Next week, the Javits Center will be filled with sequins, feathers and stray false lashes as RuPaul’s DragCon makes its way to New York City for the second time. With over 50 Drag Race alum confirmed to make appearances — along with special guests like Amanda LePore, Ts Madison and Biblegirl — the weekend is guaranteed to be a spectacle.
Billboard caught up with All Star 3 champ Trixie Mattel ahead of the convention: “I’ve never missed a single day of DragCon out of all of them. I know my shit, OK?” she says.
In order to make sure attendees are properly prepared for DragCon, we asked the folk-singing queen for ten rules to make the most of the weekend.
Don’t miss Aquaria.
In LA, I kicked off DragCon with a performance on the main stage, and this year, you can catch Aquaria performing. She’s probably doing something like I did, but very entertaining with a small waist and a prettier face — so just, like, better. So go to that.
Support small businesses.
One of the coolest things about DragCon — if you walk up to the table, be like, “I love that ring,” and I bet you the person made it is standing behind that table. Like, you can meet people who make the things there. Obviously, we all love bigger companies, but it’s kind of a great-kept secret at DragCon that you get to meet a lot of young artists who make their things with their own hands.
Wear comfortable shoes.
I know you wanna be fierce, but you need to, like, bring heels in your bag, but wear like Crocs on the floor. Otherwise, you’ll be in horrible pain.
Snag limited-edition merch.
You know, for example, my beauty products with Sugarpill, we’re gonna have some limited quantity at DragCon. That way, when you get something limited edition, you can just fully walk around bragging. I mean, it’s kind of a two-part thing. Pick up some limited edition merchandise, then walk around bragging you got it.
Make a friend.
Think about it. So many things had to happen for this person to go to DragCon. They have to like drag — you basically have a bottleneck that filters out all the boring people. This is a room full of the most loving, fabulous people and if you talk to someone, I guarantee you, it’s gonna be like you have everything in common. I make new friends at DragCon every time. Not just fans, but designers and queens I’ve never met. It’s like a meeting of the minds.
Check out the panels.
You have to go to at least one panel. I know a lot of people go to DragCon and they don’t make time for panels, but if you don’t go to a panel, that’s where you will get your brain massaged and stimulated about topics like gender, entertainment, comedy, whatever you wanna hear about, really. if I could pick a panel to go to, there’s one called — I believe it’s called Judgey Judies. It’s Michelle, Carson and Ross talking about what it’s like to judge Drag Race. As somebody who’s competed three times, I think it’s interesting to see where they come from. If you’re a fan of the show, don’t you think you want to hear about their process of what it’s like to have to judge us?
Come to DragCon knowing you’re gonna die. Drink water. Having some vitamin C. You’re just gonna be exposed to diseases and germs. Just become comfortable with that. This year, me and my assistant — we were thinking of hiring someone to put hand sanitizer on in the lines, but we don’t wanna insult people if they’re in line and we’re like, “put on hand sanitizer before you meet Trixie.” I always get sick and I’m like, “should I Bubble Boy this?” Should I get a bug net?
Front-lighting is a must.
You need a Lumi case or you need a friend to turn on their flashlight and hold it for you during a picture. Believe me, if you wait two hours in line to meet Naomi Smalls, and you get overheard fluorescent lighting picture, you’re gonna be so mad. And Javits Center has a lot of natural light, which is great, but it might not always be in your direction, so just bring the light. The lighting is what really makes the picture.
Going to DragCon dressed up is half the fun of it. However, like I said, if you’re gonna go in drag — if you’re gonna wear high heels, maybe do a chunky boot. Think it through, because, girl, DragCon is strenuous.
Be respectful of everyone’s time.
When you’re in line, you want the line to move fast, but when you’re finally meeting the queen, you want it to go slow. If everybody agrees to make it quick, everybody can meet more drag queens. I know it’s kind of dumb, but if everybody moves through line quickly, you can leave with a more colorful collage of people you met. Think of it like Pokémon, like catch ’em all, take your picture and go for the handshake or blowing the kiss, maybe not the full hug, maybe don’t touch the hair. Thumbs up always work. Thumbs up is glamorous.