Tonight I’m taking a break from my relationship woes to cover an aspect of my life which I have now been struggling with for years. I was introduced to this frivolous activity while in my second year at University, I won’t blame my peers although they were encouraging. It wasn’t their fault, I had been drawn to this before, and I had dabbled while I was younger. Yet it’s time I told the world, that I Elena, am a recovering karaoke addict.
There I said it! Our house had fast become a party household. Chris was still working at the Student Union, Liam had gotten a job at one of the gay bars, The Hampshire Boulevard and I was free to do as I liked. I like to drink and socialise. It wasn’t long before our household was overrun with LGBT students every night before a party, and after a party.
One evening after watching endless episodes of Will and Grace with my gay boys we ventured out to the HB. Liam was working which made the night economical, that was the only bar I could walk into and order five £1 alcopops hand over a ten pound note and receive a £5 note and five one pound coins in change. Cheers to Liam, I hope they never docked your wages for those stunts! It was a Tuesday night, and it was karaoke night.
I was inspired by Will and Grace’s Cher episode (and my love of Cher in general) to drunkenly get over my nerves and get my butt up on stage and sing my little heart out to ‘If I could turn back time’ and that’s what started it. From that moment on I would actively seek out karaoke where ever I would go, I wasn’t happy unless there was a binder full of cheesy pop songs waiting to be pilfered through and murdered by many, including me. It was a rush, to this day I still can’t get up in front of people and sing without shaking like a leaf. Well, unless I’ve had a skinful of alcohol. I soon added other Cher classics like ‘Walking in Memphis’ and ‘Just Like Jesse James’ to my repertoire and I was hooked.
I fear I may struggle with this addiction for the rest of my life. I’m stronger now and I can resist if I try really hard. I prefer to duet these days, if I’m going down I want to take someone with me! Right now I’d also like to set the record straight for would-be karaoke singers everywhere. It’s not about being good, it’s about enjoying music. If you want to be the next big pop sensation you’re never going to get there singing karaoke, get yourself to an open mic night or on the X factor, leave the karaoke to us drunken monkeys with nothing better to do than murder a few classics, so stop intimidating us with your perfect vocals, no one wants to take to the stage after you and you take all the fun out of it!
I was very much a closet karaoke singer, in as much as I would only perform when I was on a night out with my gay boys. When the lovely young ladies of Portsmouth were around I’d save them the ear-ache (unless really drunk!) I was having a blast. Yet with my new found addiction, single life banging on my door and a new course I should have been paying more attention to you could say that I had started the year well.
My first assignment I was given a designer to research and a random topic quite literally picked out of a hat. It was a photography project and I had borrowed my Dad’s old 35mm SLR to play around with. We managed to take some pretty cool moody pictures of ourselves before our nights out, but that unfortunately wasn’t going to help with my assignment. I got cracking with the photography element easy enough, but I left everything else to the last minute.
I ended up in the library a couple of nights with Debbie and frantically put together my assignment the night before it was due. The following day I would present it back to the class. I was one of the last to present and I was relieved that my mediocre effort didn’t fall below the average standard of work that everyone else had prepared. In fact I got a lot of praise for what I’d put together, uh oh, this course already wasn’t challenging enough.
So what was a girl to do if there was to be no challenge in studying and quite frankly few career prospects from such a course of study? I would go back to my vices… The karaoke, the single ladies, night after night out on the town and the joyous realisation that everything I needed was in a 200m radius of my front door. I loved University for all the wrong reasons.