my surroundings if something doesn’t seem right. Ultimately, I just like good music. That’s pretty much what it boils down to. All I need to do sometimes is remember to breathe and remind myself why

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