Arts & Culture News

What A Way to Make A Livin': DeGarmo On Stage Boobs, Theater Bats and Dolly Parton

Birmingham, Alabama native Diana Nicole DeGarmo (23), went from Idol to playing one of her idols. At the age of 16, DeGarmo not only won a spot on American Idol, but also made it into the final two. She didn't win the competition -- Fantasia Barrino was the winner that season -- but since then, DeGarmo has managed to win the role of Doralee Rhodes (played by Dolly Parton in the original film version) in the touring production of 9 to 5: The Musical.

Were you one of those kids who came out of the womb singing and dancing? I was definitely one of those. My mom called me a hambone growing up. I've always liked to sing and make people laugh. I did Annie and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (longest musical title in history) when I was a kid.

I grew up in Atlanta so we have the Fox Theater. There was all kinds of stuff for kids there. I really thought of myself as a singer more than anything and thought I would be a recording artist one day. It was all performing though, musical theater, recording artist, whatever.

Then I did Idol, which takes you from zero to hero. I had every intention of going to college and whatever. But I was already doing what I loved. I was afraid I wouldn't be good at it, But I was. And I've auditioned for every show I've gotten except one. So I've worked as hard as anyone else. It's my own version of school. I call it the school of life.

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Jenny Block