Real Life: "I Spent Dhs360,000 to Look Like Lady Gaga"
It all started when she saw a Lady Gaga impersonator and thought she could do better. Now former barmaid Donna Trego performs all over the world as her pop queen idol – and she’s spent a fortune in the process. “I was watching a tribute act and thought, ‘I could do better’, but I was worried what my husband Nigel would say,” she explains. “Then the next thing I knew, he came running through the crowd and shouted that I should be a Gaga tribute. We slept on it and booked a gig just one month away the next day.”
Keeping up Appearances
Donna wore six costumes for her first performance, most of which she’d made herself. The show was such a hit that she was signed to the UK’s Greenleaf Showbiz Agency, and she hasn’t looked back since. She now owns 40 outfits, including a bra that shoots sparks like the one Gaga wore on her Monster Ball tour. But she says she was surprised by just how hard it would be to keep up with the bonkers popstar’s looks, not to mention the horde of rival impersonators.
Crazy Copycat Competition
“I didn’t realise the time and effort I would need to dedicate to this to make it work,” Donna confesses. “There’s a lot of Gaga lookalikes and it’s really competitive. I could have put down a deposit on a nice house, but instead everything I earn goes back into my act. I’m a perfectionist – everything has to be a certain way. When I started I couldn’t have predicted how crazy it would become. [Gaga’s] constantly evolving and I have to keep up with that. It’s not like being an Elvis impersonator – he’s not going to release another song – but Gaga is always changing. I’m more than just a lookalike. I’m a tribute act and an impersonator.”
From hair and make-up to OTT outfits, Donna’s spent £60,000 (Dhs360,000) mimicking the zany Born This Way singer, even hiring backing dancers to recreate Gaga’s manic routines. She’s performed all over the world, from Bahrain to Germany, with Gaga’s fans often mistaking her for heir heroine, and she’s even won the ‘Goscar’ impersonators’ award for the authenticity of her act. “I think, the way I’ve done my show, you don’t even have to be a Gaga fan to enjoy it,” she says. “Every night goes down really well. I’m constantly watching how she evolves so I can get it right. It’s an amazing thing. She’s taken over my life. My house is full of costumes. There’s a bit of Gaga in every room.”