There's something special about dedicated Mariah Carey fans.

As I have got to know my brothers and sisters, I have began to understand the way in which Mariah's music affects each of us. It's not so much a case of hearing revelations in Mariah's lyrics, but discovering that we all feel the same way about love and romamce.

We are a shy, yet emotionally charged people. Amongst our ranks you will find contemporary lovers and dreamers. And the occasional joker, who just wants to show some friends that shy people can entertain amuse just as well as everyone else, masking the message of the dedicated Mariah fan behind a thin veil of comedy.


Once Upon A Christmas Concert

Talk about stage fright! I couldn't believe how nervous I was. I had this strange pre-performance anxiety... It was almost excitement, really. A feeling that comes after practising in all your spare time, knowing you have it pretty much alright for opening night. An act fills your waking thoughts, and your dreams, and you go through so many permutations of possible outcomes- good and bad- that your head feels like mush. In a way, you start losing the distinction between reality and make-believe.

I was acutely aware of how dramatic and overdone my costume was, but then I had sought to make everything perfect. If I was going to be embarassed, I might as well be embarassed properly- in an extravagant costume and make-up. There's a point as a thespian where you stop being yourself, and become your character. You have to trust yourself, and your audience, to understand that it is all just a game you play. You can either enjoy being the character, or just be your embarassed self.

Well, I was going to be the character, wholly and completely. I was going to play the part so convincingly that perhaps some would see my supposed everyday life as an act. Instead they would believe that the real me was actually closer to Mariah Carey than the gruff, sometimes amusing, yet painfully shy guy from Aldridge 154. I opened the dressing room door, finally saying goodbye to any fears and doubt that still lingered in my head. Thus my fate was sealed as I shut the door behind me, and turned the key in the lock. I smiled briefly at the gold star on the door and, from that moment on, my own name, "Mariah Carey," written boldly underneath.

My brand new white gym shoes, christened on this chilly eve, clumped on the hard floors, as I wound my way through the network of corridors to the hall where I would make my debut. Inside the shoes, my careful footsteps were softened by an equally bright pair of loose slouch socks. My "famous person" sunglasses started to fog up as I perspired beneath the honey coloured powder on my face. My lips were dry, and when I wetted them descreetly with my tongue, I wondered if perhaps I had used too much of that borrowed rouge lipstick.

It wasn't until I neared the end of my journey that I actually saw another soul. There were a few people greeting each other in a formal manner. I walked towards them, aware of a chilly draft on my red nylon-tinted legs. It was a contrast to the surprising insulating properties of my fibrous red minidress, completed in a Christmas theme with the traditional white trimmings. I smiled politely as I approached them, and brushed my long brownish red hair away from my sunglassed with a careful movement of the hand.

I recognized one as the principal of the college. He looked up to see me, and his smile froze as I passed by, saying "Hi" briefly. "Hello," he replied, very carefully, and perhaps a bit slowly. I smiled secretly, knowing that he hadn't quite seen through my sunglasses, and continued towards the entrance of the hall.

I entered carefully, and stood surveying the hall purposefully. It took only a fraction of a second for me to draw somebody's gaze, and not much longer for someone else to recognize the actor under the elaborate exterior. I just stood there patiently, non-plussed, as the mumbling, amusement and amazement of the early-comers subsided.

I moved toward a seat, and a girl that I knew well didn't quite see through my disguise, and said altogether too formally, "This seat is reserved." I said "Sorry" quietly, and moved a little clumsily to find another place to sit. A few more people recognized me, and pointed before I settled down on a chair, and faded into the growing crowd.

I carefully took a handkerchief and attempted to clear the fog from my sunglasses, with little success. Someone tapped me on the shoulder, and whispered in my ear that the principal wanted to say something to me. He was sitting in the row in front, several chairs to my left. He leaned back in his chair, smiled broadly and asked, "What are you doing after the show, sweetie?" I think I blushed, though I don't know why. He was obviously joking. Quick to stifle the man's swift advances, especially in view of his wife's presence, I turned on my sharp wit. I smiled gently, carefully formed the first vowel of my reply, and said softly, "I'm so sorry, sir. I have plans later this evening." I held the final retort, "I'm free tomorrow, though," for my own personal amusement.

The show started several minutes later, and during that time I was oblivious to the crowd, focusing myself on being as composed as possible. I was careful to appear graceful as I attempted to stop my make-up from drowning in perspiration. The heating was altogether too hot for someone in a garment akin to winter woolens, but I was hardly in a position to remove it. I noticed that the flimsy plastic belt buckle holding the black belt tightly around my waist was slowly tearing. I drew a breath, trying to stop it from breaking before my act had even started.

Finally the concert began, and the audience hushed as the choirs' beautiful tones filled the room. I tried to read the words on the carol sheet I had been handed, but it was too hard to read through my glasses in the dim candlelight. So I enjoyed the show, still in my chair, despite the myriad of itches that were randomly screaming for my attention.

Before I knew what was happening, someone had called my name- mispronouncing it even. I slowly moved, not quite sure if there might be someone else that answered to a name deceptively similar to my own. Eventually, convinced that they meant me, I deftly negotiated my way along the aisle, to the stage, carefully stepping over those sitting on the floor in the front. I felt rather over-exposed as I did so, because I knew there was little fabric hiding anything much lower than the very tops of my thighs. Well, the wolf-whistles and amused giggles were oddly encouraging, at least.

After setting my backing tape up, and having someone near the stage comment on the boldness of my long velvet wine coloured nails playing on the control keys, I was ready to go.

I moved to centre stage and adopted the pose from the "Fantasy" single. My legs apart, one slightly bent, I held my hair out to the side with one hand ond to my cheek with the other. Then I made like a statue, despite the muffled amusement of some in the audience. But alas, the tape didn't start, and I had to get someone to help release a pause key before the act proper could begin.

At last the chimes of "All I Want For Christmas Is You" began, and the audience fell silent. I slowly fell out of still pose to lip-sync with the first verse.

"I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know...
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas
Is you...

After starting in Mariah's trademark shy yet coy way, I smiled as the beat picked up, and added a little bit of a Mariahquake as I mimed the last word of the verse. All much to the delight of the audience, who were thoroughly amused at this stage. It was time for the dancing now, and some fancy footwork, with plenty of hip motion, formed the core of my centre stage choregraphy.

"I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
...Don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I don't need to hang my stocking
There upon the fireplace
Santa Claus won't make me happy
With a toy on Christmas day
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is you

The hand gestures throughout the second verse were well received by the audience, especially the one where I cheekily dangle an imaginary stocking out to the right, above my still right leg. The part where I put my hands on my heart to say, "I just want you for my own," also proved to be a real audience pleaser. I could feel the energy of the audience, and I harnessed it to perform the fourth strongest note-holding Mariahquake of the entire act.

"Oh, I won't ask for much this Christmas
I won't even wish for snow
I'm just gonna keep on waiting
Underneath the mistletoe
I won't make a list and send it
To the North Pole for Saint Nick
I won't even stay awake to
Hear those magic reindeer click
'Cause I just want you here tonight
Holding onto me so tight
What more can I do
Oh baby, all I want for Christmas is you

The cheeky line where I held the mistletoe above my head, and the later, "Holding onto me so tight," where I snuggly wrapped my arms around me had the audience in stitches. I was really enjoying myself at this stage, and the reaction on the third-most powerful end-of-verse Mariahquake of the act was as unforgettable for me as I'm sure it was for them.

"Oh-ho, all the lights are shining
So brightly everywhere
And the sound of children's laughter
Fills the air
And everyone is singing
I hear those sleigh bells ringing
Santa won't bring me the one I really need
Won't you please bring my baby to me
Oh yeah"

The act reached its climax in the second-last verse, with the most powerful Mariahquake reaching its crescendo in the final lines. Amazingly, the audience had responded to my arm waving cue on, "And everyone is singing," and had started swaying from left to right, waving their arms in the air. It was fantastic, and I was kind of sad to have to break into the final verse...

"Oh, I don't want a lot for Christmas
This is all I'm asking for
I just want to see my baby
Standing right outside my door
Oh, I just want him for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
Baby, all I want for Christmas is you

Oh, and what a verse it was. It was a wind down to finish the song, but even it holds a lot of power. The audience started appluading enthusiastically, even before I got to the final 'you'. As the song faded, I mimed the word "thankyou" and took a bow, letting my hair dangle to the floor for a few seconds. As I left the stage, my belt finally broke, and I was forced to tie it up as I made my way back to my seat, though a maze of personal congratulations from the audience members.

The rest of the acts were rather more serious than my effort, although many made attempts at injecting some humour. However, judging by the much less hearty laughter from the audience, they weren't able to amuse nearly as strongly as I had. I smiled to myself, content in the knowledge that I had completely stolen the show.

Next part...

Exit: Always Be My Baby; Kasoft Typesetting; Archer

This work is a part of the Kasoft Typesetting storybook Always Be My Baby

Kasoft is a registered trademark of Kasoft Software, owned by Kade Hansson.

Copyright 1996-2012 Kade "Archer" Hansson; e-mail:

Third Impression (September 2012)