It’s no secret that I am a HUGE fan of the TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race. I’ve seen every season at least 3 or 4 times. And seeing as RuPaul recently won the Emmy for Outstanding Host of a Reality Series, I thought this post seemed quite appropriate.
For those of you who aren’t yet familiar with the premise: every year, some of the world’s most talented drag artists compete for the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar.
This is the Olympics of their craft. Sort of like the Apprentice, but with more wig adhesive and fewer warehouses in East London.
I’ve learned some valuable lessons watching the show. And here are my favourite 5:
“COME PREPARED FOR THE SEWING CHALLENGES”
In every season of Drag Race there’s always one queen who shows without knowing how to sew. And every season there are several sewing challenges.
Inevitably, either someone helps her or she ends up sticking fabric onto her bare flesh with hot-glue. But surely it would have been easier if she’d bought a cheap sewing machine on Ebay beforehand and gotten some of the basics down first, before applying? It’s Drag Race. You know there’s going to be a decent amount of sewing challenges.
So, no matter what – do your homework. Learn what’s expected of you. And come prepared, because that preparation pays off.
Oh, and never hot-glue sequins onto your torso. Because… ouch.
“SHOW YOUR VERSATILITY”
If you always show up in a kaftan, you’ll be forever known as that queen with all the kaftans.
So change it up once in a while. Show your full range and put yourself out there as a multi-talented performer.
Now prance, queen, prance.
“BE LARGE AND IN CHARGE”
If you are ever struggling to channel your inner Strong Confident Woman, take inspiration from Drag Race royalty: Latrice Royale. Her unique brand of confidence and strength of character won the hearts of RPDR fans everywhere – and it set her apart from her competition.
Exude confidence, and others will feel confident in you.
Remind yourself that you are large and in charge; chunky yet funky. And get up, look sick’ning and make them eat it.
“CHECK THAT YOUR IDEAS TRANSLATE”
It’s easy to get carried away with an idea, especially if it sounds great in your head. But if you then explain it and people still aren’t getting it, you might want to go back to the drawing board.
Seek feedback from people you trust.
Because, like Kelly Mantle, what you think looks like flower petals might actually look more like slices of bacon to an outsider.
“LEARN FROM THOSE WHO INSPIRE YOU”
The queens who go far in the competition all take inspiration from the people around them and use it to strengthen their performance.
Look around you.
Seek out some truly brilliant and talented people and spend time with them. Learn as much as you can.
Because even the most seasoned queens need a mentor.