I’ve been living in Berlin for roughly two years now and so far, I have avoided most obligatory things you have to do in Berlin and I am totally fine with it. Visiting the Mauerpark for example, was something I didn’t do so far and when I met with some friends there on Sunday, I kinda realized why. As a socially anxious person, the number of self-assured, stylish and, ahem, ‘artistic’ people not only threw me back but also made me despise everyone there. I wouldn’t be inclined to go there again if it weren’t for the Karaoke Bearpit (or Bearpit Karaoke? I am too lazy to look it up). ATTENTION! There are no real bears involved, although a singing bear probably would be just as welcomed as everyone else, no one has to sing while fighting a bear even though the name might imply it.
Yep, it’s one of those things pretty much everyone knows about by now, so I am treading old, lukewarm waters here but still, it’s exceptional how good-natured and optimistic something can be in the most pretentious part of Berlin. Joe Hatchiban started the Karaoke on a bike a couple of years ago and although it was unsure whether he could continue to do it weekly because apparently the city hates everyone that spends their free time entertaining people without a hidden marketing agenda, he is now back with glorious karaoke each Sunday (unless it’s rainy or Winter). He is – in my opinion – the main reason why the mood is so exceptionally well, he takes the nerves of people, cheers for the worst sounds coming out of human mouths and motivates the audience to be just as positive as he is. Some people just want to watch the world bloom.
This, by the way, is Musical star Wesley Taylor who recently starred as bitchy gay guy in the Musical soap opera style series “Smash”. He seems to like getting naked and he is a lot better than the guy I saw last Sunday who didn’t really strip but rather wrestled with his jacket.
I didn’t do it, just for anyone who might have wondered (neither singing nor stripping) but it still was fun to watch all the others, train wrecks or not, the mood is so good that everyone feels great after their song no matter how much they destroyed the most holy of music legends. And that’s fine because this is no evil and mean casting show where you can make fun of one’s dream*; it’s karaoke – the stage where bad singing doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a bad rendition of a song. It’s all about the energy, y’all.
Oh, and Joe apparently ends every Sunday with a rendition of Cab Calloway’s “Minnie the Moocher” which is pretty awesome.
*You can, though, if you want to. That’s the beauty of it, the derps on the stage will never know because the acoustics don’t carry your hurtful and hilarious comments down to the stage…not that I…I never would…