“In Tokyo I paid $9 an hour to sing by myself in a tiny booth—and I loved every minute.
Standing alone in a room just slightly bigger than a phone booth, I slipped on a pair of professional studio headphones and picked up a microphone. On the video screen in front of me, the lyrics to Bad Company’s ‘Feel Like Makin’ Love’ flashed over close-up shots of tomatoes and green beans. The camera cut to a pretty young actress pretending to go grocery shopping. I wondered if she knew she was starring in a low-budget karaoke video.
‘Baby, if I think about you, I think about looooooooove,’ I crooned theatrically over the backing track. I heard my voice in the headphones and smiled at my reflection in the wall mirror, trying to channel my inner 70s rock god. I felt completely ridiculous in the best possible way.
It was a Saturday night in Tokyo and I had just become a card-carrying member of 1Kara, a local chain that rents out private karaoke rooms designed for parties of one.”
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