One Month Challenge: Facing Fears, Week 2

[Everyone’s got a vice, a bad habit, something they know they need to change. Unfortunately, everyone also has a million excuses why they just can’t do it. Not anymore. Every month we will be following a different CollegeCandy writer as she takes on a personal challenge. This month we’re following Jill as she gets out of that boring box of hers and starts facing some fears. Last week she killed a spider. This week, she’s singing karaoke!]

When I was 14 I wanted to be a pop star.

I reasoned that if Britney could do it in all her lip syncing glory, surely I could have some big time pop producer synthesize and auto-tune my voice to make me sound semi-decent, dance around on stage and become a billionaire (who would one day walk barefoot into gas station bathrooms and shave my head).

The key being someone else making me sound semi-decent. Because when push comes to shove, my singing voice really shouldn’t be shared with anyone except my pals, Kerastase and Patene Pro-V and whatever brand makes my hair brush.

I can dance in front of crowds – I grew up competitive dancing – and I can talk in front of crowds – I don’t get intimidated – but ask me to sing karaoke and it seems RIDICULOUS that I ever thought pop-stardom was in my future. I get shy, sweaty, uncomfortable and watch with envy as all the people (both bad and good) get up there and have a great time.

Until now.

Well, pop-stardom is still very much NOT in my future, but this week I tackled my fear of singing karaoke.
I threw back a drink (OK, a few drinks) and watched a few other terrible performers take the mic before signing up for my own song. I needed a little time to get the shakes out and seeing other people up there gave me the confidence that I could get up there, totally tank and it wouldn’t matter. The more people went, the more I realized that there was absolutely nothing to be afraid of (except someone stealing my song!); the drunk crowd wouldn’t care if I bombed and, really, if I chose a crowd pleaser, they’d probably love it.

So I went. And bomb I did.

I belted (screeched is more like it) the words of the mega ’90s Ace of Base hit, I Saw The Sign. And let me tell you, folks, I saw a sign of my very own. A sign that said “Karaoke is FUN. You have been missing out. You have the microphone and these people have no choice but to listen to Y-O-U.” I felt invigorated (and transported back to 6th grade when Ace of Base – the very first CD I owned – was the soundtrack to my LIFE).

The crowd cheered, they sang (I mean really how can you NOT sing along to “I Saw the Sign”? Simon Cowell really has something with his whole, “it’s all about song choice” bit) and I had a blast! No one booed – they sang along. Some even danced. I swear I even saw a lighter somewhere in the back. And no one told me I sucked because I owned the fact that I was so god awful it just made me that much more awesome.

And the best part? When I got off the “stage,” someone bought me a drink. Remind me again why I was afraid to do this?

While I won’t be auditioning for American Idol anytime soon (lest I become the female, non-Asian, better dressed version of William Hung) I can honestly say I’m sad I’ve missed out on all these years of karaoke awful/awesomeness. And I’m ecstatic that I finally forced myself to get over my lame-ass fear and get up there. I never thought I’d say this but facing fears is fun!

Maybe I’ll go skydiving this week.
OK, maybe not.

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