Don’t worry, this isn’t rule #2.
You’ll get that next week.
Rather, this is the coda to rule #1.
And I’m using the word “coda” for a reason:
Coda: a more or less independent passage, at the end of a composition, introduced to bring it to a satisfactory close.
Caveat: a warning or caution; admonition.
(Thank you dictionary.com)
This is a warning, yes. But like any good marketing blog post, this post has a single idea behind it, and can stand on it’s own.
However, it has the most meaning (and is the most clear) when placed in conversation with my last article: How to ‘Find’ Your Voice: The Evolution of Trixie Mattel.
So, to me, this a coda. Not a caveat.
And it’s my blog, so I can do what want.
(Because #letsgetreal this probably could have been it’s own rule. Except it’s so closely tied to “Be Yourself” that I can’t actually separate the two. Especially because the example is the same.)
Say hi, Trixie:
There’s a reason I love Trixie so much, and it’s because she often shows me parts of myself I need to see.
I went to England last fall for my cousin’s wedding. I spent 8 days in London before heading down to Bath for the wedding.
Those 8 days were fucking magical.
Partly because, for the first time in years, I was on vacation alone.
Well, technically not alone-alone. I crashed with an online-and-now-IRL-friend of mine and we spent the whole week before she had to go back to work playing tourist. (Hi Bex! )
And then my mother showed up.
In a last minute decision, she decided to fly to England…4 days before the wedding.
I was gagged. And thrilled, because I knew what coming to the wedding meant to her.
So I picked her up on my last day, and we caught the train down to Bath.
And we had a lovely time.
But during the wedding and at the reception I noticed something: I wasn’t talking as much as I had been. I wasn’t starting conversations or continuing them.
Instead, I was hanging back and letting mom “do the work” socially for me.
My mother is a social chatterbox. She’s extremely personable and can talk to almost anyone.
Growing up as a shy, quiet, overweight, nerdy kid with a then-undiagnosed anxiety disorder, it was really easy for me to let her take over in social situations.
In fact, it still is.
Even though the anxiety is gone and I can talk to almost anyone now…I still let my mother take over in most social situations.
I did it at the wedding, and at the reception.
And it was almost completely subconscious.
I didn’t notice until I was in the thick of it. (Read: half-way through the final course of dinner and about to start dancing like a maniac until the DJ left.)
Because at this point, it’s not just a pattern. It’s a goddamn habit.
And it’s the exact same thing Trixie Mattel did on All Stars 3.
Here’s the thing: I love Trixie. I really do. But her start on All Stars 3 was…less than stellar. (Read: it was shit.)
The first few weeks, she was safe. She did fine, but she didn’t stand out.
And there was something…different about her.
She didn’t change her makeup this time. She came out in the full Trixie face, with hair tall enough to break your neck and swathed completely in pink.
But there was a subdued energy to her that was a complete 180 from her TV show.
It threw me off and startled me.
This wasn’t the Trixie I knew and loved. The crazy-ass queen from Unh and The Trixie and Katya Show. This wasn’t the Trixie I was rooting for.
This was some pale, shadowy version of her.
A version of Trixie who followed the rules and did Trixie, but Trixie who knew she was being judged — and consequently was trying to make the judges happy.
Not the Trixie who broke the internet with a viral Youtube series that eventually got her her own TV show on Viceland.
This was like season 7, all over again. Except with her proper makeup and a Dolly Parton vibe.
By about episode 3, Trixie still had my heart, but I was ready to hand that crown to Ben Dela Creme.
And then Snatch Game happened.
I actually couldn’t watch this episode all the way through because I had a bad feeling and I was so scared Trixie was going home. I skipped most of it in favour of just watching the judges critiques on the runway.
And then cringed through the rest of it once I knew how it ended.
Long story short: Trixie BOMBED.
Of everyone on that stage, Trixie was the most certain that she was going home. And she fell apart.
And rightfully so.
Here she was, handed a second chance on a golden platter, and she’d fucked it up. Again.
Bad enough that she’s a musical comedy queen who got set home on a musical comedy challenge in Season 7. Now she’s a stand up comedian who totally bombed at Snatch Game?
It was so bad, she got called out by Michelle Visage on the runway:
“I didn’t laugh, like the whole time. It was one note, literally through the whole thing. I know you. There’s something that’s telling me you’re not all here.
Trixie’s response was enlightening:
“When I get nervous here, it’s like…I’m at camp Crystal Lake, and Jason’s outside with a machete. It’s like that level panic sometimes.”
Trixie: “I don’t know it’s just, um…It was like, it was harder than it looks, um…(starts crying) I’m sorry. I was so excited and l thought it was going to be like, my challenge. And I got in there and I was just like, frozen.”
“And I got in there and I was just like, frozen.”
Trixie was still afraid.
I cannot emphasize this enough:
Trixie was still afraid
And not only did she let that fear hold her back…
That fear re-emerged when she came back to Drag Race.
Even though she’d grown extraordinarily since leaving Season 7…
Even though she has her own freaking television show…
Trixie was still afraid on Drag Race.
There’s a deleted scene from the next episode, where Trixie talks to RuPaul and you can get some more insight into what was going through Trixie’s head. When RuPaul asked Trixie what was going on, and why she was so different from the Trixie Mattel we know outside of Drag Race, Trixie said:
“Well, I’m used to doing drag in a way where, I do whatever I want and no one judges it. And Drag Race is about doing what someone asks you, and having it evaluated.”
Holy. Freaking. Shit.
No wonder I’d felt like Trixie was off since the competition started.
This was not Trixie Mattel: Legend, Icon, and Star.
This was Trixie Mattel: reality competition show contestant, keenly aware that she’s being judged and trying to meet the judges expectations instead of just letting Trixie loose and doing whatever she wanted.
That behaviour pattern of anxiety and fear that had her holding back and toning down her makeup the first time was still fully intact.
It’s kinda fucked up, when you think about it.
It looks like progress, but it isn’t actually progress.
It’s the same pattern, the same fear resurfacing, and holding her back, still.
Trixie also said: “When Michelle said ‘I feel like we haven’t gotten you yet’ it hurt because that’s exactly what I was afraid I was doing here.”
No matter how big of a star she had become outside the show, Trixie was stuck in a pattern with Drag Race.
(Just like me, in social situations with my mother.)
This behaviour pattern dragged Trixie down to the bottom of the competition, and nearly saw her eliminated.
The worst part is…she knew it. She was totally aware that that might be what was happening.
But the panic taking over is just so instinctive it’s hard to stop. And it culminated in her sobbing on the runway.
The irony of all of this is…all the judges ever wanted to see was Trixie Mattel.
Michelle: “I just want more of Trixie Mattel. Invite her back here. Cuz we want her.”
We also got some very sage words of advice from guest judge Kristin Chenoworth:
“Don’t forget what you have. And what you offer. And who you are. Whether this continues, or not. Okay? Fight for yourself.”
That’s why I’m calling this a coda.
Because yes, be yourself. Yes, be aware of your patterns and know that you need to break free before you’ll breakthrough fully.
Those patterns influence who you are.
Those patterns are so deeply embedded in ourselves that we’re often not even aware that they’re there and they’re sabotaging us.
Or if we are…we have no idea how to stop them.
Because you are ever evolving and growing and changing, but these patterns often take you back to an earlier place in your journey. A place where you’re still frightened and scared.
And they show up in business all the time. Communication. Prospecting. Marketing.
They show up in the rest of your life too — relationships, friendships, family life, health. Anywhere you encounter mental resistance.
Anywhere you’re trying to do something different.
In fact, they often sneak up on you and pounce at the most unexpected of times. Sabotaging your Snatch Game when you’re a fucking comedian.
And until you break these patterns and move beyond them…things will not be okay.
That call out was Trixie’s wake up call.
Thankfully, Trixie listened and she snapped out of it.
She won the next challenge. And the next. And she ended up winning the entire damn show.
She managed to break the cycle she was stuck in.
She broke through that pattern of fear, that instinctive reaction to being on Drag Race.
Which is a hell of a lot more than I can say for me at my cousin’s wedding…
Find the patterns that are holding you back.
Break through them.
If you don’t break them, you’ll just keep repeating the same mistakes — even if you’re wearing the right makeup. Or are several thousand miles from home, on your first carefree holiday in 2+ years.
Because it’s not about the makeup. It’s about being all of you.
And these patterns are places where you’re holding yourself back.
For whatever reason.
So let it go. And don’t let your mother dominate the dinner conversation at your cousin’s wedding, okay?