An ex-military policewoman is fulfilling her ‘Fantasy’ and raking in over £1,500 an hour for impersonating her idol Mariah Carey – after more than 4,000 fans subscribed to her YouTube channel to see her lip-sync to the diva’s hits.
Now Jessie Castro, 39, of Orlando, Florida, USA – who has appeared in a documentary and on US talk shows after her lookalike videos went viral – is preparing for a full-on festive season, when she will come into her own lip- syncing to the singer’s Yuletide classic, All I Want For Christmas Is You.
And with multi-Grammy award winning Mariah turning 50 this year, launching a new book this month and releasing an album in October, mum-of-one Jessie is anticipating a lucrative few months ahead – even though her performing work is just a ‘side hustle’ to her current job as a college administrator at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida.
She said: ““I can’t say there’s an average amount I make each year because I can go for months without doing gigs, but it must be in excess of $20,000 (£15,640) annually, if I do a gig every three months and two a week at Christmas.”
It was after a video call with the world number one Madonna impersonator, Chris America, following a lookalike convention in 2015 that Jessie, who has a son, Arian, 12 – having noticed a surge in people saying she looked like Mariah after her album, Butterfly, went multi-platinum in 1997 – started to develop her career.
She said: “I had met Chris America over video call and she became kind of a mentor to me. She was amazing. She is a star among lookalikes.”