by Rachel Arieff
Anti-Karaoke began as a totally naïve show. Nothing serious; no judgment; just plain old fun. However, through the four years of its existence, it changed a lot. It was a lot like what happened to punk rock: the performers started out without much skill, but then, through practice, inevitably got better and better. It was a natural progression, impossible to avoid.
Anti-Karaoke started out with a handful of friends, none of whom took it seriously, in the Llantiol Theater and later in the Sidecar club. But over time, people got better as performers. Some got really good. Later, over time, more and more people with real performance skills — some of them professionals — starting showing up as well. All this has had the effect of creating a show that a great part of the audience comes to watch, not to participate onstage(!)
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot from watching people onstage. So I thought I’d share some of my ideas on what makes a good performance. HOWEVER… I realize that some people might only be interested in AK for the fun, naïve aspect, and not be interested at all in the idea of “how to get better”. I totally understand and respect that. So, if reading this stuff takes away some of the “magic” of AK, please go no further! “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” I’ve really written this down for myself, as well as those AK-eans who are truly interested in improving their performance skills.
So I’ve written a list of ten ways to improve your performance at AK. Plenty of these tips can be applied to performance in general, as well as other areas of existence.
Of course, nothing is written in stone. Rules are made to be broken. Or, as Zen so succinctly puts it: “Everything and its negation”. If you have a response to these ideas, either in agreement or in opposition, please feel free to submit them as a comment below… or to comment on someone else’s response. I’d like to hear your thoughts.