New Year's Eve Karaoke Hell: Surviving The Company Party
Illustration by Mike Gorman
Karaoke can be a dangerous endeavor. What can you sing that won't make friends shun you? How can you go balls-out during your next performance? Each week in "Ask a Karaoke Host," RFT Music writer and professional karaoke host Allison Babka answers your burning questions about maximizing your melodious mutterings and minimizing your friends' pain. Ask her stuff by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or hashtagging #rftkaraoke on Twitter.
My boss is throwing a New Year's Eve party that involves karaoke, and he's REALLY excited about it. I had planned on getting hammered at the local watering hole with my friends, but now I'm thinking I should go to the boss's thing if it'll get me onto the promotion track. But do I have to sing? -- I Ain't Sayin' She a Gold Digger
Ok, let's start off by talking about how wrong it is for your boss to invite you to a party on an actual holiday -- and a major drinkie-pie one, at that. Even if the bossman has the most innocent intentions, he's still subliminally saying that you're obligated to eschew friend and family time to even be considered for his "Employees Who Give a Shit" list. That's not cool, and I'd advise telling him to shove his crappy NYE invitation up his arse out of principle.
You don't sound like you're going to do that, though, so I'll share exactly how to survive the party and still earn brownie points: Go early, eat some cheese and cookies, sing one tune and get the hell out of there so you can still meet your friends and do body shots at midnight.
Seriously, forget the "fashionably late" bullshit and just walk into this wanker's shindig at 6 p.m. Don't have more than one drink, though -- you'll need to keep a level head to watch the clock. Instead, nosh on some starchy, fatty snacks so that you have a foundation to soak up all the alcohol you'll guzzle later. Besides, this asshole's paying for food that's probably better than dive bar pretzels, so you might as well chow down.
Should karaoke begin during your hour of brown-nosing time, you'll definitely want to participate if you know it will endear you to your boss. If you're a veteran, throw down some Journey and bask in the glory that's sure to come during your next performance review. If you're a n00b, you'll want to brush up on my virgin rules, make sure your one drink is powerful enough to give you a bit of courage, and go for a relatively easy, crowd-pleasing tune like "I Love Rock and Roll." After that, smuggle a few more cookies into your bag, thank your host with the biggest smile you can fake, and hurry off to a gathering where you can celebrate a ball drop while kissing multiple people without feeling guilty about it. Heh heh, "ball drop."