A GoPride Interview

Jason Dottley

Jason Dottley: Last week I was the number-two break out on Billboard, which was kind of cool because Madonna was number four.

Wed. March 21, 2012  by Windy City Times

Last week I was the number-two break out on Billboard, which was kind of cool because Madonna was number four.
Jason Dottley

Jason Dottley of ‘Sordid Lives’ on Del Shores and meeting Madonna

Openly gay performer Jason Dottley is bringing his "XXX: My First 30 Years" act to Hamburger Marys in Andersonville. The Sordid Lives actor is bringing his costar from the series Allison Tolman, who played Tink, along with him for the ride.

Jason has been delivering Top 20 Billboard dance songs such as "Hit Play" and "Pop It." He has also been with the national tour of Southern Baptist Sissies.

Dottley talked about his visit to Chicago and what life has been like for him recently.

WCT: (Windy City Times/Jerry Nunn) Hi, Jason. Tell me about your background and where you grew up.

JD: (Jason Dottley) I am from Mississippi. I studied pop culture and that is what I have my non-legitimate degree in. I went to college for about six months and then I left to move to Los Angeles. I knew what I wanted to do was in entertainment. The plan B that I was told to have was a way of telling myself that I wasn't going to make it so I refused to have one.

WCT: You were in a gay/straight alliance [GSA] in 11th grade, so you came out very young.

JD: I was. My mom remarried and we moved from Mississippi to Florida. My third day there I asked about auditions at the community theatre, it was for Hello, Dolly! After being cast and being around this crew they gave me the strength to come out my first month there. I came out with a vengeance. I bought a whole new wardrobe. I had platforms with a big heel. I was about as gay as a goose! There was something about coming out so loudly that all the teasing I faced in Mississippi went away. I was in the A clique and I think it was because of how unashamed I was. I think that was the key part of keeping bullies at bay. I think bullies look for people that are weak and vulnerable.

WCT: Is that alliance still going on there today?

JD: I hope there is no need for it now. I graduated 12 years ago so that was pretty progressive for the late ‘90s. Maybe now there is no need for one.

WCT: You have a new single out called "Pop It," correct?

JD: Yes, it is called "Pop It." Last week I was the number-two break out on Billboard, which was kind of cool because Madonna was number four. She is my idol and my icon. She will fly right past me on the charts but for one moment in time I actually landed on the chart higher than Madonna. I printed out the screen shot. It is on my wall. I might get it tattooed on my body.

My new record is out and it is silly, funny, and I love it.

WCT: You have met Madonna, right?

JD: I have. It was at the release party of Music. It was in the heart of L.A. in the ghetto at her favorite club, called Catch One. They spent 2 million dollars on the party. Hugh Hefner, Gwen Stefani and Sheryl Crow were all there. [Madonna] had at least 10 bodyguards around her at all times. She danced two songs on the dance floor and her ice-blue eyes caught mine. I did say "hi" to her and I nearly came in my pants. It was the greatest moment of my life.

WCT: That was your Madonna moment. How did you audition for Sordid Lives in the first place?

JD: I was married to Del Shores, who created Sordid Lives. He was launching one of his plays called Southern Baptist Sissies and I wanted to audition for the lead in that one called Mark. Del was blunt and told me that I was not ready yet. Two months later, he asked me to read the role of Ty. This was when it was just a movie playing Palm Springs.

I read it and wound up producing the revival of the play in L.A. I auditioned for the role and being married to the playwright gave me an unfair advantage that was undeniable. We ran for nine months and I got fantastic reviews there. We then went on tour and played two thousand seat theatres all over the country. The producers saw the show in Dallas and when it became a television show they remembered me in the role.

WCT: Have you spoken to Leslie Jordan recently?

JD: No; I haven't spoken to many people from the Sordid Lives camp since my divorce. We were a tight-knit family and most of them went back with Del for about 20 years, so they are going to stick with him. I spoke with Leslie about six months ago, though.

WCT: What will the show be like—comedy or singing?

JD: No, I am not singing at all. It will be a funnier version of my show than usual because I have less time in Chicago then in other venues. It is usually a mixture of drama and comedy but this show will be more of the comedic highlights. I talk about growing up gay in the South and the massive dichotomy of living gay in Hollywood. They are polar opposites of an experience.

Also, I talk about dating now. When I grew up there was no Grindr or Facebook. All this technology has erupted now. I have a cybercrush on someone and it is very invasive to see what they are doing all the time. Dating is so weird now!

Dottley will perform at Mary's Attic, 5400 N. Clark St., on Friday, March 23, at 8 p.m. Check CalendarQ for more information.

Interviewed by Windy City Times


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