Gottmik, make-up artist to the stars, set out to prove that she wasn’t just a pretty (and signature chalk white) face, bulldozing her way to the finale and breaking boundaries in the process.
As the confidence grew, so did the fandom. It ultimately resulted in one of the most rewarding, delicious runs in recent Drag Race history.
Gottmik chatted with Daniel Trainor and Sam Stone about that evolution, her celebrity fans and why she hopes to be nothing but a tipping point for trans performers in drag.
Daniel Trainor: Hi Gottmik! How’s it going, gorge?
Sam Stone: Hi gorge!
Gottmik: Hi gorge! How’s it going?
Trainor: We’re so good, gorge. Be honest, how sick are you of people saying “hi gorge” to you?
Gottmik: I literally will never get sick of it, because I’ve genuinely been saying that for years! I love that everyone says it now.
Trainor: You truly created a catchphrase in the most organic Drag Race way ever.
Gottmik: Yeah, just an organic way of me being a crazy person.
Trainor: One of the things that was so fun about watching you this season is that it felt like we found out how funny you are at the exact same time you did.
Gottmik: One-thousand percent.
Trainor: I’m curious if you’ve given any thought to what your drag will look like moving forward, now that you’ve really uncovered this new layered persona, and whether that means you’ll become more of a quote-unquote “mainstream drag queen?”
Gottmik: For sure. When I came into the show, the physical aspects of my drag were the only things that mattered to me. I always knew I was funny, but I never sat down to write jokes. I always thought you had to be seasoned like Bianca Del Rio and good at stand-up. I just did not see myself like that. But I realized all you have to do is be yourself. You don’t have to try to be Bianca or Bob The Drag Queen or Alyssa Edwards or whoever. When that clicked for me, it was game over. Now I barely even think about the physical side. It’s so weird I had a flip of a switch like that. I mean, obviously I look stunning (laughs). That’s a little easier for me. But yeah, I’m going to bring comedy and music immediately into my drag persona. That’s my favorite part of drag now! It’s so crazy.
Stone: The looks you brought this season were always so meticulously put together. How did you plan your entire arc of looks?
Gottmik: I have so much fun putting together looks. I love a theme, too. My brain almost works like a Rolodex. When I heard the theme was pockets, I thought of every phrase that has the word pocket in it. I thought about pocket watch and then I thought about Hercules and it just goes that fast in my brain. It’s just so fun. Every look was so me. I had a trans body little black dress moment, but there was a funny side to it. I was so proud of every look.
Trainor: I want to ask you about being a linguistic icon, gorg. You’ve also thrown out phrases like “gorgalintris” and “gagatrondra.” Have you always made up your own words? And, additionally, is there one that we haven’t heard yet and maybe we can incorporate into our daily lives?
Gottmik: Oh my god. Yes, I always have. A few years ago, I did a YouTube video and I recently went back to it for some reason, and so many of the comments were like “Gottmik’s been saying all this crazy shit for years.” I think it’s a way of pausing to think, but not stopping talking. I don’t know what’s happening. One of my other favorites is “spook larook.”
Trainor: Spook larook!
Gottmik: (laughs) Yeah, spook larook!
Trainor: Can you use that in a sentence, please?
Gottmik: You can just be like “Kandy’s pocket look was spook larook, gorge.”
Stone: Let’s talk about your lip sync journey. We saw you lip sync in the first episode, but never again. What was going through your head when thinking about having to lip sync in the finale?
Gottmik: I do drag, so I’m not scared of it. Especially now, I’m so confident in my drag persona. Girl, at the end of the finale, I was like “bring me Alyssa Edwards!” I was being crazy. I might not be Alyssa Edwards, but I do what I do. Nobody else does what I do. I just told myself I was going to go out there and be myself. That’s all I could do.
Trainor: I know you have a lot of celebrity friends. Has there been a famous person who you didn’t know before the season who has reached out that’s totally shocked you?
Gottmik: There have been a few that I’ve been obsessed with. Cara Delevingne texted me today. I still am obsessed with her.
Trainor: What! How did she get your number?
Gottmik: We were DM’ing. I gave her my number and she texted me like “hey love.” I was like “hi gorge!” Ariana Grande has been reaching out to me all the time and has been so supportive. Just such amazing people. Troye Sivan tweeted “gagatrondra!” I was living. It’s insane.
Stone: In a way, I feel like now I’m friends with Ariana Grande, you know what I mean?
Gottmik: Yeah, DM her!
Stone: What do you want to see more of inside the drag universe?
Gottmik: I just want to see more diversity. Obviously, I did come in and show a new side of drag and open a lot of people’s minds. But, at the end of the day, I’m still a white twink putting on a wig (laughs). There are so many more stories that we need to hear. Especially trans women of color. We’re so lucky to have Peppermint, but we need more of that! I’m so excited to be a bridge to get to a point where people realize drag is just an art form, not an identity, and that anybody can do it. I’m so excited for the future of drag because it’s going to something else. There’s going to be no system involved anymore. It will be crashed.
Trainor: So many spook larook moments to look forward to.
Gottmik: Spook larook bigotry.
Trainor: (laughs) Gottmik, it’s been a pleasure. We can’t wait to see where this journey takes you. Rocket ship to the moon! Hopefully our paths cross down the line.
Gottmik: Oh, they will for sure! I had so much fun talking to you both.