Commercial Shoot: Voicebox Karaoke

I mentioned previously that I was insanely busy before vacation. Amidst the general packing, preparing (and cleaning) involved in a visit from the parents and a major road trip, I also had TWO photo shoots – one for a friend’s sweet 1 year old (which I’ll share soon) and another for Voicebox Karaoke. Yes, my go-to Portland Karaoke destination!

I was thrilled when they contacted me after seeing the latest in my series of ode-to-Karaoke blog posts and asked me to take some similar photos of their guests for use on their website and other promotional materials. Dream job!

I spent about three hours moving from room to room – trying to blend into the background – while I took photos of people singing everything from Beyonce to David Bowie to One Direction. The groups ranged from tween girls, families and work groups, to a karaoke session with songs in Japanese (a flashback for me) and, of course a Bachelorette party. Everyone was asked to sign a waiver up front, so they were all willing participants and, for the most part, LOVED having their photo taken.

Thanks to all of my “models” for being such great sports and to the wonderful staff at Voicebox.

Here are some of my favorites.

(Second) Best. Karaoke. Ever.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but Karaoke has to be one of my favorite pass times.

My first Karaoke experience was in Japan with a group of Postal Workers. It was at the end of my “Postmaster for the day” celebration, which was one of those crazy only-in-Japan things that I now look back on and wonder if it really happened or if it was a figment of my imagination. I shared the honor with Ultraman and was required to sign a few fake postal documents. I’m pretty sure it happened…

My point is that this very first Karaoke experience set me up to enjoy Karaoke the RIGHT way – without inhibition and with as much enthusiasm as you can manage. Also, with Sake.

It was the single most fun Karaoke experience of my life.

A couple of weeks ago, I followed up with arguably my second most fun Karaoke night ever. I don’t know exactly what made it so great. It could have been the great mix of friends, a diverse song list or the the just-enough alcohol consumption. I’m pretty sure it was a mix of all three. All I know is that it was the perfect recipe for a night of fun, laughter and some killer dance moves.

On to the photographs. Excuse the funky lighting and out-of-focus shots – although I much prefer the photos of me that are out of focus. Thanks to Suzi for picking up the camera.

And if you make it to the end, you might just find our eclectic playlist.

Apologizing in advance for the next one – sorry guys, but it’s awesome.

The next one’s blurry, but I love it!

I also love the photos that show of some of the complicated lyrics.

And that we’re not afraid to go a little gangsta.

Please don’t judge the playlist, although I think everyone can agree that we ended on a high note. 🙂


Title Artist
Things We Do For Love, The 10CC
Son Of A Preacher Man Springfield, Dusty
Willkommen Cabaret
Just Give Me A Reason Pink feat Nate Ruess
Don’t Let Me Down Beatles , The
All I Wanna Do Crow, Sheryl
Good Morning Starshine Hair, The Musical
Cream Prince
Amish Paradise (Gangsta’s Paradise) Yankovic, ‘Weird Al’
Faith Michael, George
You Might Think Cars, The
We Are Golden Mika
Rumour Has It Adele
Seven Nation Army White Stripes, The
I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ Scissor Sisters
F#ck You Cee Lo Green
What I Like About You Romantics, The
We Belong Benatar, Pat
Can’t Get You Out Of My Head Minogue, Kylie
I’m Your Baby Tonight Houston, Whitney
Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone Pride, Charley
Bad Bad Leroy Brown Croce, Jim
Groove Is In The Heart Dee-Lite
Play That Funky Music Wild Cherry
Me, Myself And I De La Soul
Party Rock Anthem LMFAO Feat. Lauren Bennett and Goonrock
I’m Yours Mraz, Jason
I Knew You Were Trouble Swift, Taylor
I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing Aerosmith
Stayin’ Alive Bee Gees, The
Your Woman White Town
You Oughta Know Morissette, Alanis
Creep Radiohead
Time Of The Season Zombies, The
Empire State Of Mind Jay-Z & Alicia Keys
Criminal Apple, Fiona
Everybody Wants You Squier, Billy
Harper Valley P.T.A. Riley, Jeannie C.
All Night Long (All Night) Richie, Lionel
Sweet Child O’ Mine Guns N’ Roses
Raise Your Glass Pink
Don’t Stop Me Now Queen
Metro, The Berlin
Home Sweet Home Motley Crue
Sex (I’m A…) Berlin
Nothin’ But A Good Time Poison
Nuthin’ But A G Thang Dr. Dre
Bullet With Butterfly Wings Smashing Pumpkins
Moonage Daydream Bowie, David
Get The Party Started Pink
Mama I’m Coming Home Osbourne, Ozzy
Total Eclipse Of The Heart Tyler, Bonnie
Somebody That I Used To Know Gotye feat Kimbra
Love Shack B-52’s, The
Elderly Woman Behind The Counter Pearl Jam
What It Takes Aerosmith
I Want Your Sex Michael, George

Catch Up Wednesday: Karaoke, TEDx Inspiration and Everything in Between

Wow – it seems it’s been a week since my last post. You can blame my absence on the following:

  • Good weather (editing photos is tough when the sun is shining)
  • Game of Thrones
  • More Game of Thrones
  • Three whole seasons of Game of Thrones (and one big O.M.G at the almost end!)
  • Work
  • End of school year insanity (Field day, Pajama Day and don’t even get me started on teacher gifts, ugh!)
  • Gardening and house organizing.
  • And did I mention work? Drowning.

So, I’m taking a brief respite while waiting on some project feedback to share some photo teases and a little inspiration.

The Boys

We’ve been spending a lot of time outside, playing with soccer balls, wall balls and baseballs and planting vegetables, flowers and grass. We’ve also enjoying family movie night – Peter Pan and The Fantastic Mr. Fox are the most recent. I need to take more photos of these guys. Thomas and Samuel are growing up very quickly. I know this because it seems like they grew out of every pair of shoes and item of clothing within the past couple of months.

More photos coming soon…

The Girls

I promised these photos over a week ago. They’re still coming together but here’s a tease for the ladies who joined me on, arguably, THE. BEST. EVER. karaoke night. The photos are a little “artsy” (dark and blurry with weird disco lighting), but I love them.

More photos coming soon…

The Inspiration

My two favorite talks from TEDx Portland are now available on YouTube.

First up is a very high energy and inspirational presentation by Graphic Designer and illustrator Kate Bingaman Burt. If you need a 15 minute pick-me-up then I highly recommend this one.

As an immigrant, the next talk from Ben Huh hit very close to home. It might make you look at the immigration debate in a different light.

I’ll be back to post more photos soon but for now, back to work.

Karaoke is Good for the Soul

I am convinced that there is nothing quite as good for the soul as gathering a bunch of girlfriends to sing at the top of their lungs, have a few drinks and enjoy a lot of laughs.

I have loved Karaoke since that very first time I went out partying with a group of Japanese Mailmen after my day as the honorary Postmaster General of Sukagawa Japan. (A very long story that I may share on the blog one day). I remember at one point during that evening many (many!) years ago, and likely after more than a few sakes, it suddenly occurred to me that no one cared if I sang out of tune. What they cared about was that we were all having a good time and, for this frustrated High School-musical-star-wanna-be, it was wonderful to feel free enough to sing at the top of my lungs with no judgement. The only danger was that I wouldn’t have enough fun, and that was entirely up to me.

So, when my friends at work look at me like I’m insane every time I tell them I am out for another night of Karaoke, I try to explain that you don’t have to be a great (or even a good) singer to enjoy it. You just need to make sure you’re with great friends who are willing to let go of their fears and inhibitions as much as you are.

And if you have some reservations, a little jalapeno sake can always help get you through the first couple of songs…

Side note: I’m pretty sure this next photo was taken during one of the many Beastie Boys tributes of the evening.

And this next song had a line about tears… or crying. Our performances tend to get more literal as the night goes on.

Thanks for a wonderful night ladies and my apologies for keeping you all out so late. Who knew that a three hour Karaoke session could turn into five hours so easily? I guess that’s what happens when you’re having just TOO much fun.