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The Glee Project Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

This is an interview with guest mentor Dot Marie Jones on June 23, 2011 about the show The Glee Project.

Question:
What exactly did you do as the guest mentor on this episode?

Dot Marie Jones:
I got to see the kids perform a song, as they do every week, where they come in and each kid will sing a song. I just give them tips on their performance and inspire them to make changes and to be themselves. And then I pick one of the kids to mentor for that episode. I don't even know how to explain it. It was so amazing to work with these kids. It was like I wanted to mentor them all.

Question:
Did anything happen that was just completely unexpected or surprising during all this?

Dot Marie Jones:
Yes, but I don't know if I should even tell you. It's something you have to see in Sunday's episode because it surprised me as well and I'm sure it will surprise some other folks.

Question:
Could you share with us some of the advice that you gave to the kids on the show this week?

Dot Marie Jones:
I believe I can say something that I've always said to my several nieces and nephews. I've spoken at a lot of their schools and one of the things that I've told the kids is you were given something. For me it's always because I'm so big and there are kids out there that don't like how tall they are or how short they are or some of them are a little chubby and I fit all of these categories at one point in my life. And it's like we were given this body for a reason, it's up to us to figure out what to do with it.

Question:
What was the most rewarding part about doing this show for you?

Dot Marie Jones:
I was just so honored to be a mentor for these kids, that to me was rewarding. To be in the third episode where there still so many kids there was amazing. And the whole process was a reward.

Question:
With these roles and being on Glee, which has made such an impact on pop culture, what has that experience been like for you?

Dot Marie Jones:
I feel like I was the kid that won the prize because I started out in criminology. I worked juvenile probation for four-and-a-half years before I got into acting and I am so lucky and so blessed and I know that. And I know that there's 5,000 women who would take this spot in a minute and 5,000 behind them. I've been in the business 20 years and everyday I wake up and I can't believe I get to do this, not that I do this but that I get to do this. And to me that's, like, the hugest thing for me. I still can't believe I get to do this.

Question:
What lessons do you think that contestants can learn even if they don't win? And what doors do you think that can be opened for them just from having participated on The Glee Project?

Dot Marie Jones:
I think absolutely they'll learn the ability to accept yourself as who you are and who you were born as and try not to fit what other people think you should be but what you in your heart of hearts believe you should be and just be who you are and don't let what other people say or think that somebody said, don't let that impact who you are because you've got to be true to yourself to be true to anybody else.

Question:
Do you see any comparisons between the work ethic involved in being an athlete and the work ethic involved in being in show business?

Dot Marie Jones:
Absolutely, I still get butterflies after 20 years in this business. I still get butterflies even before I go into an audition or if I'm working on a show, everyday when I go to work I still get butterflies. And one of the things when I was competing in arm wrestling I would get ready for the world championships or even if it was just a little local arm wrestling tournament, I would get these butterflies where I would live on antacids for weeks before the tournament because my stomach was such a mess.

And I always said that if I didn't get that feeling then I was done. And so that's one thing that I've honestly carried over that I still feel. And I love that feeling even though it's, like, when you go over a bump in a car on the road and you get those, like, butterflies in your stomach. That's one of the things that I've carried over as well as determination.

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