The Karaoke Brewery

Down the block from the studio, Queens Brewery became my home away from home. The beer was brewed in-house, the perfect blend of quality and affordability for my modest budget. The expansive space in Ridgewood felt comfortable, familiar, and inviting, with the buzz of conversation filling the air. I would sit on the worn wooden barstool, staring up at the television set, sipping pint after frosty pint of their signature lager. One day, as I sat there nursing my latest glass, my hazy vision caught sight of a microphone and speakers set up on a small stage in the corner. Curiosity piqued, I turned to the bartender and slurred, “Hey, what’s goin’ on over there?”. He replied, “Karaoke today,” with a grin on his face. The word “karaoke” seemed to penetrate the alcoholic fog in my mind. In that instant, my heart raced, my blood surged, and my feet carried me toward the sign-up sheet. I scribbled my name down, officially declaring myself as one of the top prospects for that afternoon’s impromptu performance. As my time approached, I felt the familiar nervous energy coursing through my veins, tempered only by the alcohol swimming in my system. The quiet man at the bar, who had never spoken a word to anyone, would finally take center stage. I grabbed the microphone, my grip steady despite the intoxication, and introduced myself as King Roach. The music began, and I started to sing. I could feel the room shift, the chatter dying as all eyes turned to the small corner stage. My voice soared, powerful and passionate, reverberating through the space as the audience stared in awe. I was in my element, performing song after song, hitting notes they didn’t think possible for a casual karaoke gathering. The dim lighting cast an ethereal glow over the room as I made eye contact with each of the captivated onlookers. I could see their amazement, admiration, and surprise, as though they had stumbled upon an undiscovered gem in the most unexpected places. The energy was palpable, and it fed me, fueled me, and rekindled my addiction to live performance. This was a far cry from the sterile confines of singing into the Smule app. The space was alive, electric, and intoxicating in its own right. As my voice carried through the room, every eye followed my movements. I could see people mouthing the words along with me, their bodies swaying to the rhythm of the music. I needed more and needed it now.

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