'I learned so much about performing while on Drag Race': Trixie Mattel talks All Stars Three, new music and her UK tour ahead of Birmingham show
She's best known for her Barbie aesthetic, her face ‘painted for the back of the room’, and of course winning RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Three.
And now ‘skinny legend’ Trixie Mattel, the stage persona of Wisconsin performer Brian Firkus, is bringing her brand new solo show to Birmingham’s O2 Academy on Monday as part of her UK tour with Holy T.
“In true Trixie Mattel fashion the show contains a lot of things,” the 29-year-old star told us.
“Some people are just there for the music, others are just Drag Race fans and some people only know me from the Trixie and Katya show.
“I try to bring the type of show that no matter what people are there for, they leave thinking ‘okay, check, I saw what I wanted’.
“For Skinny Legend I play live music with my guitar, autoharp, and clarinet. I also do stand-up, there’s a lip-sync performance, videos, costume changes and more.
“I make something that even if you have no idea who I am, you can leave and think it was good.
“This is my major tour of the year and I look forward to walking out there every single night.
“When I sit backstage, it feels like when you’re trying to wake your parents up on Christmas Eve to open presents. That excitement is how I feel everyday before a show.”
Before Trixie wowed the world with her dark comedy dressed up in a vibrant pink exterior, Brian had his first taste of drag while performing in a production of The Rocky Horror Show at the Oriental Theatre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
He first performed in drag in 2008 at LaCage NiteClub and became a staple in the Milwaukee drag scene, while also performing in Chicago alongside fellow Drag Race alum Kim Chi.
Then in 2014, Trixie was announced among the cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race season seven alongside the likes of Pearl, Kennedy Davenport, Ginger Minj, Katya Zamolodchikova and Violet Chachki.
Trixie was controversially eliminated in episode four, before being brought back to the show in episode eight in the conjoined twin challenge.
Sadly, audiences waved goodbye to Trixie once more in episode 10, but that wasn’t the last Drag Race fans would see of the fantastic plastic queen.
She rolled - quite literally - onto TV screens once more for RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars Three with fan-favourite queens such as Milk, Chi Chi DeVayne, Bendelacreme, Shangela and more.
Despite a rocky start and almost being sent home following her performance as RuPaul in the Snatch Game, Trixie rose from strength to strength during All Stars before eventually taking home the crown and $100,000.
“I saw RuPaul shortly after winning All Stars and she told me ‘I’m so proud of you. You’re doing things that no one has ever done, not even me’,” Trixie told us.
“All Stars Three was unique for me because I felt like I had the most to prove because outside of the show, I had had a lot of great opportunities.
“The elephant in the room that nobody would talk about was that the audience expects for you to do a certain way because of what you have achieved in the real world.
“I really felt the pressure but one thing I learned was just to forget about it and follow my own compass.
“I learned so much about performing while on Drag Race. Half way through All Stars when I stopped caring about winning it was so much easier.
“At this point I think I’ve done every single thing that other Drag Race queens have done. I’ve worked in TV, film and released music.
“I just like to work regardless of who likes me. I was happy to win Drag Race but I am hell-bent on doing whatever I want anyway”.
The eleventh season of the Emmy Award-winning show is set to begin next week, and Trixie has some advice for the queens getting ready to start their engines.
“It sounds really cheesy, but just have fun,” she advised.
“Your best performances on Drag Race will be the ones where you forgot that there were cameras present and a trophy up for grabs, and just did what you wanted to do rather than trying to be everyone’s favourite queen”.
Even before Trixie was given a crown, she carved a career as drag royalty.
Since competing on Drag Race Trixie has starred in the likes of American Horror Story and Larry King Now.
After an appearance in YouTube series Fashion Photo RuView on Wow Presents with Katya Zamolodchikova, the duo created their own web series entitled UNHhhh. The pair then starred in The Trixie and Katya Show on Viceland for one season.
After a brief break, the fourth season of UNHhhh has begun and sees the queens tackle a range of different topics from roommates to reunions, apologies to personal hygiene and more.
The wild and wacky show has amassed a legion of followers shouting ‘oh honey’ and ‘thworping’ their fans as they watch along.
When you watch UNHhh It almost feels as if you’re sitting with a group of beloved friends joking around, and that’s exactly what Trixie and Katya were going for.
“While we’re getting ready we brainstorm ideas and that’s how we come up with each episode,” Trixie informed us.
“We’ll talk about whatever comes to us that day. There was a day that we were both in a bad mood and we ended up talking about crying.
“We don’t make videos to make money, we just discuss what we want to talk about and make each other laugh.
“I think that’s why it’s done so well. People feel like they’re just sitting with their friends because that’s exactly what we’re doing”.
As well as this, Trixie has also released two full-length studio albums. Her first studio album, Two Birds, was released in 2017, followed by her second album, One Stone, last year.
Not content with just giving us memorable hits such as Moving Parts, Mama Don’t Make Me Put on the Dress Again, I Know You All Over Again and more, Trixie is set to release her third album this year.
“I have a single coming out for LA DragCon and a brand new music video,” Trixie said.
“My new album will come out this year and then in my show I’ll be performing music that will never be recorded, or even heard, again as they were written just for the show.
“I’m a drag queen but I don’t listen to a lot of club music. I listen to American folk music so that’s the kind of music I love singing and playing whether or not I’m in drag.
“I write music with no intention to sell it, just for my own personal development. Recording and selling it was kind of an afterthought”.
Trixie has achieved so much over her glittering career, and there is still so much to look forward to with a series of exciting - and top secret - projects on the horizon.
“2019 is quite a year for me,” Trixie concluded.
“After the UK tour I get back to the United States and then in lieu of doing an American tour this year, I have a lot of other TV projects happening that I can’t talk about or someone will shoot me with a gun.
“I have a lot of cosmetics launches this year, and then the new single and music video comes out at DragCon.
“Girl, it’s lit. This is the biggest year of my life and I’m truly blessed”.
Trixie Mattel comes to Birmingham’s O2 Academy on Monday.
For more information and to buy tickets, click here.