Vancie Vega, a transgender entertainer who’s been in show business since she was 15, has had a long and unconventional history as a performer. Former beauty queen, former Miss Texas, and former Miss Continental Elite, she honed her unique impersonator talent in Las Vegas as the first Madonna impersonator and is now highly coveted for her incredible Dolly Parton impersonation.
Vancie found her escape from a disruptive home life in drag. Spending years as a child performing plays for her family and, like many other performers, aching to be on stage, she has built a three-decades long career based on passion and drive. But as much as drag may have saved her, she considers herself more an actor than a drag queen.
For Vancie, performing brings joy to people. A basic, simple truth that makes what she does so important. But as drag becomes more mainstream, she describes what makes drag so important now as well.
Vancie admits that her Dolly Parton impersonation is the closest some of her audience will ever get to seeing Dolly in person. “I do it with honor,” she said. “Because it gives people an opportunity to do something they would never have a chance to do.”
“I have the Parton family and friends approval and I’m Facebook friends with many of the Parton family members,” she said. “I'm really really, really lucky and very fortunate to have the approval of her family and very close confidants. Which means I have her approval.” Vancie’s Dolly Parton impersonator performance keeps her busy.
“It's important when we do shows that we put our best foot forward. For instance, if there's going to be media, don't come out half naked, being sexual onstage—represent a whole life, not just one facet of it. We want people to think the best of us and come back for more. Then we hit them with the avant garde,” she said.