usually when i sing karaoke, i start with a warm-up song. i start with something easy...something that doesn't have a large range, something that will allow me to get my vocal cords working, figure out what kind of voice i'm in for the day, and whether i'm up for anything particularly ambitious later that night. it's for the sake of my comfort, my confidence, and the ears of everyone in the bar that night.
last night i broke this rule. never again.
i started with "i will always love you" by whitney houston. that's something i sing at karaoke a lot...it's schmaltzy and stupid, but extremely fun to sing. it's also not a particularly easy song, and requires my voice to be warmed up. i eschewed that warm-up...i was just so in the mood to sing that song that i put it in first.
i start singing it, and a few notes in, i feel that my voice isn't up to it. not only was i not warmed up, but i was in awful voice last night. notes i can usually hit easily were croaking badly. i was already up there, already singing...so i kept doing it, kept trying, and put on a happy face. usually, i can at least limp all the way through any song i choose. i don't stop. i keep singing, and stuff comes out.
during the first chorus [not even the dramatic part!], my voice just died. it strained badly [sounding approximately like a cross between nails on a chalkboard and the worst american idol audition you can fathom], finally just cracked...and i lost it.
i stopped singing and loudly uttered a curse word to the amusement of the crowd.
things went better after that. it wasn't my best rendition, but at least the pressure i had put on myself not to suck had been relieved, since i had already made the ultimate fool of myself. i made it through and finished the song with a minimum of strain, and without any more cracks in my voice.
i'm never singing that song first again...it's back to my old policy, the one from which i never should have deviated. i'm testing my voice, and only singing it if i'm in at least half-decent voice.