Design & Style, Wellness

There Is No Such Thing as Failure


Lesson time 09:06 min

According to RuPaul, failure is an essential part of self-discovery. He recounts when he pulled himself up from a low point and reignited his ambition, sharing how to conjure inspiration and passion.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: You Gotta Be in It to Win It · Wear Your Identity Like a Loose Garment


[00:00:00.00] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:15.73] RUPAUL: I was sleeping on my sister's couch, my baby sister's couch, at 28 years old. Not a dime-- literally not a dime to my name. And I was out here in Los Angeles at the time and no car, nothing. [00:00:32.39] I eventually made it down to San Diego where my mother was living, and I stayed with her and stayed with her for the holidays. I gained 25 pounds. But by January, one of my tribe members got me on the phone and said, what are you doing? What are you doing? Get your tuchus right back here to New York. I'm going to buy you a plane ticket. You'll get back on that go-go box and go-go dance, and you'll pay me back in a week. And you better get back here and remember who you are. [00:01:12.05] And I did. And I said-- I went back to New York, and I said, you know what? I'm going to go back to New York. I am going to let these Bs have it. I said I'm going to shave my legs, which I never did before. I'm going to shave my chest, which I had never done before. I'm going to give them some Soul Train dancer like you ain't never seen. And I started doing this other drag look, which was kind of sexy. And I though, I'm going to make me some money. I'm going to do this thing. [00:01:42.19] That was January of '89. By September of '89, I was crowned the queen of Manhattan. So I had gone all the way from the ball of my tuchus to becoming the downtown New York queen of Manhattan in less than a year. [00:02:04.22] But in hindsight, I realized I needed to go-- I needed to hit rock bottom so that I could have the energy and the gumption to just fight for my position. I used to be at my sister's house all day, and then I'd leave before she got home from work and be out all night walking the streets of LA by myself. It was like this weird nightmare. It was weird. But failure-- yes, it was a failure, but it was the power that gave-- I needed to get back and fight for what I felt was my rightful place in show business, and it worked. [00:02:49.64] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:02:55.51] There is no such thing as failure. Failure allows you to find the places that you had no idea existed. Failure means that you had an expectation and that you didn't reach it, but the truth of the matter is once you are inspired to get out of bed in the morning and leave the house, you are a success. [00:03:24.66] And being in the game is the prize. A lot of the failures, a lot of the things that I thought were the worst things that could have ever happened to me turned out to be actually good things because I learned how to do it. I learned what not to do. I learned what works for me. [00:03:47.47] And this life is-- it's short, but it's also long. Both are true. And if you're lucky enough to be in this life long enough, you'll find out things about yourself that are very useful, things that don't work for you and things that do work for you. [00:04:06.51] You know, I remember this one movie I was up for, and I auditioned for it. I saw th...

About the Instructor

RuPaul has transformed drag subculture into a mainstream phenomenon with devoted fans across the world. Now the Emmy-winning host, performer, and drag icon is sharing an intimate look at his personal journey to self-realization. From finding your inner truth to owning the room, RuPaul teaches you how to present your best self to the world. It’s your life’s work to shine—RuPaul shows you how.

Featured MasterClass Instructor


RuPaul teaches you how to find your inner truth to overcome hardship, gain confidence, and live your best life.

Explore the Class
Sign Up