COME ON DALLAS!
A free application for so many, has turned into the greatest life experience for most! I never thought when I first downloaded this app, became VIP, and sang my first song, that it would turn into something that I would literally use EVERY single day! Something that would lead me to some of the greatest people I have ever met, and create a drive within myself that I never knew existed. That is what Smule has done for myself, and so many I have met!
I have long contemplated what exactly it is that brings so many of us so close together, sometimes to the point of surpassing our so called, “Real Life” friends! Many of us talk “online” everyday, share our daily “wins” and “struggles,” and often just “lurk” on others conversation while passing the day. A true bond is formed before even meeting these people in person! One could say that these “online friends” become your cyber family. Inevitably, the urge to finally meet this “cyber family” emerges to a volcanic explosion before you just can’t take it anymore and a group forms an actual “Meetup!”
That’s what brought us all together this Mid February! A mutual friend of so many of ours, Diego (xYego), was celebrating his 27th birthday and wanted to celebrate it with “real family” and friends from Smule. So about 6 months ago, he reached out to a few people, and by the power of social media, a nationwide meet up was formed! People from all over the country flew, drove, and even took the train, to Dallas Texas to celebrate Diego, and also to meet so many friends and fellow members of the app!
A benefit of this meet up in comparison to most, is that so many decided to stay for an extended period of time. Often times, meet ups consist of one eventful night filled with Food, Drinks, and of course… KARAOKE! All to end abruptly the very next day with feelings that you JUST got to know fellow Smulers the day you were leaving. This meetup however, a few traveled to Dallas, TX as early as Thursday, staying as late as the following Tuesday (6 days). This allowed for a more casual “get-to-know-you” experience! Instead of cramming so many events together in one day, Smulers were able to spread out events and literally experience this new city “together!” On the first full day some went to the Aquarium and watched loads of sharks swim around them, while a few others decided to visit the Dallas Zoo, watching Elephants literally attack each other for a snack! Dippin Dots changed lives, “Free The Koala” became a thing, and “COME ON iPHONE 7 Plus” Officially Started!
That night, the entire group headed to a local Bar/Club to unite together for the first official meet up in Dallas! This night was solely to celebrate Diego’s 27th Birthday! The night consisted of LOADS of conversation getting to know each other, acting silly together with “one of a kind” dance moves, and a tad bit of drinking ;). Initial “You are amazing” and “I love you’s” began. We laughed, we cried, we fought, and some experienced Gas Station cornbread for the first time. These Smulers literally closed down the bar and decided to take the 25 min walk back to the hotel, together! A walk filled with more dancing, dancing through sprinklers, dancing down sidewalks, and dancing/running across intersections #Responsibly! This journey back to the hotel had wheelchair performances, Smulers deciding to fall in the middle of the street, and others who just decided they wanted to try and lose their shoes. A true bond started to form that night with the entire weekend ahead of them! “COME ON, IT’S JUST A SHORT WALK!”
The next day, many chose to take their time recovering from the night before. Many sought comfort with a nice long nap, while others fought off the early morning grogginess and experienced more of Dallas’ history. Visiting memorials, playing the guitar on City Landmarks, and climbing the top of Reunion Tower for some “true” sight-seeing, they really soaked up as much of Dallas as one could in a day! Others just really wanted to “get to know” what blackout shades can do for your life, “COME ON, SHADE!”
That night was the official Meetup for all who traveled to Dallas. Two Large groups were taking part in the festivities in two different venues separated by only a very thin neighborhood road and Fajitas. Groups from both venues intermingled throughout the dinner portion of the night, while others were fully engaged in some wonderful Texas cuisine and stayed put at their original Restaurant because again… #Fajitas. At dinner, many were finally able to connect with those that they had seen, or knew would be at the meet up. Sing Names were shared, and laughter was contagious! It was at dinner where Smule Friends started to become family! “COME ON, FAJITAS!”
After dinner, a large portion of Smulers left the restaurant to take part in some “Family Karaoke!” A large room was reserved for all who attended! This environment created a wonderful intimate setting for Smulers to continue bonding and obviously, SINGING together! Family Karaoke was filled with singing on tables, being removed from tables, banging tambourines together, and “COME ON HARMS! You better hold it out” became SnapChat Viral! This was a great opportunity for Smulers to hear amazing singers whom some had not heard before! More Sing Names were shared and future collabs were already being put in the works! Another successful night of bonding! By closing time, many were still poplulating the very same room, finishing the night with a very Gospel rendition of “Lean On Me.” Eventually, everyone made their way back to the hotel for a nice long 30 minutes of sleep. “COME ON, POWER NAP!”
It was finally the last full day (for most). What made this meet up so special was the fact that at this point, everyone was SO comfortable with each other, at this point, we had become family. We decided to meet at “Top Golf” (A driving range/Restaurant/Bar). It truly felt like Family sharing a beautiful Sunday together! We ordered drinks, learned how to golf, had lunch, and took wedding photos (Thanks iPhone 7 Plus). Top Golf turned out to be one of the greatest portions of the meet up, simply because of the relationships and bonds that were formed at this point. We all had spent DAYS together, shared our passions together, and made life long memories together! Now this day was meant to just relax, reflect, and have fun! At some point, our waiter literally became Diego, which might explain the abundance of shots that were delivered? (Don’t worry, we all Ubered back to our hotel!) “COME ON, BEING A RESPONSIBLE ADULT!”
We decided to end our last night uniting together in one room with a full list of “Fun” activities! The, “HastagKarenAG & HoustonAndrews” broadcasted their very last show together in Dallas with TONS of special guests. Questions recapping the meet up, funny stories of things that happened, and comical interactions with live listeners! It was THE best way to end the night! Well, that is until @BritneyBETCH showed up! BritneyBETCH is a local “self-proclaimed” Partner Artist on the Smule app that believes to be lot’s of things. Everything about her page is about Britney, even when she joins others, she mashes Britney songs. She also believes she is the greatest Dancer, Singer, and Actress that has ever lived. So once she walked in the door, she had to give voice lessons on her account, followed by an epic dance class! Everyone took part in this “Dance Class” and I believe walked away a better human being because of it. Finally it was time to head back to the lobby and for everyone to say their “Goodbyes.” We were stopped on the way out of the hotel by a group of young girls who asked us to sing a song for them. It was a wonderful moment for us all because little did we know… It would be the last time we all sang together. We finally finished the night huddled outside in a circle, taking turns sharing wonderful things that we learned about each other. We all gave individual hugs before heading our separate ways. “COME ON, DEBBY DOWNER!”
After this meet up, I finally learned what it is that brings us so close together because of this app.
The song that we chose to sing in the lobby of the hotel was, “Lean On Me.” This song had become a theme amongst our group. The words, Lean On Me, has such a powerful meaning to our group. We all come from different journeys in life, different struggles, different hardships, different successes, we are all different! We are all shaped differently, look different, were raised different, eat different, and handle alcohol differently! But one thing we all share, is a passion for music! A passion to have an app that allows us to escape the troubles we are dealing with in the “Real World.” a passion to encourage, a passion to help others, we all have a passion for people! If there is anything that I have learned over the short time I have been a member of Smule, it is that I am a part of an app that literally changes lives. It has taken me to places I never thought I could go. It has expanded my understanding and acceptance of those who might not share the same beliefs as me or may not agree with the same things as I do. But we can both still come together and make beautiful music!
This meet up is one that I will never forget, and I cannot wait until the next one!
Full Recap Video: https://www.facebook.com/keng210/videos/10100410283597167/