If there’s one person who knows how to set the stage for a good karaoke night, it’s Michael W. Smith. In fact he’s so good that these special events have their own name: Smitty-oke. From his years as a performer Smitty has cultivated a special gift to woo individuals on stage to sing their karaoke hearts out. Just so we can share a good laugh. I love those people. And I love Michael for putting his gifts to good work.
Last summer, my husband and I enjoyed a Christian cruise with Michael W. Smith to Canada and New England. It was an absolute blast. I’ve always loved Smitty’s music, but on this cruise I felt like I got to know him more personally (way more personally…he actually said ‘hi’ outside the elevators to the Lido Deck…swoon!). Aside from his incredible musical talent (and ageless, tussled hair…and dreamy blue eyes) what I discovered about Smitty on this trip is that he’s a humble, down-to-earth, fun-loving guy. In fact, on the last night of the cruise, he dressed himself in a kilt, rainbow socks up to his knees and completed the ensemble with his red converse shoes (like always). Talk about carefree! And then, when he could have made the night all about himself, he let anyone…and I mean anyone (trust me…there were obviously no tryouts) come onstage and sing his songs while he accompanied them.
Karaoke is one of those odd forms of entertainment where the worse it gets the better it is. And this night it was particularly awesome (if you know what I mean). I don’t know what they put in the punch, but there were some high-spirited, uninhibited folks who made the experience unforgettable. Even Michael’s drummer Paul got in on the ‘yoke action and sang “Place in This World”. Smitty could barely make it through the song before he was literally rolling on the ground in tears. There were a few people here and there that actually sang really well and gave our ears a soothing break. But in the end I think we all agreed that we’d let Smitty do the professional singing (we can still be his rockin’ backup singers on our commute to work). I don’t remember the last time my husband and I laughed so hard together. We hadn’t expected to get an ab workout that night, but we laughed till our bellies were sore and our cheeks throbbed (face cheeks, people!).
We now listen to Michael W. Smith’s music in a totally different way. It’s not just that we remember the fantastic people that entertained us that night; it’s that we feel like we’re listening to our friend sing. We had actually shared moments with Michael and made memories with him. Sure, he may not remember our names when we see him again, but it was an evening that not one of us will forget.