Karaoke People - A Documentary (Formerly: Tip The KJ - A Karaoke Movie)

Portland, Oregon | Film Short


Jen Tate

1 Campaigns | Oregon, United States

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This campaign raised $20,475 for post-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

67 supporters | followers

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You know what karaoke is, right? Drunk people trying to sing Don’t Stop Believing. Late night scream-a-longs of Sweet Caroline. What else is there? I used to think that's all there was to karaoke, too. Until I built a Karaoke Confessional Booth and found out I was wrong.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

Everyone karaokes. Every age. Every gender. Karaoke isn't black or white. It isn't red or blue. We karaoke together side by side...and we are ALL fantastic and terrible at it! The karaoke people I interviewed represent a cross-section of America with a unique, yet shared love of karaoke.

The Story

How it started

I was a stay-at-home mom at the end of a looooooong Tuesday of being slowly depleted by 2 tiny humans. I needed a break.


So, when my husband got home, I handed over the kids and walked out the front door with no plans in mind. Next thing I knew, I was in a karaoke bar on a Tuesday night, where I stayed for 5 hours.

I made a list of every song I might ever want to sing in this lifetime.
I made friends with everyone who walked in the door - plying them with questions about who they were and why they were there.

I was smitten.


It turns out that lots of people sing karaoke by themselves on random Tuesday nights.
Black. White. 
Gay. Straight. 
Young. Old. 
Liberal. Conservative.
Karaoke is common ground, and people were there for a lot of different reasons.


Some of these people simply love to sing. But others were what I started calling "Karaoke People," like me. The karaoke connection these people had went deeper.


So after 10 years of bonding with other Karaoke People, I decided to build a Karaoke Confessional Booth to help the world hear our stories.


What happened next

Once I started asking people questions, it became clear that my movie was going to be about more than karaoke.

People opened up to me about their lives, their dreams, their problems...and about the role karaoke played in their lives, their dreams and their problems.


And as I watched the country around me become more and more divisive, I took solace in the connections I was making with Karaoke People.


From People like Bob

A Vietnam Vet who lost his wife in 1997, who has been singing old cowboy songs EVERY Friday & Saturday night at the same place for the last 20 years.


And Whitney

A woman who credits karaoke with saving her life more than once.


And Byron

A parent who regularly escapes to karaoke solo just like I do.


And Gabe

A guy who takes great pride in having karaoked 116 songs by the same artist. 


And Tia

A woman who found freedom in karaoke at the end of 30 years of marrriage. 

And JJ & Rachel

A couple I could have spent all day watching sing karaoke together.


What I need

I wanted to preserve the intimate nature of these conversations, so instead of cutting away to a lot of B-roll of people singing, I began to work with an animator to create an animated evolution - from people who simply like to sing...to Karaoke People.


Obviously I already love karaoke, though even I don't want to see a feature length film with a lot of people singing karaoke. It just doesn't translate.


Instead, I'm making a documentary short about something that it turns out EVERYONE has an opinion about, whether they realize it or not.

So whether you love karaoke or hate it, I plan to:
      satisfy the addicts
             entice the curious
                    and, delight the naysayers.


I hope you'll consider helping me share Tip The KJ - A Karaoke Movie with the world.



Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Animator costs

Costs $15,000

I want to hold on to the intimacy of the confessional booth using animation more than B-roll.

Editor costs

Costs $10,000

I need to work with an editor to fine tune the rough cut I have ready to go.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

Jen Tate - Director/Producer/Editor

After years of storytelling as a writer, performer, producer and parent...

After a BA in Creative Writing, and Masters in Media & Education...

After working from Sesame Street to Silicon Valley, and over a decade of karaoke-love...

Jen is making a documentary with help from:


Jonathan Boone - Camera Operator

Laura Roe - Editor

Jenny Kincade - Art Director

Sarah Moyle - Initial Animation

Kerri Lynn Thorp - Editorial Support

Megahn Kramer - Sanity & Editorial Consultant

Kevin Tate - Technical Director & Life Producer

Patti Kramer & Alan Burjoski - Executive Producers

Mira Waldman & Chikai Ohazama - Executive Producers

Greg Wright - Associate Producer & Moral Support

MeiMei Fox - Perspective & Panic Monitor

Rylan Tate - Booth Design & No-BS Feedback

Brinley Tate - Musical Inspiration & Hug Provider

Lutz & Lisa Kramer - Executive Booth Producers







Current Team