Movie Scene Karaoke Events in Chicago and Beyond

What’s a “movieoke”?

It’s a portmanteau of the phrase- “movie [scene] karaoke.”

"Movieoke" as a concept was started by Anastasia Fite in New York City in 2003.

Since December 2008, Katy Collins and her crew have been doing Movieoke events from locations around the Chicago area- ranging from private parties to regular monthly events. It’s a lot of fun to view, and even more fun to participate- especially if you partake in a little liquid courage before heading up on stage.

How does it work?

Short Version:

1) Choose a scene.
2) Have a drink.
3) Get on stage.
4) Be awesome.
(Repeat as necessary)

Long version:

Much like a standard karaoke bar, you get a list book when you enter. Except, instead of a list of songs, you have a list of movie scenes. The scenes run the gamut from classic movies to recent blockbusters, from popular fare to obscure titles, from epic speeches to multi-part ensemble scenes. The list also contains the number of people in a scene, but if you want to perform all the characters all by yourself, that’s perfectly all right. If you want to perform a scene with friends or complete strangers, feel free. When you have chosen a scene you want to do, seek out Katy (or whoever is the host for that evening), and let 'em know your name and which scene you want to do.
When you are called upon by the host, you will step onto the performance area (at The Whistler there’s a stage, but other locations may have just an area of the room.) There will be two screens showing the movie- a larger one pointing towards the audience for everyone to see the scene play out while you perform, and one pointing towards you so that you know how far along in the scene you are (and so that you’re not looking over your shoulder to see the scene).
Don’t remember the lines? No problem- all the scenes have closed captioning on, so all you need to do is read the lines from your monitor if you’re not familiar with the scene. However- if you know the dialogue like the back of your hand, have fun with it- mimic the movements or vocal performance of the actors on screen, improvise lines in case there’s a scene with no dialogue, etc. One thing is certain, though- you won’t get booed if you miss a line or two. We in the audience know how much courage it takes to get on that stage and perform in front of strangers, so just the very idea that you’re willing to put it all on the line will earn our respect. Just be sure to return that respect in kind back to the audience.

How much does it cost to do a scene?

Nothing! The bar may charge a cover (Whistler doesn’t, but others may), but there is no cost to actually participate in Movieoke. Just seek out the host, grab a book, and have a good time.

That one scene that I really really like from my favorite movie is not in the list!

There are hundreds of scenes available, and a lot of scenes are lined up for inclusion into the list, but there are only so many hours in the day, and this is being done in the crew’s spare time. If you’d like to submit a recommendation of a scene to include in the list, you can contact the crew using the form on this site. It may not be on the scene roster on your next visit, but they’ll definitely keep it in mind for inclusion.