OK, OK, I know what you must be thinking, Karaoke therapeutic, isn’t that an oxymoron? Isn’t karaoke the thing you do at cheesy bars while drunk? Well, I have to tell you that is what I thought too, until my dear friend David suggested we have a karaoke date night. Now, I admittedly love the stage and being the center of attention, so I was up for a karaoke night even though singing is not my strong suit. However, it is defintely not my hubby’s thing and he said that he would go along for the ride but “No Way am I getting up there and singing!”
The good news is, we are always up for trying new and different things but had no idea what was in store for us at Max Karaoke Studio. We arrived at this Asian mini mall off Sawtelle Boulevard in West Los Angeles at this karaoke place that you rent by the minute (not to worry, it only ends up costing about $10/hour per person), but what was surprisingly odd about this place is that it is not what you typically think of and get turned off about when you think of Karaoke–usually a smoke-filled bar where someone sings cheesey songs in front of a group of drunks who boo them off the stage–in contrast, while certainly not glamorous, Max offers these private mini sound proof rooms that almost look like petite recording studios and seat a small group up to 20 people. They have about ten of these mini studios (which you have to call and reserve at 1pm the same day) that you and your friends get all to yourselves to karaoke the night away–and supposedly these karaoke joints are all the rage in Japan!
So the way it works, is that you basically get a bare bones private karaoke room with leather booths, a table and all the karaoke accoutrements you will need to for the night. Thankfully, you can bring in booze, to get you in the mood, as you pour through the vast selection of song options to find your inner Madonna. So here we are, the four of us, (we were supposed to have a group of ten people, but somehow everyone flaked at the last minute. . .hmmm I wonder why??) all alone with some vodka, curry (you can also bring in food–we ordered from the curry place upstairs) and a karaoke machine, now what? So David, being the seasoned pro because he has done it several times in Japan and raved about it (and mind you David is a serious lawyer type in his day job) jumps right up and starts singing Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond, and thus, this wacky, odd, wonderful night begins.
The song choices are endless, so I mostly go with showtunes which are a personal favorite, but it takes me a while to find my singing groove (let alone getting my pitch/key right–I now have tremendous respect for singers–Adam Lambert you are truly a GOD) for an audience of three. Finally, with some mishaps, I started to have it going on and I did a very fun and relatively stellar rendition of The Cell Block Tango from Chicago and I LOVED it! And then David followed with an impressive rendition of Mr. Cellophane from Chicago–who knew he had such passion and Broadway caliber talent hidden behind his more composed exterior 🙂 And of course there’s David’s babe and my best gal pal, Ingy, with her movie star good looks and a singing voice that rivals today’s pop artists. Her modern rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow was so beautiful that it brought tears to my eyes.
Throughout the night, I felt inspired, free, and even giddy! Suddenly, I realized that all my stress and tension had left my mind and I was just in the moment, in groove, enjoying an unexpectedly awesome evening with our good friends and letting out my inner Diva! I truly felt a wonderful sense of release and freedom from singing my heart out for almost 4 hours, and what a blast it was walking down memory lane with many songs from my youth. And even my reluctant hubby was persuaded to sing New York, New York, and although it wasn’t his thing, he really enjoyed himself too.
It was such a fun night, I would highly recommend checking it out as a fun and different option for a night out with friends, couples or the girls. And you’ll be smiling (and singing all the way home), not mention it is a heck of alot cheaper than the going hourly rate for therapy these days!