By Jon Konjoyan
When legendary Hollywood Car Customizer George Barris first met Kassandra Carroll, something clicked. The Toluca Lake-based mastermind of the Batmobile and the Munster Coach, Barris has known many stars, including Marilyn Monroe wannabes. “You do have her [Marilyn’s] energy,” he told Kassandra, a 30-something native of Dublin, Ireland now living in Los Angeles. “You have her aura,” he confided to the actress /singer. “I’ve seen a lot of impersonators, but you could be a tribute to Marilyn.”
From that moment on, Kassandra Carroll’s calling was established. “I love the fact that I’m presenting a tribute and not acting as an impersonator,” she explains. “I respectfully honor her legacy — I don’t just mimic it.”
Next month, on the anniversary of Marilyn’s 88th birthday, Kassandra will be part of the star-studded “Marilyn Remembered” Fan Club Celebration June 6 in Hollywood. Guests will be treated to a very special viewing of unpublished photographs of the icon — “Marilyn: The Lost Photos of a Hollywood Star.”Kassandra will be stylishly dressed for the occasion in a custom-made replica of the famed “Birthday Dress” (complete with 10,000 Swarovski crystals) that Marilyn wore when she sang “Happy Birthday” to President Kennedy in 1962.
On a more substantive note — and a musical one — recording is also on Kassandra’s to-do list in June. “I am having new arrangements written of Marilyn Monroe songs that I will record. These and other songs will set me apart and allow me to be taken seriously in the music business.”
She has been working with renowned vocal coach Lynn Fanelli and just added composer/arranger Charlie Ferguson (Charlie Ferguson and his Jazz Revue 12tet). “I am very honored to be working with this creative young talent who is a genius and an old soul,” says Kassandra of Ferguson. “Together we will record and eventually perform what I believe Marilyn herself would have loved to do but never got the chance to, taking my tribute to a new level.”
Tunes will include “I’m Gonna File My Claim” from River of No Return and Irving Berlin’s “After You Get What You Want You Don’t Want It” from There’s No Business Like Show Business.
For more information or to book Ms. Carroll, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find her on Twitter: @KassandraCarro2 and Facebook at facebook.com/KassandraCarrollAsMarilynMonroe.