Ever since my first dance recital — where I hightailed it off the stage in my golden tutu as a petrified three year old — I've had stage fright. That has carried with me through all things I've done: school plays, toast making, public speaking... the list is endless. But, the important thing to know, is despite my nausea, racing heartbeat, and cold sweats, I've learned to work through it. Sort of. The reason why I torture myself and continually force myself into these situations? Well, it's so that I can do the fun things as well as the hard things that stage fright would otherwise prevent me from doing. For instance, karaoke — which can be the most fun thing in existence, but can also be terrifying for people like me.
If you are a karaoke-phobe, but feel totally left out when your friends are up on stage, wowing the crowd, I am at your service. Why? Because I love fun and I wish all people could experience the absolute blast that karaoke can be. Secretly, I think it may even be the key to world peace, if only everyone would participate. So, in the interest of the greater good, get your butt out there and try. I promise it won't be so hard if you do a rendition of any of these songs. It's all about engaging the crowd and picking the songs that people know and love.
1. Madonna, "Like A Prayer"
There's a choir in the background, so it's implied that the audience should join in with you. You're welcome, I've rigged the system.
2. Miley Cyrus, "Party In The USA"
It's a song about exorcising your nerves, and it's totally feel good! You'll forget your nerves as soon as the entire bar sways in the background with you.
3. Neil Diamond, "Sweet Caroline"
Because, without fail, this song always boils down to a collective performance. You can't not sing along to it... BUM, BUM, BUMMMMMM!
See what I mean?
4. Aretha Franklin, "Respect"
Possibly the most popular song of all time? Plus, it's like a spelling bee, but one you already have all the answers to! #Winning.
5. Kanye West, "Gold Digger"
Can't sing? Rap instead. It's not like you don't know all the words to this, anyway. Who even needs a teleprompter?
6. Literally Anything Billy Joel. For The Sake Of The List, Though: "For The Longest Time"
*Snaps* *Snaps* *Snaps* Always remember, ELBJ: Everybody Loves Billy Joel.
7. Michael Jackson, "The Way You Make Me Feel"
Have the audience echo the chorus with you. Nailed it.
8. Gwen Stefani, "Hollaback Girl"
Half the time, you're not even singing. You're just chanting and spelling out "bananas," and everyone will totally dig it.
9. Whitney Houston, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody"
It's catchy, it's Whitney, the lyrics are pretty straightforward... how could you go wrong?
10. Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe"
Best thing about this hit? It's not that hard to sing. Also, it's like mind control — no one is able to resist singing along, no matter how much they may want to.
11. Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off"
A song with a twofold purpose: To remind yourself that this is no big deal, and because repetition is nice and easy. That's what you're going for here.
You totally got this now, guys. Rock on... and maybe do a shot pre-performance.