Willam Belli has made a name out of being outspoken. After his infamous stint on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Willam shot to YouTube fame and his drag career took off. Where there’s a taboo, you can count on Willam to be there, seeing what it’s all about. It’s that kind of fearlessness (and, let’s face it, shamelessness) that’s given him tons of material to compile into a self-help book.
Suck Less: Where There’s A Willam, There’s A Way is not your average self-help book. Had it been in the aisle of Barnes & Noble when Charlotte York timidly walked through in an episode of Sex and the City, she would surely have gasped and blushed. It’s rife with personal anecdotes from Willam on drag culture, nights spent under the influence, sex, sex, and more sex. The most shocking thing about it isn’t the stories, though. Willam’s irreverence makes this self-help book approachable. There’s no pretentious attitude or talking down to. It’s encouraging, and, if you’re brave enough to own it, can inspire you to live a little.
In a year full of realizing things, Willam will help you realize just a little bit more. Below, dive a little deeper into the mind behind one of 2016′s most useful releases.
What made you want to write this “self-help book”?
I wanted to write it because I realized I was useful. I helped Neil Patrick Harris with drag for Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I just found out I was useful. I realized a lot of people might want to know this kind of stuff. And, then I realized I know other stuff, too, like how to get out of a DUI, how to beat a lie detector, how to contour, how to get revenge, how to make your credit better, how to cheat, how to lie... all that good stuff.
I love that the book is almost like a mini-memoir wrapped in a self-help package.
I’ve learned a lot from life. I’ve been on my own since I was 16; that was the first time I accepted money for sex, too, but I was really determined to make it. And, I think I have at this point. I’m alive. I never thought I’d go past 32.
In a world of Goops, Marthas, and other lifestyle mavens, what do you bring to the table of self-help?
My brand is ‘suck less,’ which basically means you’re never gonna get it right, you’re never gonna be perfect, and you’re never gonna get exactly what you want, so just be happy with it sucking less than what it would if you didn’t take my advice. I know all the tricks.
One of the things I found in the book that you don’t touch on is failing, in a sense. I feel like failure is a good thing. Do you have tips for failure with dignity?
I don’t set myself up to fail. If you do fail, at least you tried. That’s the important thing, and that you learned from it and you try to do it again, but the next time you cheat. That’s what I’ve done. That’s what works for me. I think planning to fail or worrying about failing is just borrowing trouble. I plan to succeed. I’m really blessed to have the job that I do where I go to a different gay bar or club and make people happy. Like, I’m a clown. Y’know? I love it. I wanted to be in the circus when I was a little kid, and now every night I’m under a different big top if I play my cards right.
What is the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given?
Get the money first.