COVERGIRL! Put that base in your walk…
RuPaul said to his friend and idol, Judge Judith Sheindlin over the phone in June,
“Drag reminds people that all artifice is temporary—that all structures are just temporary, and the only thing that stays real is the energy.”
Here’s an excerpt from that chat in the latest Interview…
RUPAUL: It’s funny that we sat next to each other on that plane from New York to Los Angeles all those years ago. I’d been following you before that, but there was a similarity between us that could not be ignored.
JUDGE JUDY: Who would have thought that 20 years later we would be sitting and having this conversation?
RUPAUL: I have a folder on my computer of pictures of people I admire, and there’s a Judith Sheindlin folder. One of those pictures is when you got yourstar on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
JUDGE JUDY: Merv Griffin was the person who spoke when I got my star, and he, to me, was the kind of person who had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame—not some Jewish kid from Brooklyn who became a lawyer. For me, Ru, it was a little different because my childhood dream was not to be a star. From what I know about you, you always knew you were a star. The world just had to catch up.
JUDGE JUDY: If I had to define you in two words, they would be “honest” and “flamboyant.” That’s who you are. The fun of you is who you are. And that’s why I think we like each other, because I, too, know who I am. Our messages are the same, really, which is that you have to really like yourself.
RUPAUL: It’s the only game in town, honestly, because when you find your own rhythm, when you find your own frequency, that is your gift to humanity. It’s your life’s work.
JUDGE JUDY: To be your happiest in this journey of life, which has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
RUPAUL: That’s great advice for young people, because some days it’s easier than others to do that. You know, a lot of kids feel special, but they don’t have the critical thinking it takes to make that work in the real world. A lot of people think they’re the cat’s pajamas, but they haven’t put in the actual work it takes to really walk in those shoes. I see it on your television program all the time.
JUDGE JUDY: People like order, and it’s difficult to always follow the rules, but most people do follow them because it’s the right thing to do. So when I see others doing the wrong thing, like throwing trash out of their car window or throwing their gum on the floor, it infuriates me. When I see something that has a negative impact on other human beings, I get furious.
RUPAUL: Well, my vision of drag is that we’re all born naked and the rest is drag. It’s kind of an existential vision, and it has to do with breaking the fourth wall and seeing yourself from outside of yourself. That’s my drag. But the drag that’s become popular with young people around the world is the surface part of the experience, like, “Oh, pretty makeup. I like her outfit.” So I don’t think drag itself has become mainstream. The superficial part of it has, but the deeper message, which is that we are all extensions of the power that created the universe, is the part that’s not there yet. But, you know, I’m from San Diego, and when I was a kid, we used to come up here to Los Angeles to visit my cousins, and I would always ask to be able to walk down Hollywood Boulevard because I was enamored of fame and all that jazz. As a kid, I knew that the true mark of a legend was having a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I’ve been famous for a long time and I’ve had lots of accolades, but that was a really special one for me.
JUDGE JUDY: Because?
RUPAUL: Because it spoke to that little kid who still lives inside of me. You know, on my new show, AJ and the Queen, my character parents an 11-year-old child, so I was able to really emotionally revisit myself as a kid. It was a trip. I’ve never done anything like that before. It was the most challenging thing for me as an actor and as a human. The big thing for me is that I wish I’d learned how to process feelings earlier. The human body is kind of like a computer program, and a lot of the feelings that I felt were based on the experiences I’d had. Knowing that feelings are not facts was a message I wish that 11-year-old Ru had heard. As I’ve gotten to this stage in my life, I think being able to understand how fortunate you are is a great gift. I feel fantastic. I have my health. I have a good outlook. There have been some great achievements in my career and some really low lows, so I’m not afraid of them. I know that I have an ability to create magic because I have my health and I have an equilibrium. By the way, this is why I’ve tuned into Judge Judy every single day for the past twenty-something years, because it’s like going to the chiropractor to get an adjustment. It’s a reality check, and it’s a great tool for someone like me who’s super sensitive in a world that becomes so overwhelming. That’s why I tune in every day at four o’clock here in Los Angeles.
JUDGE JUDY: Thank you for that. I will count you on my Nielsen ratings.
RUPAUL: I think all of society would probably have to break down to real chaos before we can build it up. We used to control people with shame or with common sense, but the only way a kid is going to learn is if they run into something horrific and somehow fate teaches them a lesson. And I think that’s where we’re going. All this started when we got cell phones, and you’d be on the airplane and someone would take out their phone and start talking with this huge voice. And it’s like,
‘Uh, sir, we can all hear you, and not only that, but your phone is equipped to pick up your conversation even if you just speak at a lower level.'”
JUDGE JUDY: I’m not interested in hearing you talk to your girlfriend. Or your stockbroker.
Read the full Interview here…. and see more fab pics by Ethan James Green.