This weekend, Trixie Mattel is bringing her brand of dead pan humor and wit to the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City. She's hosting their LGBTQ Pride Bingo night, that will also feature a special performance from "It's Raining Men" singer Martha Wash.
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But before she does so, we had an opportunity to chat with the All Stars 3 winner for 10 minutes. During our conversation, we dished about fan interaction (both online and in real life), gambling, Dolly Parton, and that RuPaul-Pearl drama that everybody seems to be talking about right now.
So, Atlantic City. Are you excited? Do you gamble?
No, I don't even, to be honest with you. I don't know what Atlantic City is. I didn't know where it was. I'm half Native American, so to me, gambling is silly because I've seen it from, you know, it's like the longest running joke on my people. My white half loves it. The Native American half is like a horror movie, "Girls, don't go in there! No!"
And you're performing with Martha Wash from the Weather Girls, right?
Yes, she's not gonna remember, but I actually did a pride event with her about five years ago. She came to Madison, Wisconsin, and she was singing "It's Raining Men" and it was outdoors and it started pouring, pouring sheets of rain when she started singing. It was insane. They handed her an umbrella and she stayed out there and sang the whole fucking song and the entire audience took off their shirts because it was raining. And so, she was singing "It's Raining Men," and it was like a hurricane, and it was like she made the rain happen. But I'm sure she won't remember me, you know, she's been doing drag so long, I'm sure that was like one day of a million for her.
What are you really sick and tired of right now?
Oh, God. How much time do you have? There's a lot of things I hate. I feel Twitter's ruined, like Twitter's getting ruined. It's become like a competition of who can become more politically correct first.
What do you think about the way that fans engage with drag queens? Let’s start with online.
Oh, well, Drag Race has this fascinating way of introducing the audience to us in such a deep way that fans feel like they know us. Which they do, sort of. You get to know somebody through reality television. However, people sort of forget that these are people. You know what I mean? Like Jackée Harry just tweeted something about positivity and light and being honest and Eureka was like, "I live for this. Yes girl!" And she responded, "Ain't nobody talking to you." You know what I mean? It's sort of like, just model that it's cool to be mean to someone on Twitter. It's awkward.
But you also have lots of opinions about the way that fans should interact with drag queens in real life. So when they see you out of drag, how should fans interact with you?
You know, treat me like a burn victim. Sort of stare at me, but not when I'm looking at you. You know, like keep it very under the radar.
I'm different than a lot of drag queens. I don't go out a lot, and when I do, I'm usually on a date with my boyfriend or something. And I sort of just want to, you know, I want to be Fred Rogers and not Mr. Rogers, you know?
But Oprah says if you don't want to go to the rodeo, don't go to the rodeo. There are plenty of places that you can go that you will not be recognized.
Oh no, it's very true.
But a lot of queens complain about getting recognized in a gay bar, but of course you're gonna get recognized there. So go to Applebee's down the street, nobody is gonna recognize you there.
Well, I know. In Los Angeles, I feel like it's very cool. It's the ultimate cool move to notice someone really famous and say nothing. It's like, because in LA, it's like saying you're above noticing someone. But also, you're saying that drag queens, because they're successful, have to go to Applebee's forever, which is also the tea.
What if you saw Dolly Parton at an Applebee's? What would you do?
If I saw Dolly Parton at Applebee's? Have a heart attack. I would probably leave. I just, I can't. I'm not a normal person. I don't have normal feelings or normal ways of dealing with things. So I would have to go.
Have you met her?
No, I haven't met her. You know, they say not to meet your idols. I don't stan for her the way people stan for things in general. I really like her work, and I would feel compelled to say, "Oh my God! You're such a good autoharp player and you're such a good songwriter." I always think about her, and probably just at this point, it means nothing to her. The same way if I tell Martha Wash about this event six years ago, she's probably not gonna remember.
Do you think Larry King realized you were a man during that interview?
I think, like most people, Larry King knew that I was a woman.
He believed the fantasy?
I think he was the perfect amount of honest and respectful. He asked things he didn't really understand and it never felt like he was asking them in a way that was backhanded or anything. He was so nice and so sweet. It's personally like... he asked me to come on it. Usually I'm sure there's like 50 drag queens doing it, but it was just me. Because I'm a drag queen, I always think, “Who cancelled?” Every time I get asked to do, there's certain podcasts I get asked to do, and I always get asked, "Hey, are you available in two hours for the podcast?" And I'm always like, “Okay. Dakota Fanning cancelled.”
If you could make over one of the Queer Eye guys into drag, who would you make over?
Oh, God. That's really... that's a... God! Don't you have to pick Jonathan? But he is a beauty icon. He'd probably be really hard to makeover because he's probably really knowledgeable and particular.
He would be critiquing you the entire time.
Yeah, because on TV, when you makeover straight guys, they just sit there. But you know gay guys are gonna be like, "And what if the eye was more like this?" That's what I liked in beauty school. I hated having appointments. I loved working on my mannequin head. I'm like, good, you're gonna do whatever I want and you're just gonna shut up. Oh me in beauty school? Fully having conversations with my mannequin head.
Maybe that would make you a really good mortician?
Did you know that -- first of all, no because I'm scared of dead bodies. Second of all, did you know that they have to use a special kind of makeup called non-thermogenic makeup?
No, what is that?
So, most makeup is designed to apply with sort of the heat from your body. It's in the process. But, when you're putting it on a dead body, there's no heat, so makeup just sort of slides around. Non-thermogenic makeup is specifically made for dead skin. Isn't that fascinating? I think that's the type that Tempest DuJour uses. That's probably what they're using on RuPaul at this point.
I always think, someday for RuPaul, it's gonna be like that Death Becomes Her moment where they're like, "I don't know how you did it!" And he's like, "Mannequin paint!"
Aren't you releasing your own makeup line?
Yes, I am. Me and Sugarpill are collaborating on the "Oh Honey" palette that comes out in September.
What are you into right now?
I'm so into vogueing right now. What am I really into? I love this PlayStation 4 game called Dead by Daylight. It's an online, asymmetrical, multiplayer, horror game. I love that game. What else do I love? Oh, I'm rewatching Schitt's Creek, even though I've seen it twice. It's just so funny, and every time I watch, I find new things funny. I love playing my semi-hollow, body, electric guitar. It's by this company called Gretsch. It's their White Falcon. I love playing it so much. Every time I get a day home, I just sit in my office and play for hours.
What do you think about this whole Pearl-RuPaul drama?
Well, this is just an interview and there's no camera, and so nothing you say to me matters.
Even though it's being recorded, and I can put it online.
Yeah, but there's no video so nothing you say to me matters unless there's cameras on. I don't know because I wasn't there, because I was harshly eliminated the day before. So as far as I know, they could all live forever or die tomorrow.
For tickets to LGBTQ Pride Bingo at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, head here.