Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris - RuPaul On: Surviving Your Family, Overcoming Addiction, And How To Have Fun (Including “Dirty Charades”)

Episode Date: July 10, 2024

The Queen of Drag discusses his new memoir, The House of Hidden Meanings, and makes Dan play an R-rated game.RuPaul Charles became famous in 1993 with the song “Supermodel.” Since then, h...e’s put out 18 albums, he’s been in more than 50 films and TV shows, including his global hit, “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” He’s put out four books, including his latest, the number one New York Times best seller The House of Hidden Meanings. He’s won fourteen Primetime Emmy Awards, and he won a Tony in 2022 for producing the Broadway show A Strange Loop. In this episode we talk about:His daily spiritual practicesTalking to his inner childThe challenging family he grew up inHis incredible business idea for a daytime disco for the over-40 setHis definition of wealth, and why he says he’s always been rich, even when he had no moneyAnd he ropes Dan into a game of Dirty Charades – which gets a little spicy, so heads-up if you’re listening with kids around or have sensitive earsOther resources mentioned: RuPaul’s Allstora book shop and book clubToxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life by Dr. Susan Forward with Craig BuckRelated Episodes:A Star, Utterly Unguarded | Brett EldredgeHow to Deal With Emotionally Immature People (Including Maybe Your Own Parents) | Lindsay C. GibsonThere’s No Part Of Your Life You Can’t Make More Awesome | Jeff WarrenSign up for Dan’s weekly newsletter hereFollow Dan on social: Instagram, TikTokTen Percent Happier online bookstoreSubscribe to our YouTube ChannelOur favorite playlists on: Anxiety, Sleep, Relationships, Most Popular EpisodesFull Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/tph/podcast-episode/rupaul-2024See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Discussion (0)
Starting point is 00:00:00 It's the 10% Happier Podcast. I'm Dan Harris. Hello everybody. How we doing? I do a lot of interviews for this show, but this one was particularly enjoyable. I rarely laugh more than when I'm in a conversation with RuPaul. I'm a little worried I'm gonna get canceled
Starting point is 00:00:35 as a result of this one because Dude is super racy in a way that I truly appreciate. I hope you're cool with it. But he's also super deep. We talk about surviving childhood, especially if you have emotionally unavailable parents, as he did, why self-love is not selfish, the notion of the inner child,
Starting point is 00:00:54 often a misunderstood notion, RuPaul's definition of wealth, his incredibly insightful expression, we're all born naked and the rest is drag, addiction and sobriety, and the importance of fun, which he will illustrate via a little game he calls Dirty Charades. And that is the part where I'm worried I'm going to get canceled. It's toward the end of the interview and perhaps toward the
Starting point is 00:01:16 end of my career. I'm pretty sure everybody knows who RuPaul is, but just in case, he got famous in 1993 with a song called Supermodel. Since then, he's put out 18 albums. He's been in more than 50 movies and TV shows, including, of course, his global hit, RuPaul's Drag Race. And he's put out four books, including his latest, the number one New York Times bestseller, The House of Hidden Meanings. It's a memoir.
Starting point is 00:01:41 Just to say this interview is part of a little summer experiment we're running where we're doing a series of celebrity interviews. We're calling it Boldface. This week it's Abbie Wambach, RuPaul, and Jada Pinkett Smith coming up on Friday. RuPaul right after this. But first some BSP. As you've heard me say before, the hardest part of personal growth, self-improvement, spiritual development, whatever you want to call it. The hardest part is forgetting.
Starting point is 00:02:07 You listen to a great podcast, you read a great book, you go to a great talk, whatever it is, and the message is electrifying. But then you get sucked back into your daily routines, your habitual patterns, and you forget. So this is the problem for which I have designed my new newsletter, which we just started a few months ago, and we're just really hitting our stride. So I'd love it if you sign up. Every week, I list one quote that I'm pondering right now. And then I give you two of the top takeaways from the podcast this week.
Starting point is 00:02:38 It's really for both me and for you to to get these messages into our molecules. I'm just kind of mainlining the practical aspects of the episodes from the week and listing it out for you. And then I also list three cultural recommendations, books, movies, TV shows that I'm into right now. You can sign up. It's free. It's at danharris.com.
Starting point is 00:02:59 That's my new website, danharris.com. Sign up for the newsletter. I also want to tell you about a course that we're highlighting over on the 10% Happier app. It's called Healthy Habits. It's taught by the Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal and the meditation teacher Alexis Santos. It's great stuff.
Starting point is 00:03:15 To access it, just download the 10% Happier app wherever you get your apps or by visiting 10% dot com. That's one word all spelled out. Listening on Audible helps your imagination soar. Whether you listen to stories, motivation, expert advice, any genre you love, you can be inspired to imagine new worlds, new possibilities, new ways of thinking. Listening can lead to positive change in your mood,
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Starting point is 00:04:07 And I'm Saruti. And we are the hosts of Red-Handed, a weekly true crime podcast. Every week on Red-Handed, we get stuck into the most talked about cases. From the Idaho student killings, the Delphi murders, and our recent rundown of the Murdock Saga. Last year, we also started a second weekly show, Shorthand, which is just an excuse for us to talk about anything we find interesting because it's our show and we can do what we like.
Starting point is 00:04:28 We've covered the death of Princess Diana, an unholy Quran written in Saddam Hussein's blood, the gruesome history of European witch hunting, and the very uncomfortable phenomenon of genetic sexual attraction. Whatever the case, we want to know what pushes people to the extremes of human behavior. Like, can someone give consent to be cannibalized? What drives a child to kill? And what's the psychology of a terrorist? Listen to Red Handed wherever you get your podcasts
Starting point is 00:04:52 and access our bonus shorthand episodes exclusively on Amazon Music, or by subscribing to Wondry Plus in Apple Podcasts or the Wondry app. Ru Paul, who prefers to be called Ru, welcome to the show. Thank you. Well, congratulations on your new book. Thank you.
Starting point is 00:05:11 I'm kind of torn because I want to ask you about the title, but that seems like such a lame way to begin. But here I am asking you about the title. You've called it Beautiful Nonsense. Can you just say more about that? Well, it was beautiful nonsense when I heard it the first time because I attributed a lot of deep meaning to it when I heard it the first time. And as time went on, I realized in hindsight that it was gibberish. That might what my friend was telling me about the house of hidden meanings. He told me that he's Libra and he told me that Libra represents the 12th house of hidden
Starting point is 00:05:49 meanings for a Scorpio like myself. And I went, oh, wow, that's really deep. And of course that's not true, but it stuck with me that term house of hidden meanings because I've always loved mysteries. I've always loved to look underneath the surface of an issue and figure out what's actually going on here. So I love the title as I decided to call the book that because I'm so much of my life has been about uncovering the truth behind what lies beneath.
Starting point is 00:06:24 Okay. So that actually brings me to a question that I feel less sheepish about because there are two themes that play right off of what you just said, seeing beneath the surface. There are two themes that just course right through the book. One is the idea that we're all performing and the other is your desire to experience something real, to pierce the veil in some ways. And I'm interested in exploring like the connection, if there is any between these two themes,
Starting point is 00:06:56 but let me just start with performance. You have said we're born naked and the rest is drag, which is a nugget of pure brilliance, in my opinion. And then very early in the book, you start talking about this issue of performance. It starts in relationship to your love for television. And I'm just going to read a quote to you from you, back to you, and get you to sort of unpack it on the backside. I love television. Television to me represented the platonic ideal of reality.
Starting point is 00:07:24 First of all, there was a moral code, the good guys vanquishing the bad guys, good triumphing over evil. But even more crucially, the fact that it was all performance was acknowledged. We knew these were actors playing roles because their names appeared in the credits. In the real world, everyone played parts two, but nobody talked about it. Yeah. Well, you know, through my journeys as a seeker, all roads lead to the fact that we are an extension of the power that created the universe experiencing humanity. And it's not to be taken too seriously and it's not to be really deeply hurt by it because it, it goes by so fast experience this life and then move on. Because, you know, is it the Alan Watts thing where he says, imagine if you
Starting point is 00:08:10 could decide what you would dream each night, because when you wake up in the morning, you would be back to your old self and everything would be absolutely fine. But during that excursion in dream time, you would experience all this weirdness. You know, good, bad, indifferent, ugly, weird, lovely, all that stuff. And he says, that's really what we're doing. So we are, for lack of a better term, God experiencing are, for lack of a better term, God experiencing humanity. And it's a performance. It's temporary, like a costume. What I'm interested in is you seem to love to play with performance, but you're also
Starting point is 00:09:00 really interested in what's real beneath it. Is there a contradiction there? There is. there is. I mean, real, I mean, to actually see the mechanics of it, you know, there is the fantasy in terms of what love is. Like, there is the romantic idea of love, which has to do with the swooning and this feeling of ecstasy. But when you really break that down, it is a chemical reaction that happens in your body. And it's actually not the kind of love that is sustainable. It is something that's fleeting. We learn over the course of a lifetime that real love has to do with of a lifetime that real love has to do with respect and trust and kindness, all of these other things that really bear no resemblance to the romantic love that Nancy Myers makes movies
Starting point is 00:09:55 about and Diane Warren writes songs about. Real love is, oh my God, if you've been in relationship for a long time, it's like, it's got all these other things attached to it. They don't make movies about that part. But you know, when you look at the long tail of it, it's like, oh, that's really what love is. That's really what love is. That's really what love is. So that kind of thing. So yeah, it's a contradiction looking for the real.
Starting point is 00:10:32 Real is probably the wrong word. It's sort of looking at a situation with X-ray eyes with the knowledge of the Google Earth picture where you go, oh, I see. I see how that's in relation to this over here. You know what I'm saying, Dan Harris? I think I do. I think I do. But it's interesting because as I'm kind of groping around here, so please forgive me if I'm off the mark, but you start with the notion that you, Roo, like to search for the hidden meanings in this very interesting, mysterious existence
Starting point is 00:11:07 in which we all find ourselves. And on the one hand, you really latch on to this idea of performance and play. And the other hand, there is this consistent, insistent, no bullshit desire to get in touch with something true, capital T. Yeah, absolutely. And both can exist at the same time, Dan. That's what's so beautiful about this whole thing is that it's not just one or the other. You can, both coexist at the same time.
Starting point is 00:11:42 And that's the real secret of what we're doing here, that we can have both the fantasy and the stripped away reality, if you will, of what's going on. Early in your life in the book, you talk about drugs as a way to kind of strip away some of the illusion. Can you say a little bit more about that?
Starting point is 00:12:09 Yeah, you know, I come from a very tumultuous household. My parents were insane. I was very sensitive and I watched television and I loved music. I love all of the beauty of things. And then when I was 10 years old, I was introduced to smoking weed, you know, which alleviated some of the pressure to adhere and to get involved with the miscegoss that was going around me or trying to make sense of it. You know, it alleviated some of the pressure of trying to figure out how do I deal with this? You know, and I had a sense early on that this was all an illusion and that
Starting point is 00:12:48 it wasn't to be taken seriously. But when I started smoking weed at 10 years old, I was proof that it was all an illusion because it allowed me to laugh at it all, you know? And then I think I was 11 when Monty Python's flying circus came on PBS and I thought, oh, more proof that my tribe exists out there. And there are people who think the way I think, which is irreverent and funny and to make fun of everything because I had a suspicion, a sneaking suspicion that this was all an illusion and that it wasn't to be taken seriously.
Starting point is 00:13:28 And I would try to with even, you know, five years old, I would try to lean over to somebody and say, um, are you saying that the emperor is not wearing any clothes? And they wouldn't, people I would speak to at five wouldn't say, yes, you're absolutely right. It's not wearing any clothes and come over here and sit with me because we can get through this together. Now I did have a little sense of that though with my sisters, my three sisters in that household and we would laugh at everything. That was our way of dealing with our crazy parents' daytime nightmare is that we would laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh.
Starting point is 00:14:11 So that's how drugs helped alleviate some of the pressure of trying to play along with the ridiculousness that society wanted me to join in on. If I read you correctly, there's an interesting, I don't know if contradiction are the right word, paradox, interesting interplay here because it's all an illusion, but you also write about using the drugs to dissociate from the pain that existed beneath all of it. Mm-hmm. Well, the pain felt real. The pain felt real and it needed to be alleviated. There's a lot of pressure for us humans to join into,
Starting point is 00:14:46 what's serious? I mean, if you look at the newspaper, there's so much attention put on sports. And you're like, why is there so much attention on sports? I'm not interested in that. Who decided that we're gonna, I mean, it could very easily well be,
Starting point is 00:15:08 synthetic wigs versus human hair wigs and lace fronts and short wigs versus long wigs. It's like, okay, most people are not interested in that. I personally am interested in that. But it's absurd. Why so much on grown men throwing balls around? Who decided that? why so much on grown men throwing balls around? Who decided that? Well, the society decided that's what, you know, the men who were interested in that
Starting point is 00:15:32 decided that's what's important. It's like, gee whiz, so much. Anyway, long story long, you know, when I found people that helped me understand the absurdity of it all, that confirmed my suspicion that it is absolutely absurd. Usually those people were the people I found while smoking weed, you know, so because they needed that, that respite, that sanctuary too. And that's where we found each other. Tell me more about your parents.
Starting point is 00:16:06 They were just these country of people who didn't understand how to navigate life, you know, and they were just, they were faking it with the rest of us. My mother was a world weary person. And I think she tried by marrying my father and getting involved with him, she tried to join into what was expected of her, but it just didn't work. She didn't have the processing tools to deal with what was going on inside of her. And I suspect she didn't talk about her childhood or her background very much, but I suspected that something horrible had happened to her as a little girl. Something hideous and unimaginable happened to her, which turned her world weary. So she married my father, who was very charismatic and laughed and all that, not very deep or
Starting point is 00:17:02 not in touch with his emotional life, but seemed fun, but very superficial, my father. So it was doomed. It was doomed. These are country-ass people who never went deeper into introspection than what the Bible says. So I found it was my role to lift them up and to share my own emotional depth with them so that they could, at least we can meet on a certain plane and go, ah, there you are. But they didn't have that. In fact, I saw a psychic many, many, like almost 40 years ago who said, well, Roo, you and your father had shared past lives together. So when he, when you appeared in this one together, you were like, oh my God, buddy, let's do it.
Starting point is 00:17:55 We're going to do it. We're going to do it. He couldn't see me. He could not see me. And I said, well, let me share my emotional life with you to remind you to wake you up. Couldn't do it. So I spent a lifetime trying to share that and trying to shake him into recognition, but it just wasn't going to work. Same with my mother. My mother was just, she was dark and there was a depression over her. And I, you know, I would perform for her in the living room and she would laugh and then she would
Starting point is 00:18:23 go back into that place. So that's what my parents were like. It sounds like their inaccessibility in their different ways was really like the primordial wound for you. Am I overstating that? No, no, no. But we were very different because I was very different from them because I had the ability to create magic. I had the ability to.
Starting point is 00:18:47 I liked the term hit that Google earth button and go, Oh, okay. I see what's really going on here. I see how that happened. They did not have the ability to, as an alchemist to change the pH balance in the room, the way I have. Where'd you get that from? I think it's a gift. Honestly, I think it is absolutely a gift.
Starting point is 00:19:13 There are theories that maybe I had to pass lives that, you know, that allowed me to do it. I think it's a gift. Honestly, some people have other gifts, you know, my sister, I have two sisters, Renee and Renetta, they're twins. They were my world. They were my Zen masters as a kid. I remember Renetta, when I was maybe five or four, took me in the backyard and had a bag of brown paper bag filled with cookies and she had a blanket and she laid the blanket
Starting point is 00:19:47 out in the backyard, opened the cookies and we ate some and she said, Rue, this is a picnic. And I went, wow, wow, magic, a little magic. And that was part of my introduction to being a magician and how to conjure a magical situation to anyone else. It was just a blanket and a bag of cookies. But she, in that moment, taught me how to create magic. It's just reminding me what you just said of another thing you wrote in the book. And so I'm just going to do this thing of reading it to you and seeing if you're okay
Starting point is 00:20:24 talking about it on the other end. The reason why I'm making this leap is when I hear you talk about the magic of this picnic, it really kind of takes it back in my mind to seeing what's real. And if you're really paying attention, everything is magic, right? I mean, that the fact that we're here having this conversation. Is miraculous and most of the time we're just in autopilot so anyway you in this passage talk about. A car crash and how being in a car crash can feel real it feels like you know a moment that snaps you quote out, out of the illusion, the waking daydream that
Starting point is 00:21:05 we all move through in this, the world that we've created. Everyone's born awake, sharp and conscious, and then as you get older, you go back to sleep. But moments like near-death experiences can wake us up, you say, here's another quote, life can be bracing and difficult, even in all its magic, and when we taste its bitterness, we know that it is real and so too are we. So again, no question per se, but I'd just love to hear you say more about those words,
Starting point is 00:21:31 which I think are really fascinating. Well, because we are magical beings or co-creators with whatever that thing is that created us, we can decide in any moment what is real. And that's pretty daunting because if glass half full, half empty, both choices are correct. But one choice will bring you joy and the other choice will bring you pain. Your decision, it's up to you. Life says, I'll be whatever you want me to be. And if you, like my mother, decides to focus on the darkness, what are you going to get? You're going to get the darkness. I choose glass half
Starting point is 00:22:13 full is my choice. Some days, if I'm out of balance, out of alignment, I may lean toward the other choice, you know, but I do have cognizant ability to change my trajectory throughout the day. I can reset my emotional reboot. I can do that. And that's magic. Those are the tricks we're talking about, you know. That's what the book is really about. It's about learning how to navigate this emotional, malleable consciousness throughout the day and yeah, you know, you decide what is real in what you want to
Starting point is 00:23:00 focus on. It's easy for other people to look at your life and go, hun, I can see exactly the thing that you keep doing over and over again. But it's hard for me to see it. I've learned a few life hacks that allow me to see it. As we were going to talk about meditation, which allows me to see myself and go, going to talk about meditation, which allows me to see myself and go, oh, right. I see what I keep doing. And then you can change that. Again, it's all magic. I think I've asked you this question before, but I'm curious.
Starting point is 00:23:33 When you say meditation, what are you describing? I'm describing that moment in the morning. First thing I do when I get out of bed is I stretch because I have to, and then I pray. I'm not religious, but I have to and then I pray. I'm not religious but I do pray and I am thankful. And the act of prayer is a way for me to disarm my ego at the earliest moment of my waking and to be grateful for, oh my God, this brilliant, for, oh my God, this brilliant, beautiful, amazing life. Then I meditate and I sit in the lotus position
Starting point is 00:24:13 and focus on my breathing. And I go into many different techniques. Well, I decide on what technique I'm gonna to do. You know, this morning I focused on my earliest memory, started with my earliest memory. And then I go sort of in time lapse, fast motion to the next thing I remember and then the next thing up until this moment here. up until this moment here. And it aligns me in a way, that one does, it aligns me in a way to be grateful of this experience that I've had.
Starting point is 00:24:54 And it puts me in this place that feels right. It puts me in this moment right here, because I've reenacted or remembered everything that brought me to this moment. And I focus on this moment. And in this moment, again, I hit the Google Earth button and go, oh my gosh, Roo. Roo. You know, the thing that came up this morning was in 1991, I was on this tour of Italy and I was with a bunch of people. And one morning I got up before everyone else and I walked over to the Coliseum and I was there. The sun was just peeking over the horizon.
Starting point is 00:25:42 And I remember thinking that I had surpassed my parents intellectually. Now, truth is I surpassed my parents intellectually many years before that, but it occurred to me in that moment that no one else in my whole family, anyone, I be interesting to know, but no one who had been in my family line, my family tree had ever looked at the Coliseum in Rome as the sun was coming up before. But that's what came to me. And again, I don't know what effect that recollection had on me, but that's what came up. had on me, but that's what came up. And, and I guess what it really reminds me is that I am anointed. I'm the golden child.
Starting point is 00:26:30 This is not my ego speaking. This is to remind me is to be grateful and to understand what my role is here and to not, and to not take it for granted. And I guess it's not even important for me to figure out what it means, but that's what came up in my morning meditation. And I have other techniques in it. One which I learned from Eckhart Tolle is, imagine when I do my meditation,
Starting point is 00:26:55 imagine I'm dead, imagine I'm no longer here. And again, that disarms the ego. And there's this vastness in that idea that is, it's really brilliant, actually. Yeah. So, yeah, that's what I mean when I say meditation. And it all does seem to come back to this smashing of the Google Earth button to pierce the veil and provide some perspective and wake you up out of the habitual reflexive mode, default mode that most of us are lumbering around in.
Starting point is 00:27:39 Yeah. When you said, remind me of what my role is, what do you think your role is? My role is I am an extension of the power that created the universe and it is to experience humanity to get out there and touch it and feel it. You know, when I first got a computer, I was late to the laptop computer game. I think I got my first one in 1999 or something like that. And my computer tutor said, Rue, when I come back next week, I want to see that you have F'd this computer up.
Starting point is 00:28:16 I want you to have gotten in here and dug around and F'd it up. It says when I come back, I can fix it. I can fix every, it'll be fine, but I need to know that you are getting in there and getting dirty and F-ing it up. And I love that because he did come back the next week and fix it. And there were all these little, I remember there were these bugs that on the surface, I w I w I put it in the trash and then it would just come back immediately, come in the trash. It's like, it's something deeper than that. It's something deeper. And
Starting point is 00:28:51 he would come and he would fix it. And then I would the next week do it all over again. So my role as a co-creator with, I use the term God because that's the word we in our culture use for that which cannot be explained. We don't have words for it. It's bigger than our ridiculous vocabulary. So I'm a co-creator and so my role is to get in there and f it up, you know, kick the consciousness in the country breakfast. This is a family show.
Starting point is 00:29:24 I'm going to say. You can say whatever you want on the show. It's not a family show. I'm going to, I'm going to kick the zeitgeist in the country breakfast. So that's my role. That's my role. That's my role. And I have done it. I have done almost the impossible, which is funny to me. It's so funny.
Starting point is 00:29:54 It's so great. I love it. I love it. It's everything that I loved about Monty Python and Andy Warhol and David Bowie and all of my heroes. You know, I love it. Do you see your role in the, you know, the kicking the zeitgeist in the country breakfast? Do you see it as a service?
Starting point is 00:30:18 Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Yes. Because this is what whatever this thing is, this creator, whatever that thing is, it wants to experience humanity. Good, bad, there's no judgment. There's no right or wrong. There is a moral right or wrong that I don't want to impede on another human's pleasure or their space or their time. But in my teachings in being a seeker, you have to contemplate the idea that what if there is no right or wrong? What if it's all good, just like the Alan Watts thing, when we wake up, it's all going to be fixed. When my computer
Starting point is 00:31:03 tutor comes back, he just, oh, it's okay, it's all good. There's no right or wrong. It's all going to be fixed. It's all going to be fine. Cause this is all temporary. This is all an illusion. This thing that we're in right here, it's all fine. Now within that, of course there is a moral compass
Starting point is 00:31:18 and I am a kind person. I am a person who is very conscious of your feelings and of the feelings of the people who are around me. It is important for me to branch out and do things. And yeah, I've done a lot of fun, fun stuff. And that is that my role is to be of service to this gift, this magical gift I've been given these, you know, many years, you know, it wasn't until I got into drag that I realized I had a great pair of legs. I had no idea. And I wouldn't have known had I not, you know, tried some new things, tried some new things, branch out, see what it's like being of service to this body, seeing what it's like to try things
Starting point is 00:32:09 outside of what society expects or wants, whatever. I think the service, in my opinion, for whatever that's worth, has gone beyond the providing of joy and excitement to your fans. I think it's also, you know, and you talk about finding this for yourself in the book, a lot about finding your community, finding your people after having been not accepted in many ways, being called a sissy growing up, and then you finally find your people,
Starting point is 00:32:47 you find the world of drag, you have given that to countless people, whether they're interested in drag or not, just the idea that it's okay to be whoever the hell you are. Yeah, it's great. Now listen, now this isn't, it's not just a selfless thing. My motivation is to go out and have some fun. I love to laugh. I love, you know, yeah, sure. One of the great extras from
Starting point is 00:33:19 doing that is, you know, it has brought other people some joy and given them some recognition. But don't get it twisted. I'm doing this solely to entertain myself. It starts there. You know, I always said, listen, if other people get something out of what I'm doing, I'm like, right on, buddy, right on. But I'm doing this for me. I'm doing this because I need to entertain myself. You know, I want to have some fun. There's not, Dan, there's not enough fun going on anymore. You know, when I was growing up, the, uh, there were signs you drive down the street, you ride down the street and there were signs says cocktails, dancing, cocktails,
Starting point is 00:33:59 dancing, disco, dancing and roller disco. It's not that people are looking at their phones and they're doing this myopic dance with themselves, there's no community unless it's an online community or something. But we are not having fun. We are not having fun. I keep my roller skates in the trunk of my car and I'll drive up to a parking garage at the very top floor where there's no roof and open the car doors and put a speaker out there and just have
Starting point is 00:34:30 my own roller disco. And George has his pair and we roller disco by ourselves. But where is the fun? Where is the fun? Where's the disco? The disco crossed that line where it challenged people to get in touch with what's going on inside of them with their spirit. Dancing around a fire, the disco lights, that's the fire. And then dancing around a fire, the tribal spirit, we conjure the spirit when we dance around the fire. And what happens is people became afraid of that, afraid of their spirit,
Starting point is 00:35:12 because all the ancients, the ascended masters say, if you were able to be in this moment right now, the first thing you would recognize is how much pain you're in. And if you were to conjure that spirit right now, that spirit would let you know that you're in a lot of pain and nobody wants to deal with that pain. So it's easier to be distracted with your phone in front of your face. But that's what happened to Disco is Disco didn't die. People who couldn't dance or couldn't get in touch with their spirit shut it down. They shut it down. And we are right now in a place where the spirit is so shut down. It is so shut down. That's why even this conversation we're having is so revolutionary because to wake people from their daytime nightmare is a revolutionary act. I thought COVID was going to do it. I thought
Starting point is 00:36:14 the pandemic was going to shake the world the way that World War II shook the world into being present. It didn't, but it will happen. It will happen. Unfortunately, it's gonna hurt a lot. It's gonna hurt a lot to wake everybody up, you know? This hurt that you're predicting, is that why I read that you're building a compound in Wyoming with your husband, George,
Starting point is 00:36:42 who you referenced before, is that, is this what your reference, when you talk about the hurt that's going to come, is that what you're kind of pointing at? Probably. Yeah. I mean, you know, I don't know if there is escaping it. I mean, I guess you could prepare for it, but you know, the scariest thing on this planet to me is ignorance. It's unconsciousness. And of course, when people are walking down the street or God forbid, driving the car like this with the phone in front of their face, that's unconsciousness. Remember about 15 years ago,
Starting point is 00:37:12 there were all these movies about zombies and there still are, but those movies were a parable for where we are today. They were symbolic of this unconsciousness that this almost like a thought disease that has taken over the world and it's really scary. So I don't know if a compound actually, Wyoming is actually very, yeah, I'm not gonna say it. I mean, yeah, I don't know, there's no escaping it. We're all gonna have to go through it together.
Starting point is 00:37:56 So the compound might provide you some distance and physical safety, but whatever we endure, you can't really opt out. No, you can't. We all did this together. We are all, we're not separate from one another. There's only one of us here. Our perception, if you hit that Google Earth button,
Starting point is 00:38:13 you realize our ego makes us think that we're separate from one another, but we are not. We are one thing. We are one thing. And so that's why the revolution will come from within. It will start from within and it will reverberate through all of us. That's why the work that we do with this podcast or with our meditation or with learning to love ourselves is so important.
Starting point is 00:38:46 On this book tour, I opened with telling everybody that I've put a picture of myself as a kid on my phone. This is me at five years old on my phone to remind myself of who it is I'm actually dealing with. Whose sweet kind heart I am looking after, who I'm caring for. And that small gesture on my phone is revolutionary because how I treat myself, my kid who lives inside of me, who's still there, is a direct reflection of how I treat other people
Starting point is 00:39:26 in the world. I learned from my parents how to treat that kid, and it was terrible. Now I get the opportunity to reparent that kid and treat him with so much love and so much kindness to where kindness to where it alleviates the pain that we feel in this moment, that I feel in this moment. I've learned how to process those feelings the way my parents, they didn't know how to do it. We talked about the drugs and alcohol. It forced me to learn how to process those feelings. Drugs and alcohol were a makeshift processing tool until I was able to learn how to actually do it. The drugs and alcohol put my feelings, my emotional life on hold until I had the wherewithal to learn how to deal with those feelings. And now I do. I've been in a 12-step program. In August, it'll be 25. I've been in a 12-step program in August, it'll be 25 years I've been in this 12-step program. And through this, I learned how to process those
Starting point is 00:40:33 feelings. And part of the process in those feelings are dealing with that kid who lives inside of me. And that is a revolution because me dealing with those feelings, that child inside of me changes the pH balance of the entire world. Us even just talking about it right now, the people listening will be reminded that there is a kid inside of them who needs your attention and it will only take attention from one person that's you. It's the only person. Over my life, I've tried to pawn this kid who lives inside of me off on other people, other things. Here, would you take care of my child? Would you please? Are you my daddy? Would you please take care of my child? Child doesn't want anybody else,
Starting point is 00:41:25 only wants one person and that person is you. And this is a revolution, this is revolutionary talk. This is the only, this type of consciousness is the only thing that will change the trajectory of this world we're living in. It's the revolution is, it's not gonna be televised, it's a revolution that is inside of you. This is where it begins.
Starting point is 00:41:47 Coming up, RuPaul talks about his daily spiritual practices, talking to his inner child, and an incredible business idea he has. From Wondry, this is Black History for Real. I'm Francesca Ramsey. And I'm Conscious Lee. And every week we're going to be chronicling a lot of trials and triumphs from black folks you ain't never heard about, even though we've been doing the damn thing since forever. Together we'll weave black history's most overlooked figures back into the rightful place in American culture and all over the world.
Starting point is 00:42:23 Because on this show, you're gonna hear a little less... In August 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. And a little bit more... Sam looks to his fellow students. They're just as mad as he is. He can't stop thinking about the tragic war in Vietnam and the violent backlash to the Civil Rights Movement. It's like the whole world falling apart.
Starting point is 00:42:44 And ain't nobody ready to make it right. The school board could do something to change it, but they'd have to listen first. Follow Black History for Real on the Wondry app or wherever you get your podcasts. Divorced beheaded died. Divorced beheaded survived. We know the six wives of Henry VIII
Starting point is 00:43:04 as pawns in his hunt for a son, but their lives were so much more than just being the king's wives. I'm Arisha Skidmore Williams. And I'm Brooke Zifrin. And we're the hosts of Wondry's podcast, Even the Royals. In each episode, we'll pull back the curtain on royal families, past and present, from all over the world to show you the darker side of what it means to be royalty. We rarely see Henry VIII's wives in their own light
Starting point is 00:43:27 as women who use the tools available to them to hold on to power. Some women won the game, others lost, but they were all unexpected agents in their own stories. Being a part of a royal family might seem enticing, but more often than not, it comes at the expense of everything else, like your freedom, your privacy, and sometimes even your head.
Starting point is 00:43:48 Follow even the Royals on the Wondery app or wherever you get your podcasts. Go deeper and get more of the story with Wondery's top history podcasts, including American Scandal, Legacy, and Black History for Real. Before we get back to the show, just a reminder about the Healthy Habits course over on the 10% Happier app, taught by Kelly McGonigal and Alexis Santos. To access it, just download the 10% Happier app wherever you get your apps. I am very interested in self-love, and I a million percent agree with you that it is not selfish.
Starting point is 00:44:21 It really, it's inexorably linked to how we treat other people. It is however, one of these kinds of cultural cliches, you know, it's kind of knitted onto throw pillows and used as a hashtag or whatever. And so I'm curious, like when it comes down to brass tacks for you, Rue, what are the practices that help you actually create a relationship with the five year olds who's on your home screen? That's a great question. And we talked about it earlier,
Starting point is 00:44:49 I do have a spiritual practice and it starts very early. At the first thing I do when I wake up, I stretch, I pray, and then I meditate. And that creates an equilibrium that allows me to be in touch, not just with my physical body, but the source, that thing that cannot be described. And it acknowledges that there is a thing and that my ego is not that thing.
Starting point is 00:45:18 Now listen, the ego doesn't go away. It's always there. My darkness, my dark passenger, it's always there. It's always there. My darkness, my dark passenger, it's always there. But in that spiritual practice, I'm allowed to have an even playing field. My dark passenger never goes away, but what I can do is I can fortify and strengthen the other side of it, my spiritual life, to remind me of who I really am. And who I really am is an extension of the power that created the whole universe. So that alone, that one thing, having a spiritual practice and reminding myself, yourself, that that is real.
Starting point is 00:46:06 That's where the revolution begins. Then it transfers into in how you walk and integrate in this world. It seems like a small thing, but it is huge. And I think, and I talked about this earlier, the fact that there, there is no dancing, that there isn't a disco on every corner. I know we laugh at that, because disco is such a bad rap, but it is huge. I was just driving the other day and there's these beautiful churches all over the city with these great real estate. That should be a disco. That should be a frigging disco where people can, a daytime disco.
Starting point is 00:46:54 Gramps here, I'm in bed by 8.30. I want to go to a disco at 11 o'clock in the daytime and have lunch there. Maybe there are smoothies there. Maybe they have lockers, no phones allowed. And I think you'd have to be over 40 to get a membership at this disco. And we would dance. I sweat like a pig when I dance. I'm soaking wet.
Starting point is 00:47:23 So I would have some, it's like a gym where I'd have my disco clothes in a locker and then I'd take a shower and clean up and go and I'm back home maybe by two o'clock or maybe you could go after work, skip traffic and then when traffic is over, you know, because the disco would close at like nine o'clock. For us, you know, over 40 crowd, or in my case, the over 60 crowd. Dan, can you dance? Do you know? This is actually a sore subject, but it's something I've been thinking about a lot. A lot, actually.
Starting point is 00:48:18 I will sometimes dance with my son who's nine, but I'm very self conscious and is one of these things that I, I want to say I'm self critical about, but not in a way that I'm like self lacerating or. You know, hating myself for, but it's an area of growth that I'm aware of that I'm very interested in. And I really agree with, I think what you're talking about is a business model that somebody should pursue because I think there are a lot of takers. Yeah, listen, there's no bad dancing. It is unlocking the spirit, the child. It's unlocking that and not judging it because that judgment you're talking about is a way that we were taught to judge that child, that child who lives inside of you. There's no bad way of dancing. It is you access the spirit. You are calling up the spirit. You don't judge the spirit.
Starting point is 00:48:59 The spirit is what it is. It's a part of you. So that is a place to start working on this area of releasing the judgment of the dance. I mean, we are all dancing anyway. Life is a dance. So for anyone listening, once you release the judgment of that's a great thing. By the way, I actually can dance. I was in ninth grade, I won best Afro, and I won best dancer at my junior high school. By the way, it wasn't because I was the best dancer
Starting point is 00:49:40 and I did have the best Afro, but I won that prize because I was hanging out with the right people. Everything is political, right? So I was hanging out with the right people. That is why I nabbed that. You mentioned roller dancing that you and George keep your skates in your cars. How consistent are you about dancing or roller skating
Starting point is 00:50:03 as like a, I'm gonna use the word practice. Well, as often as it comes out, I work, I like to work, I'm always busy with work, but you know, even at the studio, we're about to go into season 17 of our television show, I will bring my roller skates to the soundstage and sometimes there's an empty stage there and I will use them there. How consistent, as often as I possibly can.
Starting point is 00:50:27 Now I am an adult and I do have to work. I was a mortgage I have to pay. So as often as I can, it's not often enough. I'll tell you that we have a disco at our house and these huge speakers. I don't dance enough. I, if I could, I would dance every single day. I don't dance enough, you know, but if you're ever here in Los Angeles, I'm going to put those speakers on and what's your go-to song? Do you remember Dan, the first unit of music that you ever owned?
Starting point is 00:51:02 I had a 45 of the Spinners, Could It Be I'm Falling In Love was the first record that I owned. Do you remember the first unit of music that you possessed? The song that's coming to mind that I remember putting on by myself all the time. I don't know if I bought the record or not, but it's the first song on Fleetwood Mac, the Fleetwood Mac record Rumors. And it comes on with that flanging
Starting point is 00:51:30 guitar and I remember dancing in front of the speakers. What it was it don't stop? Secondhand news that I have a like, I still get a little choked up when I hear that song. It reminds me of my parents. See there, it's conjuring the spirit. It conjures the spirit that you carry with you. And you cannot ignore that. Because again, the child in you, and that is the conduit. That's the channel to which all of us can find sanctuary and spirit and peace, honestly, because we have so much unrest in this, not only this country, but in the world right now. And it's because we have become unconscious and unconscious out of survival because the pain of our childhood of whatetrable feelings. That's why the tears come immediately when we think of these things, when we get in touch. So many of us have that same story. We're afraid of the tears, we're afraid of the emotions,
Starting point is 00:53:05 we're afraid of the spirit. But don't be. Dance, sing, dance, skate, get in touch with it. This tributary of the conversation began because I asked about what do you actually do to practice self-love? You reminded us of your morning routine, but it sounds like there's way more to it. There is, you seem, it seems like you have antenna up for the type of fun that the
Starting point is 00:53:35 five-year-old Rue might have enjoyed. And you're looking for opportunities to sing, dance, skate, laugh. You also mentioned 12 step program and sobriety. That's part of this, I would imagine, I'm guessing, but you haven't confirmed this, that therapy may also be part of this? Yeah, sure, yeah. All of those things, and listen,
Starting point is 00:53:57 all roads lead to the same place. The things that you named, they're not very different from one another. When you become, as a seeker, all roads lead to the exact same place. Whether you follow Krishna or Jesus or Buddha, all roads lead to the same place, which is that child that lives inside of you. And the 12-step programs, therapy, it all goes to the same place. When I first got into therapy, Allroads led to me at five or six years old, seven years old, waiting for my father to pick me up on the front porch for his weekend with the kids. And he would not show up. Many, many years of therapy. I've had the same therapist for 25 years. All roads led to the same place, which allowed me to, as a detective, have a real conversation
Starting point is 00:54:57 with that five-year-old and say, hey, you know what? With X-ray eyes, with hitting that Google Earth button, it wasn't personal, it wasn't. I wanted to make it personal because I'd imbued my father with the same emotional consciousness that I have. If I were to leave a five-year-old waiting on the porch for me, I'd be very conscious of it, and I would have done it, I guess, on purpose.
Starting point is 00:55:23 So I was able to tell the child who lives inside of me, honey, it wasn't personal. He wasn't there. The truth of who he was, he couldn't be present because of his own pain. And so I was able to take that information over many, many years and not take it personally and see him for who he was. And it changed everything in my life when I was able to accept
Starting point is 00:55:58 that information. Now, here's the other part of that is that some people The other part of that is that some people have created an identity around that victimhood and some people would not be willing to let go of that identity created around that victimhood. I was fortunate enough to be able to let that go, let the identity I had created as a victim of my father's hurt, I was able to let that go. And that enabled me to move so much further. I alleviated all of the weight and the pain and the baggage of that. It took up so much space. I was able to alleviate that. Now, the question for all of you out there is, are you willing to let go of the identity you've created from childhood? Because that's the real work. That's where the real work comes in.
Starting point is 00:56:58 Because once you hit that Google Earth button and you go, oh, I didn't see this part over here. Oh, I see the whole landscape. And that actually, that hurt I felt had nothing to do with me. So finding that joy, finding that happiness starts with alleviating some of the baggage, all of the baggage actually. You have to some of the baggage, all of the baggage actually, you have to clear a space in your consciousness for a new way of seeing yourself. You have to clear a space, clear all of that out. Question becomes, are you willing to clear out
Starting point is 00:57:39 the baggage that you created an identity around? That's the hard part. It's so it's like, it's a delicate dance because you want to have a relationship with the five-year-old you, but you don't want to be so tied up in building an identity around all of the biographical details of that, of said five-year-old. Yeah, no, well, the five-year-old, you have to have a frank, honest, trustful conversation with them and bring that five-year-old up to speed. You know, they say when you pick up drugs and using your emotional life ends.
Starting point is 00:58:17 Right then. So my emotional evolution ended at 10. So when I stopped using, I was able to bring that 10-year-old up to speed with what's happening now. So yes, it is about having a conversation and bringing that child up to speed and saying, honey, that wasn't your fault. That was not your fault and I'm going to tell you why. and I'm going to tell you why. And you can trust me, the adult me, to take care of you. Yes, I did put you in some terrible situations. I did some really horrible things, but I'm going to make up for it now. And that kid knows when you're lying. That kid knows when you're full of BS.
Starting point is 00:59:10 That's where the work comes in. You know, there are cars of strangers I've gotten into and you know, up at the club, you know, someone would say, here, open your mouth. And I say, what was that? And can you imagine doing that to a 10-year-old? I wasn't 10 at that point, but that child is still witnessing all of the indignities and nastiness that you have allowed within relationships, in how you see yourself, all of those things, they matter.
Starting point is 00:59:51 It all matters. But today, in this moment, you have the opportunity to change it today. You are a magician. You are a co-creator. Today, you can change just like that. You are a magician. You are a co-creator. Today, you can change just like that.
Starting point is 01:00:07 This self-talk that you're modeling here, the way you're talking to your five-year-old, are you aware that there's actually quite a significant body of research that shows that talking to yourself in specific ways can be very helpful, or did you just come upon this on your own? It's not rocket science, Dan. I mean, you know, you know, if, if you hit that Google earth button, it's very easy to recognize where the crime happened and especially, you know, even in meditation, the scene of the accident, the scene of the crime becomes, you become very aware of where, where it happened and how it all started. So yes, the research,
Starting point is 01:00:49 sure. Now it's not rocket science. I mean, I meet a lot of people who have traveled the world. I see each adult as their seven-year-old school picture with the thick glasses and the screwed up teeth, the googly eyes. And I go, oh baby, oh baby, oh my gosh. And I have compassion for them and I can see them and I could see whatever they're projecting outward, whether it's nasty or angry or whatever, I could go, oh, I see you. And I see what happened to you. I can see what happened. I can feel what happened. And I can have compassion for them because of that. But the research, sure.
Starting point is 01:01:31 You say there's research on it. Yeah, all roads lead. It's not rocket science, Daniel. It's not rocket science, but for me, it was a huge revelation that I didn't have to rely on what I thought was keeping me safe was, you know, like an inner drill sergeant, quite harsh, that actually I could be super deliberate the way you just demonstrated in talking to myself, it's been massively helpful. And so maybe I'm just a dumb dumb, but it, and obviously that's facetious self talk, but it landed to me as a major revelation, rocket science or not. Yeah. Well, because if you take the world at face value and mums must buckle up young
Starting point is 01:02:19 man and do the thing, you know, if you believe that, then yes, it is a huge revelation. But, you know, I firmly kept one foot planted in the belief that the emperor's is not wearing any clothes, that the emperor's new clothes don't exist. And one, it's like a duality, one where I can smile and go, uh-huh, yeah, sure. The emperor's clothes are great. You know, so I had both going on at the same time. And then with my tribe, you know, they could support this idea that, yes, this is all an illusion. I remember the first time I dropped acid, it was confirmation that indeed.
Starting point is 01:03:01 This is all an illusion. And it was, it was great. So I held on to that. I held on to that, that belief and that the consciousness. Yeah, so all of that. What you're talking about this, the illusion, it is, you know, seeing that it's an illusion, but also having a moral code. This is such an interesting, I mean, the, you use this term, ascended masters, the spiritual titans, the great thinkers of over the ages have pointed to this, you know, T.S. Eliot talking about learning to care and not to care at the same time, that seeing that everything's an illusion but it also matters, being sensitive to the hurt of your inner five-year-old and every
Starting point is 01:03:47 Everybody you meet out in the world every grown-up you meet out in the world being in touch with their inner seven-year-old At the same time seeing that it's all an illusion It's all a performance and as your high school teacher said don't take life so fucking seriously Which is a thing you write about in the book this walking the line, that in and of itself is an interesting dance. Well, it is and it isn't. This world is filled with polar opposites that coexist and night, day, black, white, all of those things.
Starting point is 01:04:15 They can absolutely coexist and be truthful simultaneously. And that's where the balance, that's where the meditation and finding that equilibrium early in the morning, that spiritual practice allows you to recognize both and to know that both are true. Half full, half empty, both are true. It's a fine dance. That's why being conscious in this moment is the most important thing you can do because that is that allows you to walk that fine line and to recognize both polar opposites at the same time. Coming up, RuPaul talks about his definition of wealth and he ropes me into a game of dirty charades, which is a little spicy.
Starting point is 01:05:07 So just a heads up if you've got little kids around or if you happen to have sensitive ears. I'm curious, did you ever make peace, you know, face to face with your parents? No, because I carried the story with me. My father, I got sober when I was 39 and gotten lots of therapy, lots of that. So in, and I stepped away from show business for about four years. And in that time, I was able to recalibrate my outlook on life. I had spent so much of my first 39 years trying to get his attention. And in fact, my motivation in show business had so much to do with getting his attention. And in those four years that I stepped away from show business and focused on my sobriety and therapy and all that stuff, it shifted. I shifted my focus from getting
Starting point is 01:06:11 his attention to what motivates me. And what motivates me are colors and music and laughter and joy and dancing and shapes and texture and that it shifted everything. So I didn't have to go and face him and talk to him about it. There's a great book by Dr. Susan Forward called Toxic Parents, I read many years ago, where she runs through a process of reconciling a relationship with a parent whether they're alive or not. This process, it's all with you writing letters and really in having a conversation with the child that lives inside of you.
Starting point is 01:06:58 You can do this without having to confront your parents. In fact, most parents would just get defensive and they wouldn't be able to understand what you're really talking about. So, and then with my mother, again, I really liked her a lot. She was damaged and mean. But I really liked her a lot and I loved her. Yeah, no, there wasn't as much reconciliation with her.
Starting point is 01:07:29 I understood her. I understood the pain. She was really damaged. Are they both, I know your mom has passed. Oh no, they went on to Paris many years ago. My mother left for Paris, I think, 34 years ago, I don't remember. And then my father, it's interesting because once I changed my relationship to and once I got through all of that, there was no emotional attachment. I don't even remember when he died. I never cried. Let me just backtrack,
Starting point is 01:08:06 because recently I've been really focusing on hero worship. In a Judeo-Christian background, we are focused on saviors and the patriarchy and mother, father, and so over the years, I've had these idols who I've placed here and I've had to re-examine my relationship to my idols who I've all met, had dinner with, all that kind of stuff. And the process of taking these people off of this pedestal and being okay with myself, being self-propelling, like how a rocket needs a fuselage to take it to a certain place and then the fuselage breaks off and the rocket is on its own. This is an interesting concept. Anyway, with my father, once I was able to take him off of that thing, I was self-propelling and I had to figure out what propels me forward. And it's those things I listed, joy and love and colors and dancing and roller, all of those things,
Starting point is 01:09:22 laughter. Laughter is my favorite thing on this planet so far. In my discovery as the boy who fell to earth, I have found that the most valuable thing is number one, laughter, number two, kindness, number three, a fat ass. I didn't see that coming. Why is a fat ass so important? I think you know, Dan.
Starting point is 01:09:59 All right. Fair enough. fair enough. Fair enough. We'll be asking that did not to not to get us back on the more serious ground but to get us back on slightly more serious ground. I am very interested in the subject of motivation and you brought it up. And you talked about how once you were able to separate yourself from the fuselage of being motivated by living up to your idols or impressing your dad,
Starting point is 01:10:35 it was, you had to figure out what like intrinsically motivated you and love and colors and joy and fun and laughter and fat asses all fit into there. What about money you mentioned before? I've got a mortgage to pay. I think that was probably semi-facetious, but but How do you does money ever corrupt your motivation? How do you balance that? You know, I've got to tell you honestly I I grew up we were on welfare. I got to tell you the truth is I have always been or on welfare. I got to tell you the truth is I have always been rich and I know it sounds so stupid. We didn't have, I didn't grow up with money. My parents, you know, my mother,
Starting point is 01:11:12 we were on commodity cheese. A certain generation of people know what that is. It was government supplement. The truth of the matter is I've always been rich and I've always been rich because I always knew how to create magic. I always had books, books were so important to me, books, television. I could recognize magic even when I was 28 years old and my Saturn returned. And I was sleeping on my baby sister's couch here in LA, not a dime to my name. I was still rich because I had the ability and still do to see the beauty and to create the magic. I know, I know for people who don't have money right now, they're like saying, F you, you stupid MF, but this is the truth.
Starting point is 01:12:04 And so in terms of being motivated by money, I've always been taken care of. I've always felt like I had angels around me, even those times when I got into cars with strangers or, you know, put some pill in my mouth that I had no idea what it was, somehow, for lack of a better term, I say angels, I don't know what it is, I have been looked after. And even if everything went away, I have no doubt that I would be somehow taken care of because of the magic and the magic of imagination,
Starting point is 01:12:43 of books, of recognizing the gifts that this life has. That really is because I know people who have, I know billionaires who have nothing. They have nothing because they have no joy. They have no imagination. I know imagination. I know people who have literally billions of dollars who don't know how to create a magical situation. I can create a magical situation with no money. I told you, you know, laughter is my favorite thing. I don't know if I've tried to get you to play dirty charades. I probably did when we were together, dirty charades. It's basically regular charades, but you just change one word and you cannot change syllables. I'm not going to say anything nasty here, but dirty charades is, you know, you use words like poop or trying to think, trying to think, Oh, I have my list here. Anyway, long story
Starting point is 01:13:42 long, like my sister and the cookies in the backyard, I can create magic and it doesn't take money at all. So am I motivated by money? I do. I want to get paid. That's for sure. And I do love to work. I love to work, but I like to work because I get to work with my friends.
Starting point is 01:14:02 Would I take a cut and pay? Hell no. Hell no. Hell no. But I do love it. I love it. Let me see some, I'm going to try to, I have a list of words. You can be as dirty as you want. I'm not going to because I know that there are Christian
Starting point is 01:14:15 children who listen to this show. You know, words like sperm or poop or turd. That's not bad. Butt plug. Okay. But see, so I'm not going to be a racist. I'm not going to be a racist. I'm not going to be a racist. I'm not going to be a racist. to this show, you know, words like sperm or poop or turd. That's not bad.
Starting point is 01:14:27 But plug, okay. But see, so here, let me give you an example of some of my favorite dirty charades. And I'm not gonna get too dirty for the Christians who are watching this movie. Three men and a little cooter. You know, baby is a little baby, right? Cooter sings the blues. Rosemary's cooter, you know, baby is a little baby. Right. Right. Cooder sings the blues, Rosemary's cooter.
Starting point is 01:14:48 And then let's see, let me do 12 years of slut. It's a movie, a song. I'm going to, I don't want some of these are very dirty and I'm not going to go there. Uh, let me just do one. Oh, TV show, the Mary Tyler whore show. Here's what this is my last one. This is my last one. Okay. Don't make it your last one. Oh, here's one. One of my favorite movies, Starship Poopers.
Starting point is 01:15:36 I like that. I like that. I have a nine year old son who would like that. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. I'm going to do one dirty one. Okay, I'm gonna do one dirty one, okay? So if you're a Christian child, please close your ears. Musical, Broadway musical, Annie Get Your Cum.
Starting point is 01:15:56 Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Okay. Do you have just, you just keep a notes? I do. You have like a notes file? I do. I have a notes file where I'm watching Jeopardy or hear a title and I'll see a book title and I'll go, oh, okay.
Starting point is 01:16:23 I'm going to allow you to come up with one. So I'll book the red badge of courage. Can you guess what, how I would turn the red, the book, the red badge of courage into a dirty charades? Well, see, I am eminently cancelable, unlike you, I think. So I'm not even going to hazard a guess. Oh, really? Okay.
Starting point is 01:16:50 I get it. I get it. And you're right. And you know, you have to take care of yourself. Well, the red badge of courage would turn into the red vag of courage. And see this conjures up that child who lives inside of that goofy child who, and it's irreverent and it is my favorite thing to do. Everybody who knows me on set, we have to be very careful on set because people want to sue you for saying vag. But you know, I love to conjure up that kid who lives inside of me, who is firmly planted
Starting point is 01:17:33 in the irreverent, the goofy, the funny, and it's so freeing because it's like a, it's like a mantra to remind yourself, don't take life too effing seriously. There are things to take seriously like kindness and sweetness and laughter and fat asses, but everything else is up for discussion. I take your point very well. And this is probably the last podcast that anybody will ever let me do. So I'm going to say that. Oh God.
Starting point is 01:18:20 Rue, it's so much fun to talk to you. Is there a place you were hoping we would go in this conversation that we haven't yet gone? Anything you were hoping to say that we haven't touched on? No, you know, I trust the process. You know, I was on this book tour, I did 14 cities, and I would go out every night and do an hour of talking just like this. And I really, I had an outline of where I wanted to go. I wanted to talk about that child who lives inside of me, which is a revolutionary concept. And then I would just let it flow and I would allow the process to just guide me. And I believe in that. I believe
Starting point is 01:18:57 that what we've said today in this podcast is very important and it is what the gods, the angels, the listeners wanted us to talk about. And it's beautiful. In fact, when I go on stage, I would tell myself, okay, Rue, mama's living room, you're going out in front of mama in the living room and everything you do, she will love. She will love everything.
Starting point is 01:19:27 She would laugh, laugh, laugh. And that's how I go on stage every time I go on stage is I talk to that kid who may be nervous or anxious or whatever and say, you're fine, honey. Mama loves you no matter what. So you go out there and you do your thing. And that's brilliant. That is brilliant because once you clear a space, you clear out the anxious or the insecurity, you clear all this stuff out, you have so much more bandwidth, so much more capability to receive the source, receive the blessing that your life
Starting point is 01:20:13 will be so much more fulfilled when you take out all that crap. It's just one quick story. In my 20s, I used to be late to places and I had plenty of time. I just procrastinated and it was late. When I really put the x-ray eyes on that situation, and this happened in sobriety, when I was able to dissect and hit that Google Earth button, I realized I was addicted to rushing to the place going, oh shoot, driving, oh, I better make this light, I'm going to make this light, oh shoot, I almost have time. I realized I was addicted to that part of being late. And once I was willing to let go of my addiction to the rush of trying to get somewhere,
Starting point is 01:21:08 rush of trying to get somewhere, I would arrive 15 minutes early. I would arrive 15 minutes early. So on the surface, it was an issue with procrastination, but when you really got in x-ray eyes and you really look at the situation, it was something else. Just like with my computer, I would throw, put something in the garbage. And then the issue was still there. And it's like, well, it's deeper. It's deeper. So when you look at a situation with X-ray eyes, you're able to really figure out what's
Starting point is 01:21:37 happening. And this is true. And this is true when I said earlier about, you know, people building an identity around their victimhood, are you willing to let go of the rush of the payoff you get from being a victim or from an identity you've created around your victim? You see the correlation between on the surface, I was late, I was procrastinating. It was the rush. You see the correlation between
Starting point is 01:22:21 building an identity and getting a payoff from an identity. My point is, underneath the surface, there is a deeper story. That's where the House of Hidden Meanings comes in. Looking for the truth in the illusion where this idea of the real you, the real you, where are you? Are you in a pod, you know, dreaming all of this? You know, anyway, yeah, I've, I've, I've drifted, I've drifted off into my own head. I like when you drive. And I think what I'm hearing you say is that I think this is the
Starting point is 01:23:17 common denominator you're pointing to. And you'll correct me if I'm wrong. There's so much going on in the world and in our own mind. correct me if I'm wrong. There's so much going on in the world and in our own mind. But if we look for the hidden meaning, it may be hard, but it will be liberating. And there are strings attached to that hidden meaning. You know, the payoff judge Judy says, follow the money.
Starting point is 01:23:43 You know, for me in the late situation, the money was the rush I got from. You know, rushing and for my victim hood, the money was the rush I got from rushing. And for my victimhood, the rush I got, I was able to justify a lot of bad behavior because in my mind, I felt the world had done me wrong. I'm an outsider, so I can do whatever I want because the world has done me wrong, but when I was willing to let go of, you know what, the world has not done me wrong. The payoff was the justification of bad behavior, you know? I have this little tagline I use sometimes. The view is so much better when you pull your head out of your ass.
Starting point is 01:24:22 And that's in a mind when I hear you. I mean, if you've ever been ill in the hospital or something, you, or if your back is out, you really understand how blessed you are, you know, it's changing in perception, you know, that's a miracle. A miracle is a change in perception. You know, get your head out of your ass and you can actually see. I was just gonna say thank you for coming on. It's always such a pleasure to talk to you. Really, I say that that's not perfunctory. I genuinely mean it. Thank you. Yeah, very kind. Thank you for having me.
Starting point is 01:25:01 Thanks again to RuPaul. Don't forget his new memoir, The House of Hidden Meanings. It's available wherever books are sold. And he's also running a book club right now through his new online bookstore, Allstora. The May selection was Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth. And RuPaul and I recorded a conversation for his book club members all about A New Earth, which was a huge book for for RuPaul and a huge book for me, although I have complex feelings about it. If you want to learn more about that book club go to alstora.com. That's a-l-l-s-t-o-r-a dot com
Starting point is 01:25:38 a-l-l-s-t-o-r-a dot com and you can find RuPaul's book club for more information. and you can find RuPaul's Book Club for more information. Don't forget my weekly newsletter, which you can find on danharris.com, where I sum up my favorite learnings from the week's episodes and also drop a bunch of recommendations for books, movies, viral videos, et cetera, that I'm into right now. Before I go, I just want to make sure I thank everybody
Starting point is 01:26:00 who worked so incredibly hard on this show. Our producers are Tara Anderson, Caroline Keenan, and Eleanor Vasili. We get additional pre-production support from Wamba Wu. Our recording and engineering is handled by the great folks over at Pod People. Lauren Smith is our production manager. Marissa Schneiderman is our senior producer.
Starting point is 01:26:18 DJ Cashmere is our managing producer. And Nick Thorburn of the band Islands wrote our theme. If you like 10% happier, and I hope you do, you can listen early and ad free right now by joining Wondery Plus in the Wondery app or on Apple podcasts. Prime members can listen ad free on Amazon Music. Before you go, tell us about yourself by filling out a short survey at wondery.com slash survey.

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