Celebrity Invention: Paula Abdul's Microphone Stand

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Some celebrities aren't just pretty faces. A few of them are also touched with that Yankee prowess for tinkering and invention. In this weekly series, we introduce you to the Patents of the Rich and Famous. And maybe you learn a little bit about how patent literature works along the way.

Inventor: Paula Abdul

Known For: Paula Abdul is was the sweetest American Idol judge, but she's really a dancer at heart.

Abdul choreographed her way to fame. Discovered by the Jackson family during a performance as a Laker Girl, she got her start doing the choreography for their "Torture" video. After the success of the video, she worked with other celebs, including Tom Hanks, crafting the keyboard sequence in Big. She then made some workout tapes and segued into a career as a successful '90s pop-star, singing (and dancing) her way to Billboard hits.

Even after she took a break from the music industry, she continued crafting dances, including the cheerleading scenes in American Beauty.

After a few years behind the scenes, Abdul came back, this time critiquing others' choreography as a judge on Fox's hit show, American Idol.

Invented Apparatus: "Dynamic microphone support apparatus"

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It's a microphone stand. But, unlike an old-school flat stand, the pole is stuck into a hemispherical apparatus.

An apparatus comprising: a base having a concave-shaped bottom portion that is positional on a surface; a compartment in the base that stores an adhesive material; a base cover that is positioned over the base and covers the compartment such that weight of a user positioned on the base cover applied in a direction causes the base to tilt with respect to the surface in the direction; and a rod member

It works like one of those punching-bag clowns: the support is weighted, restricting the tilting of the base, allowing the performer to stand atop the stand and sway around as they belt a tune.

Rationale Behind Invention: A microphone stand restricts a singers ability to dance around while maintaining optimum mouth-to-microphone positioning. If a performer wants to dance while singing, they sacrifice sound quality. Abdul's system allows the performer to sing and perform complicated dance moves, without moving too far from the mic.

When the user would like to talk or sing into the microphone, the user generally has to approach the microphone stand. The user can then talk or sing directly into the microphone, but with a limited amount of movement so that the user stays within close proximity to the microphone.

Off-Label Uses: The support is reminiscent of the popular '90s toy, the pogo ball (a.k.a moon hopper/disc-o/lolo ball). We imagine some children (or nostalgic adults) might come across the stand and play fun balancing games.

Future Directions: We await the release of Paula Abdul Rock Band, which would, of course, include this microphone stand as one of the controllers.

Peruse more Celebrity Inventions.

Presented by

Rebecca Greenfield is a former staff writer at The Wire.

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