This may be an old urban myth, but is it true you once competed in a drag queen Dolly Parton look-a-like contest?
That’s the truth. It was at a gay club in Los Angeles. I lived in this little apartment right up the street from Santa Monica Blvd, right near the gay strip. At one particular club, they had a Halloween costume competition, and people would go dressed as Cher or me or whoever. We saw a whole bunch of Dollys walking around outside the club. So I told my friends, “Let’s go check it out.”
You weren’t afraid of being recognized?
Oh no. It was Halloween, so we just over-exaggerated ourselves. I made my hair bigger, gave myself darker, thicker, more ridiculous makeup, and bigger lips. We walked in, ordered a drink, and watched the show. Then they started the competition, and all the drag queens dressed like me were walking across the stage, to be judged by audience applause who was the best Dolly. I just wanted to watch, but my friends convinced me to get up there. They said, “Go. Go, go, do it.” And I whispered, “Okay, fine.” I jumped onstage and joined the line of Dollys.
Nobody realized you were the real Dolly Parton?
Nobody even knew. Cause I was over-exaggerated. I looked like a clown version of myself. Maybe I went too far, because I lost.
You lost a Dolly Parton look-a-like contest?
I did, yeah. [Laughs.] I got the least applause of anybody. Of course, my friends were cracking up.
How is that possible?
I guess there were some other Dolly Partons who looked more like Dolly Parton than I did. [Laughs.] They were good, I’ll give them that. But when you’re Dolly Parton and you lose a Dolly Parton look-a-like contest, that’s pretty bad.