Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

She Doesn't Mind Doing it for the Kids 

So Kylie Minogue has taken time out from her busy schedule of recovering from cancer and has written a children's book to selflessly try and entertain the kids of the world, and if she just so happens to make a few bob out of it thanks to her large fanbase who would buy a plastic carrier bag if it happened to have a Kylie logo on it, then, well, that's just a bonus. It's to be called Showgirl Princess and deals with a young girl who always dreamed of being a popstar and one day gets to live out her fantasy. Despite the obvious similarities, however, Kylie is at pains to stress that it's not autobiographical and is just a bit of fun for wannabe princesses everywhere. But Kylie's not the only member of the Minogue clan to display a literary bent; sister Dannii has also written her own kids book and, like her sibling, it's not autobiographical in any way shape or form and will be released under the title The Less Successful Princess Who In No Way Hangs on to Her Sister's Coattails.

Some of you may well be intrigued by the prospect of this gem which will surely be troubling the Booker Prize Judges when the shortlist gets drawn up, well fear not! You don't need to make your way to your local bookstore as here at Talent in a Previous Life we have exclusive access to the first draft of the book and we proudly republish it for your enjoyment below:-

The Less Successful Princess Who In No Way Hangs on to Her Sister's Coattails
by Dannii Minogue, aged 34 30 27

Once upon a time there was a girl called Dannii who always lived life in the dark. It wasn't because the sun never shone, or because she didn't go outside, or even because she lived in Australia, where the seasons are all back to front and upside down and topsy turvey and the sun comes out at night then goes away in the daytime. No, it was because she was always living in the shadow of her sister, Kylie.

The shadow cast its long, cold, dark shape over everything Dannii did and the only reason she struggled to succeed was because its constrictive nature made it hard for her to shine and not because she was less talented than her sister at all. Oh, no. If anything her sister was jealous of Dannii: "Oh Dannii, how I wish I had your lifestyle", Kylie would sigh, in an Australian accent, as she sashayed around the room in a pair of sparkly hotpants, "I mean, I can't go anywhere without being mobbed by fans, all desperate to talk to me for even five seconds, something which, while meaningless to me, will be the highlight of their pitiful existence, while you, you can go anywhere, do anything, say anything and no-one will even bat an eyelid, let alone notice you're there. It must be so easy for you."

Dannii wouldn't respond, knowing that the only reason she didn't get noticed was because it was so dark in the shadow that the only way she'd be seen would be if someone shone a torch in her general direction, but it did get to her. It was so unfair that everyone thought of her just as a bandwagon jumper, cashing in on her sister's fame, merely because she was a bandwagon jumper who was cashing in on her sister's fame. "I must do something about it", she said to no-one in particular, "It's time people knew who the real talent in the Minogue family was", and with a flash and a crash, she summoned up her Fairy Godfather.

"Cough, cough and sneeze", said the head of A&R at AATW, her Fairy Godmother, as he waved away the smoke which heralded his arrival. "What can I do for you, Dannii? I've already told you, the market's not ready for an artist of your, uh, stature at the moment. The bargain bins are still piled high with copies of your last single and there's no room for any more."

"Tell me who the most talented member of the Minogue family is", said Dannii, petulantly.

"Well, it's Kylie, isn't it", said her Fairy Godmother flippantly, as he checked the text messages on his phone, "Who else would it be?"

"No!" screamed Dannii, "This is my fairy story and I want to hear a different answer"

"A different answer?", mused the A&R man, "Umm, do you have any brothers?"

Pissed off at this point Dannii punched the A&R man and flounced out, her sister's shadow following behind like a love sick puppy, albeit one determined to ruin the object of its affections career in any way possible.

As Dannii grumpily walked down the street, the dark shadow following her mirrored her mood, she began to formulate a plan. The only way she could prove she wasn't a leech clinging on to her sister's success like a drowning sailor clings onto a life jacket was to escape from the shadow which eclipsed her true talent. But how could one escape a shadow? On the face of it it seemed an impossible task, but then she suddenly had a brainwave! Phone Cliff Richard! He used to have to deal with The Shadows before managing to get rid of them and setting off on his own road to solo stardom! And he possesses more street cred than Dannii did so he might be able to help her with that side of things too. It was a brilliant plan and, as she bounced over to the nearest phonebox to make a call, she resolved then and there that she would never need to use her sister's name to achieve anything ever again

"Hello, operator? Put me through to Cliff Richard in England, please"

"That's a long distance call", crackled the voice at the other end of the line, "How are you planning on paying for it?"

Dannii thought about the rather large unpaid credit card bill which was lurking in her To Do pile, "Uhh, can you charge it to my sister's account please? That's Kylie Minogue, K-Y-L..."

* * * * *

Cliff Richard was busy playing tennis with a young lad who was wanting to make it in the music industry. This, we should stress, isn't a euphemism for anything and we have no wish to indulge in idle and libelous speculation about Cliff's sexuality. All they were doing were playing tennis in the normal, Wimbledon approved fashion and the only reason they were playing it as naked as the day they were born was because it was very hot and Cliff didn't want them to get their tennis whites all sweaty and dirty.

The young lad collapsed, tired. "New balls, please", cried Cliff as he wiped himself down with a towel, "This one's all used up". Before a flunky could deal with this request, a butler came up to Cliff with a telephone upon a silver platter. "It's for you, sir", he drawled in a typical butler's accent, "A young lady from the colonies" - the disgust in his voice was audible - "She says she wants some advice about shadows".

"The Shadows?", said Cliff, questioningly, "Those bastards? Oh well, let me speak to her". He picked up the phone and put it to his ear. "Hello?"

"Hi!", answered Dannii, excitedly, back in Australia, "I'm Dannii Minogue". There was a pause at Dannii's end of the conversation. "Yes, that's right", she said, tersely, "Kylie's sister. I'm just wanting to know how to get rid of a shadow which looms large over your career, colouring everything you say and do with darkness".

"Fuck knows", said Cliff, characteristically foul mouthed, "I got rid of mine by letting them have a number one single by themselves, then they couldn't wait to bugger off and do their own thing. Maybe you should let your shadow have one as well."

Dannii thought about the vast pantheon of number ones and top ten hits which made up Kylie's chart contribution and compared it with her own, somewhat more paltry selection. "Uh, I'm not sure that's such a good idea", she said, hesitantly.

"Oh well, I'm out of options then", said Cliff, eager to get back to his tennis, "Just hope she gets ill or something like that, then, then you'll be able to step in and take on her mantle. Bye!"

"But, but...", stammered Dannii, but the line was dead, Cliff had gone, returned to his in no way unusual game of naked tennis.

* * * * *

Of course, Dannii would never wish ill health upon her sister, but if such a thing was to happen then she'd be a fool not to take advantage of it, or at least her record company certainly would be, and so it was that when a malaise struck Kylie, Dannii found herself doing the chat show circuits promoting her latest single in which she wasn't just a frontperson for a bit of otherwise faceless dance. No, definitely not. As she prepared to go out to meet her first interviewer she allowed herself a little smile and enjoyed for a moment the light which enveloped her, such a change from the darkness she'd been used to. Now was her chance to shine, a chance to show the world that she was the Minogue they'd all been waiting for, the one they would truly love. Never again would she ever hear the name Kylie uttered in her presence, she was the star now, and she was going to make the most of her moment...

The theme tune finished, the introduction was made and Dannii stepped out to a warm round of applause from the audience. She settled down on the sofa, greeted the host and waited for her first question. "So, Dannii", he smiled, "We're glad you're here as there's a question we're all dying to know the answer to". Dannii grinned inwardly and wondered what she was about to be asked, maybe it was about her musical influences, perhaps it was for her insight into world politics, maybe it was just to ask why she had a boy's name. Whatever the question was, she could care less, just as long as it was about her. "What we've all been wondering", continued the host, "Is how is your sister, Kylie, doing in hospital. We've all been very worried about her, haven't we audience?"

Dannii screamed silently as a black cloud came from nowhere and her sister's shadow once again enveloped her. As she struggled to stamp her own personality on the interview all she could hear was what sounded like the mocking laughter of the audience and the distinctive voice of her sister rhythmically intoning, "you'll never escape, you'll never escape, you'll never escape..."

Hmmm. Publishers are confident that it'll sell reasonably well, though not as well as her sister's book, obviously