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Alone Time

In the '80s, proto-teen idol Tiffany Darwish broke ground for wads of bubblegum-poppers. In 2002, the ginger-locked songstress also fulfilled many a John Hughes-era fantasy in Hugh Hefner's periodical. Tiffany has grown up and changed direction in an effort to prove once and for all that unlike her many progeny, she really can sing and write -- oh, and that the carpet does indeed match the drapes.

Westword: Do you think your success paved the way for Britney, Christina and Jessica, or do we blame it all on the Mouseketeers and Annette Funicello?

Tiffany: I think there are always going to be young celebrity figures. Their transitions into adulthood were made a little easier, based on the times and what was available and by looking at people like myself and Deborah Gibson and even New Kids on the Block. I was dating Jonathan from New Kids, and that wouldn't work at that time. We had to keep our relationship under wraps. That's one of the things that split up our relationship. It works best for the artist if you are single and alluring and are that fantasy.

Did you advise Deborah Gibson not to pose nude in Playboy?

I don't know where everyone got that. We had a conversation when I posed for Playboy, and she said, "I was really worried about you, and I'm not sure that was the right move to make." But I loved doing it. I was treated like a princess. I was working the Color of Silence album and got great reviews, but people were going, "That's so weird; she's the fifteen-year-old mall girl." So I thought, "This will definitely break the image." It's very drastic, and what an honor to be asked. It made me feel sexy and attractive and alive. When Deborah did hers, I called her and said, "Hey, girl, you look really hot!"

The last time we heard, she toured with the Circle Jerks.

She did. I think she did some TV appearances with them as well. We both do things that interest us. I collaborate with underground techno groups like Second Sun on Paul Van Dyke's label.

You don't feel the need to counter with the Dead Kennedys?

Well I haven't been asked, but I wouldn't say no, per se.

Have you been approached by any reality shows?

The Surreal Life, a few years ago; I turned it down. There's really no good scoop. I've worked hard not to have any drama. I've got kind of a tainted personality. I have a very sick sense of humor. That would probably be interesting to watch, but other than that...

You won't fight Samantha Fox on Celebrity Boxing?

You know, I don't know. I used to do shows with her a long time ago. I didn't know she was doing Celebrity Boxing.

I don't know that she is, but if you were asked?

I want to do credible work. As far as the TV thing, I'd like to get back into the acting side of things. Cameo appearances, sitcoms, but I don't take myself as a serious actress. As far as guest appearances or spoof shows, if it sounds right, I'll be a part of it.

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Rick Skidmore