So, this is my two penn'orth during the quiet time in the ESC calendar... If you are interested, dive in, but if you are not maybe you could help the cause by retweeting or sharing the post to get word around and raise more awareness before the sign up date.
This is the inaugural Secret ESC Karaoke where us Eurofans far and wide come together to sing each other songs! Hopefully I am going to try and do this every summer although for many reasons I didn’t quite get up and running as soon as I would have liked! Maybe next year I will try and set the system up just after ESC itself so I can publicise it at the peak time (and give us all something to offset our PED!)
SO WHAT IS IT?!?!?
The easiest way to explain this is to look at a different project I've been involved in called “Karaoke Secret Santa”. It's basically a group of people who sign up (each person knows 1-2 other people but not everyone). Instead of sending everyone a Christmas card or gift – which might be quite tricky, time consuming and expensive if the participants live as far apart as the UK, the US and Australia – you sing them a song!
Here is the link to the secret santa youtube account where all the songs are pooled together by all the participants over the last few years - including some of my own paltry attempts.
HOW DO I JOIN?!?!?!?
First of all you sign up (that’s the easy bit) If you click on here and input your details you will get your own page to set up your own questions, answers and wish lists. Then at the start of September you will be paired up with another participant and they you choose something from their wish list to record. That's the easy bit!
WHAT SHALL I WISH FOR?!?!?!??!
Now, the elfster site is primarily set up for actual real life gift swapping so the best option is to just write out each ‘wish’ using the text option on the wish list tab.
As this is a ESC inspired wish list you should think of songs, singers, countries or even NFs that you love. I personally like to start each wish with a title or genre e.g. pet country, favourite contest, fave Irish entry, best ESC artist, Melfest flop, fave last place song, should have won NF, song/act that was robbed, sexiest language, funniest lyric, best prop/gimmick, Fave dance routine, best joke entry, best interval act, best jESC song/singer etc. etc. You are very much allowed to add 3-5 suggestions for each category – the more suggestions you make, the more choice your sender has! If you look at my wish list you can see how I have set it up - although you can add to your list, change it and delete things in the time left. They are not set in stone until swap day!
Please remember that the sign up date is at the start of September so if your wish list is done before that date, your sender has more time to work out which song they are performing AND how they are performing it! If the person you've been swapped with does not have a wishlist set up you can send them an anonymous message (find their profile, click on 'send a message' then make sure the anonymous box in the bottom corner is ticked) asking them to publish a list of songs. You coud even suggest catagories if you wish.
DOES IT MEAN I HAVE TO SING?!?!?!?
You can do whatever you like – be creative.
You could sing it with a backing track in your bedroom, lip-sync along, recite the words in the style of a spoken word poet, create (or recreate) the dance routine, play the tune on a kazoo, recreate the song with sand art, make a lyric video or even film yourself singing the song at your local karaoke bar!!! You can rope in the help of others (human and otherwise), use costume, sets and props to help you in your performance. You can try and do the whole thing in one shot or if you are a editing whizz you might be able to add different camera angles, shots or settings!
OR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT !!!!!
WHAT DO I DO ON GIFT SWAP DAY?
At some pint before gift day you need to have filmed your 'entry' and got it ready for uploading. You will then have to keep it under wraps until nearer the deadline to upload tit to your video service (most people will have a you tube or vimeo account). You then name it, leave a description, then on swap day either email, tweet, facebook or leave a message on the elftser wall telling the recipient that you have made them a video leaving them the URL. On the elfter website you also have the option to leave messages anonymously if you want to keep everything under wraps even more !
The thing is I have been doing the xmas karaoke for ages now and year 1 is always the worst one because things need time to set up – if you go through the rigmarole this year, next year will be much, MUCH easier !!!
If you need more help to find things, set stuff up or have any other questions either leave a message at the bottom of the blog, or leave a post on the elfster site (if you decided to #joinus - see what I did there) or tweet me at @ESCarmchair x