Another one of my lifelong dreams was to headline on the Las Vegas Strip. I remember I would drive by Las Vegas Blvd and see Celine Dion, Elton John and Mariah Carey up on Caesars Palace’s big video marquee. I could only imagine what it felt like to perform at the Colosseum night after night for 5,000 people. Well, sure enough, I got the opportunity to headline at Caesars palace in a show called The Cocktail Cabaret. But it was at Cleopatra’s barge, seats about 150, 160 if they take out the barge part. We were like the little sister to Celine Dion and Mariah Carey’s show. Fine, maybe like the new baby show. It might have been a smaller production but where we were tiny in size, we were mighty in artistry and reviews. I got to perform alongside 4 amazing virtuosos and we even shared some of Celine Dion’s band.
Anyway, when you get to be in a show at Caesars there are certain perks that come along. One was that I got to have my face on the large video marquee at Caesars palace in connection with the promotion of our show. The other, I get invited to coveted events like Mariah Carey’s return to the Colosseum and her after party, where Mariah Carey herself would make an appearance. Okay, I have a confession to make. I wasn’t actually invited to Mariah Carey’s show by Caesars. I was a plus one. But the point is, I went to see Mariah Carey and I went to her after party … after.
It was pretty surreal. It was at Mr Chow in this private room and there weren’t a lot of people there, maybe thirty and just a handful of press. Mariah Carey walks in and she was a … vision of love. Rumor has it, Mariah is known to show up late. But it just so happened this time, she was on time which caught everyone off guard. When she walked in, I think she anticipated that she would be bombarded with greetings and requests to take pictures, but everyone was so in awe of her, they just fell silent.
It was one of these crazy experiences where she did a little supermodel turn and her eyes landed right on me. I realized this was my chance to connect with my idol, Mariah Carey. I was going to tell her how much she meant to me. We locked eyes and I just blurted out, “OMG I love you. You had such a fabulous show tonight.” She took my hands and she said “Thank you darling. We are still working out the kinks but we will get there.” And she continued to hold my hands. To this day, I can’t remember if I dreamed the whole thing up or if it really happened that way. (Luckily someone caught video of the encounter which proved I wasn’t crazy. Or at least wasn't crazy this time.)
Realizing my moment with Mariah wasn’t up yet, I had to be quick on my feet. I had more to say, I just didn’t know what I was going to say. The nerves got the better of me and I blurted out the one thing you’re never supposed to say to Mariah Carey. “OMG I grew up listening to you!”
She gripped my hands even tighter and said “Oh honey, don’t ever say that.” I quickly attempted damage control, “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to say that. I just meant from the time I was a little girl you have always been my hero.” There it was again. Oh vey.
Then I explained that I was also a singer and I was in a show at Cleopatra’s barge, right next door to her in Caesars Palace. She looked at me for a second and then said, “I think I’ve seen you on the commercials.” And then I … died. Mariah Carey recognized me on the Caesars video marquee???!!!!! All I want for Christmas is to be on the marquee with Mariah Carey! And I was!
Okay, I have a confession, this picture was photoshopped. But not because I wasn’t on the marquee. Have you ever tried to capture a video on your cell phone from a video marquee? No? Just me? Well, anyway, I'll tell you, no matter what you do, the picture won’t come out. Believe me I tried and in the dead cold of the Vegas winter. I stood there waiting for the promo to come on over and over again while I tried to capture the shot. Each time, it wouldn’t come out on camera. It’s like the holy spirit. So anyway, this is what it would have looked like if you were out there in the cold, standing with me, like a stalker, trying to capture the split millisecond I was on a marquee with Mariah Carey.