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What I've Learned Working with RuPaul (Lesson #5)


I thought I would be a little cheeky with this next lesson. You see, when I started working for RuPaul Charles as his double I had NO IDEA how to walk in heels. I had never owned a pair of heels, I had never worn a pair of heels, and I never anticipated needing to know how. Even when I interviewed for the job I told the producers I had no experience walking in high heels (somehow I still got hired).

Fast-forward to a week into the job... production brought out a pair of thigh-high red boots (not pictured) with the highest heel I had ever seen and said "we need you to wear these and run up and down these stairs while the camera follows your feet." The best I can do is maybe a platform or a wedge but that's not even likely. I was sure I was fired. I'm sweating bullets and Ru comes to set which convinced me even more that this was my last day. Instead he gave me some pointers for walking in heels.

LESSON #5: The heel is just a suggestion.

His main tip was "the heel is just a suggestion." Walk on your toes to find balance. After so many years in drag Ru glides so effortlessly in heels. I probably looked like a crazy newborn giraffe that first day. The crew and I would crack up laughing at how much effort it took for me to walk ten feet. I would go home and practice with these black platform shoes from the 70s to get more comfortable and eventually I was able to handle myself in the red boots. Stilettoes still scare me but I at least have the skill in my arsenal. Who knows when next I will need to "Sissy that walk".

Beside not many people can say they learned to walk in heels from THE RuPaul Charles. I count myself lucky!

I learned a lot from my experience with high heels. Like that it is very hard work (especially if you don't know how to do it) but also very empowering. To see people's faces as I went from 6'4 to 6'10 was an indescribable pleasure. It's hard not to feel a little sexy in a good heel. But the biggest thing I learned echoed from Ru's words "The heels are just a suggestion." You see, it's easy to over look the fact that there are often more than one way to do a thing. By simply observing other people in heels I assumed to walk in them you had to rest on the heel and hope it held you up. It wasn't until I actively participated that I learned there was another way to scale that mountain. Breathe and use your toes to find balance. It's simple but profound. Since then I've used this principle to tackle obstacles and opportunities in my daily life. Sometimes it may seem impossible to succeed with the tasks in front of you but usually that impossibility is a matter of perspective.

Breathe, find balance within yourself, and attack it from a different angle. The heel is just a suggestion.

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