If you haven’t caught wind of reality TV’s Jersey obsession, you’ve been living under a rock. First, it was MTV with True Life: I’m From the Jersey Shore, which then gave birth to their celebrated series, The Jersey Shore starring one of the most memorable casts since Ocean’s 11, 12 and 13. It was clear that people loved watching the loud and proud folks of Jersey live their lives. So here comes Jerseylicious–the latest Jersey reality addiction. We all watched this season as The Gatsby Salon went through a renovation and its owner, Gayle hired a brand new staff, complete with two rivals–Olivia and Tracy. You’ve probably already fallen in love with one of them, Olivia the dark horse of cosmetics. The other, Tracy, with her triple-teased tresses and high-flying insults; you probably hate. The show painted Tracy a villain, a bitch, a thorn in Olivia’s side, but we decided to get to know The Gatsby’s resident bad girl. Tracy opens up about who she is outside of Jerseylicious, why she’s never going to get along with Olivia and where she wants her career to go.
The Jersey style-big hair, animal prints, heavy makeup and tanning. How do you feel about your style and how it translates?
[laughs] A lot of people hate it, but I’ve always stayed doing it because I like it and I’m not trying to dress and impress everyone else. I dress to make myself happy. If they don’t like it, that’s not my problem. My bedroom is pink and zebra. I have another house in the Poconos and everything is leopard. I just can’t get away from it and I think I won’t ever stop. It’s funny because I’m about to leave the house–and people always tell you before you leave the house to take one piece of jewelry off. Before I leave the house, I put more on. Or I will switch a black coat with a leopard coat. It’s just that little something extra that pushes you over the edge and you stand out more. If you don’t stand out, then you have nothing to stand for and you’re going to fall into the crowd and get lost.
How did you get involved with Jerseylicious?
Olivia and I were the first two casted for it. We were doing this for over two years. They’ve been doing casting for a year and a half. They found Olivia at a club and they asked her who she didn’t like or get along with. My name came up and they found me on Facebook. They loved me and wanted me. At first, I wasn’t going to do it, because I was like, “Why would I want my life for the world to see?” They were focused on getting me. The producer was constantly calling me, so after a while, I was like, “Whatever. I guess I’ll try it and see.” Then, they held auditions. From the pilot days, it was always me and Olivia. That’s why, I think the show revolves around us.
You and Olivia–what is all of that about? Is the drama real?
I just don’t like the person she is.
What kind of feedback have you been getting about your bitchy role in the show?
I have been getting a lot of nasty things. I always respond to fan mail, even if it is a tiny conversation or a full blown one. I know that’s something Olivia doesn’t do. She doesn’t interact with them. They always ask me how much I have so much to say and Olivia never responds. I interact with people so they know I care about them and they care about me. I don’t think I’m too big or important. I am very busy. I don’t stop ever. I still take an hour out of my day, each day to write back to everybody. I think it’s very important.
Do you feel like people misconceive you?
Most definitely. I am misunderstood. I’m willing to take that because people think that I have Olivia’s sloppy seconds and little do they know, she did the same thing to me during filming, but it wasn’t mentioned. My ex-boyfriend is a scumbag and I’d rather him not get any recognition and me having to take the rap of the villain than him getting any attention. I don’t think he deserves it.
If I may be honest with you–on the show, it comes off as you as the bitchy one that always goes at Olivia.
That’s how editing is. That’s what it is. They film me for three months, they’re going to get those [bad] things that I say. She does the same thing and what they don’t use is the bad things that she says. They use what I say. They use three months of filming and all they take from non-stop twelve hour filming is 45 minutes a week.
Who is Tracy, the one that we don’t get to see on Jerseylicious?
Well, I’m very responsible. When it comes to being on time, I’m always on time–usually a half hour early because I feel like other peoples’ time matters. If they’re taking time out of their day to meet with me or to do an event or whatever they have to do, then I should be respectful and on time. I am always worried about other people. On the show, you can see it–I was there when Anthony needed a favor, when Gigi needs to talk, when anyone needed me to do anything. I’m very family-oriented. There’s 15–cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents– of us and my family lives on the same street. I’m always out with them. If not with them, then I am with my friends. We have a pool so in the summer we all hang out there together. I have four or five best friends who I am always with. I spend every waking moment with my best friends. We go to lunch all the time. It’s just the little things we do to get away from everyone else, the drama and Jerseylicious. We’ll take trips to Miami, or down to the shore for the day. Anything that’s fun, we’re going to do. We like to laugh.
What do you feel are your bad qualities?
I’m a Scorpio. [laughs] That’s an easy way to start that off. I have harsh qualities that I was born with. I’m very revengeful, spiteful, vindictive when I have to be, I’m very protective–those are all Scorpio’s worst traits and they come out the most in me when I feel like I’m being attacked. I am also the friendliest person. My friends value my friendship so much because they’ve seen how it is not to be my friend and they never want to be there. [laughs] I’ll protect them with my life. I will do anything for my friends and family, but once you cross me, that’s it, I’ll never waste my time on you again.
You’re very ambitious. We saw a little in the show when you were building your portfolio. Have you always been ambitious in that way?
Yeah, my mom always say when Tracy wants to do something, Tracy’s going to get it done. If there is something that I really want, I go for it and make sure it happens. There hasn’t been a time where I’ve failed at something I wanted to do.
Your dream goes beyond Jerseylicious, what do you do to get you to your dream and what’s your journey been like thus far?
Like you saw on the show, I really want to do hair for runway. That’s my ultimate dream. How much can I do a regular blowout? [laughs] I want to do crazy, out of the box, unique hair–things people would never think of. I want to make crazy inventions with hair. People have so many out of the box styles. I watch runway shows day after day. Alexander McQueen was one of my favorites because he didn’t care. Lady Gaga was his muse because she didn’t care what other people had to say, she was going to be her. I love that because I’m the same way. I’m not crazy, over-the-top dressing, but I still have my own style and I don’t care what anyone has to say about it. Betsey Johnson too. She’s so crazy and it would be so much fun to do hair for her. That wouldn’t be a job for me, it would be a dream, a pleasure. I’d do it for free. [laughs]
What do you feel you’re doing to get you there?
That’s what I’ve been working on, on the show–getting my portfolio together and showing that I can do a variation of all different things. I want to work on even more fashion shows. I want to run my own company that strictly does runway hair. I used to go to FIT and I was a designer. I can draw and do all of that. I have designs for clothes in my head and I always thought that was what I wanted to do. Obviously now I am taking a different path to the runway.
What kind of words do have to say to people who want to follow in your footsteps?
I think that if you have any type of dream, you should go for it because if you reach for the stars, even if you fall, you land among the clouds. You’re still trying. Even if you take three steps forward and six back, you’re still making progress. I don’t give up until I get what I want. I’m not going to stop until I get it. Even if it’s a version of what I want–I have really high goals, so even if I don’t make it, I am still proud of myself.
What do you want people to know about Tracy DiMarco?
That even though I may look like a bitch or come off sounding like a bitch, I’m really a nice person. Nine times out of ten, I’m more nervous about meeting you than you meeting me! When the show first came out, everyone would come up to me, excited to meet me. Now, they don’t do that anymore. It sucks because I’m such a good person and I am excited to meet people who know me from the show. I love being in my town and seeing people that recognize me. I will never leave my town. I live in East Hanover and everyone says hi and they are really friendly. I’m like that. I will always ask how you’re doing, how are you; I’m a genuinely caring person.
Is there anything you feel you didn’t get to talk about and you wanted to make sure people knew…
I hope everyone liked the show. I hope everyone goes for their dreams and sets their minds on their goals. Never give up because it’s hard to get started or get your feet off the ground. You have to keep going and never give up.