Meet Matthew, David and Neville – and get ready to Sissy That Psyche

Christine Fitzgerald 19 Min Read
19 Min Read
Sissy That Psyche
Photo courtesy of Wow Presents Plus

We all know that RuPaul’s Drag Race is peak entertainment television, but did you know it’s also educational? On the new WOW Presents Plus series, Sissy That Psyche, licensed psychotherapist Dr. Matthew Brinkley, his fiancé David Brandyn and his best friend Dvaughn Neville, give a play-by-play breakdown of iconic RuPaul’s Drag Race meltdowns, and reveal the best strategies to navigate conflict with in-person guests and callers who find themselves in similar situations.

We had the chance to chat with Neville, David and Matthew about how a chance encounter at DragCon brought them into the World of Wonder family, how they developed their fabulous fashion looks, their favorite Drag Race moments and more in our exclusive interview.  Get to know (and love) the Sissy Squad!

Let’s talk about the show. How did it come about?
Neville: We were at DragCon two years ago. Matt actually gifted me and David tickets, you know, VIP. So, we were at all the sessions, and we decided, I think a couple of days before, let's all dress in the same color. So, we went, and we were just having a great time just being three black queer folks in that space, you know, it wasn't too many of us. We kind of stuck out and we were dressed really flamboyant, and this guy walks up to us after about one whole day and he's like, who are y'all? Because everybody was taking pictures with us. And I was like, “Well, who are you?” You know, trying to be a little sassy or be a little flirty and he goes, “Well, you know, I'm Fenton Bailey. I am the owner of World of Wonder.” And I was like, “Okay, well, nice to meet you.” And he and David ended up chatting because David was really familiar with a lot of his work. At that time, I ran a production company, and I did a lot of work with Matthew, doing some self-produced, unscripted things.

After that, we had a meeting with his team – that same week, and Fenton came up with the idea of Sissy That Psyche after we sent him our bios and introduced ourselves…his mind worked, and he came up with Sissy That Psyche. He said, “Okay, you got a doctor, you got a reality guru, you got a writer. Y'all three are all cool. Y'all do this all the time.” Boom. And the show just started to compound after a lot of meetings and a lot of creative discussions. So yeah, we got to do something that we love to do and just make magic.

How did the three of you team up?
Matthew:
Well, David is my partner and Neville is my best friend. I would say that that's kind of how we came together was just my wanting the two of them to also meet and having me being connected to both of them. They're both my family. So, that's pretty much how we came together as this threesome.

And we all, all three of us love drag. We love Drag Race. Going to DragCons – me and Neville were actually at the very first DragCon. It was like a couple of years ago in New York, and from then on, we just went to each one. And then finally all three of us went to our first DragCon together, and that's when Fenton Bailey just spotted us being ourselves.

Now let's talk about the fashion since you brought it up. How would you describe your aesthetic?
David: I always say that I wear the clothes that I wanted to wear. as a kid but felt like I couldn't. I grew up in the late 90s, early 2000s so I feel like my style is very like Y2K meets Queen Supreme.

Matthew: And for me and my clothes…the three words that come to mind are sexy, flowy, and flashy. I would say that describes my overall aesthetic. I just love wearing garments that hug my body, but also show off my body, but are also very flowy in the wind. You know, just very goddess like almost sometimes and very futuristic as well. And I like rhinestones. So, all those things, you shake it up and boom.

Neville: My alter ego is actually…I have a nickname and it's Aunt Jackie. I've always been seen as someone like nurturing and wise and, you know, a little tacky and a little Jackie. (Laughs) So, you know, for years I've always kind of did like weird stuff with my style. And then, it really started to blossom when I moved out to LA and, you know, just decided to take it to the next level and just being a little bit flashier with it. But, you know, I just have this. It's really just Aunt Jackie on a black 30-year-old man.

Matthew, how did you discover your passion for wanting to help people and work in therapy?
Matthew: I think two real big reasons. One, I was a college athlete – and I came out during that time, so I didn't really have any support systems to navigate my own sexuality, especially in a sport in the middle of Iowa. I had to figure that out by myself. And so, from then, I said, you know what, I want to be able to support people that have similar experiences, that are queer, have no one else to talk to and need a safe space.

Also, my family was a hot mess. And we were there. We were getting into arguments. I don't think I was out to my family at that time. I also said, if I can learn a way to just learn how to support other people, maybe I could take some of those skills and help them apply them to my own life and my family. So, my family needing some support and my experience coming out as a college athlete and having no support, those two things really motivated me to help support other people in their own journeys.

The core of the show is that you go through some of the most famous conflicts on Drag Race. What are your personal favorite moments from the show?
Neville: Ooh, there's so many good ones. I think my favorite has changed since doing the show. I would always have clips that I would go to at home. But, you know, seeing some clips now, I really think I have found new favorites. One of my favorites – that we actually cover later in the season – is actually a UK clip and it's The Vivienne versus Divina De Campo.

It's just so good because it shows how someone can be impacted by accident. I don't think that what The Vivienne was doing in that clip was really meant to hurt Divina, but she took it so personal. When you first see the clip, you're like, Divina’s overreacting, she's doing too much. And then you watch, and you think, I get it. She does not feel valued. This is somebody she respects. And she's like, girl, respect me and know that I'm talented. And you should have said my name and picked me for your team. And at first, when you see it, it just comes off as a bratty little thing. But then, when you really get to dissect it and really look at it, you really see the humanity in it and the personal impact and you got to realize that these people are in a pressure cooker and they're on TV and their arc, they're in the biggest competition of what might be their lives, you know? It really puts us in a different mindset with doing the show, for sure.

Matthew: And I would say, for me it’s Yvie Oddly vs. Miss Vanjie. That was a blindside in the fact that they were really close friends. They're supposed to be good Judys. But then Vanjie says that Yvie needs to go home. And so that is the biggest smack in the face on that franchise. When someone says your name to RuPaul to go home, it's giving “Oh, we're not the Judys we thought we were, we’re enemies now.”

And so they got into a big fight over that and just being able to understand that, you know, Yvie being really hurt by Vanjie saying that and really getting into how they handled that situation is pretty amazing. And it's an amazing TV at the same time. It's drama, it's chaos, and you're really able to see, like Neville said, when people are in this pressure cooker, they're gonna say some things that will eat them up later. So, I really, really loved that clip and just how that dynamic unfolded.

David: I have to agree. That's also my favorite clip – but for different reasons, because as a writer, I love characters. And that clip has so many different characters. You can write a whole movie off of that, the personalities in that clip, you have Brooke Lynn Hytes avoiding, you have Vanjie being aggressive, you have Yvie deflecting like there's so many different things happening and that really, really makes it special and fun and interesting to watch for me.

Did you learn anything surprising about yourselves while you were putting the show together?
David: I would say, yeah. There's actually a segment that we didn't get to show when we were creating the show, where we interviewed each other about different things that we were going through, and through that, I learned a lot about myself and the issues that I was dealing with at the time, which were around friendships and being…obviously this is my partner, but being friends with my partner, being friends with my with my partner's best friend, has also just taught me a lot about friendships, relationships, and how to carry them on.

Matthew: I was going to say similarly, I have worked with Neville in some capacities, but now we're being filmed, we're now on a whole TV show, and I've never really worked with David in the capacity either. So, learning what is it like to work with two people that I really care about, and also, how do we get through conflicts that come up in that same experience? So, I learned how to navigate a working relationship with people that I already have a relationship with. I think I learned a lot about how to do that, what things to do, what things not to do, and overall how to still come together and really put together an amazing project, despite whatever hardships that we experience along the way.

Neville: I think most of my learning also came from outside of the actual cameras, like working really closely with not only two people that you care about, but working with a team of people, collaborating and figuring out how to do things. David, Matthew and I have such a close and strong working relationship now. It came from clear communication and how we're going to do stuff. When we send important emails, they go to the group chat first, everybody read over it. You know, we make sure that, okay, look, you do this, you do this. And the way we work together as a trio and our communication has taught me so much – and I will take that one to anything I do in the future. I have this show to thank for that. For sure.

Now, if you could give somebody just one piece of advice on how to maintain solid friendships and avoid conflict, what would that be?

Matthew: To accept that you will never avoid conflict and to resolve it in order to strengthen the relationship.

Neville: That is actually it right there.

Matthew: Accept that there's going to be conflict and be ready for that and just know that. There is a possibility to always resolve it. If two people really care about that relationship, there is room to resolve it.

David: I would add too, be prepared for tough conversations and a lot of them.

Neville: I think communication is key and also having rules. I think having rules or some kind of guidelines or some kind of standards and practices, even when you're just dealing with friends or dealing with business partners, there's always a foundation of okay, this is how we handle this. And now let's go from there instead of anything turning into chaos. I would think the one thing that we were really able to do was avoid chaos, and that comes from clear communication and respect of rules.

So what’s next for you? David, you mentioned you're a writer. Is there anything coming up with your writing?

David: I just finished writing on a show, it was my first time in a writer's room for a Disney show called Kindergarten the Musical. It will be out in the summer of 2024. We have a long way to go, but I'm very excited to see it. And in the meantime, if there's any jobs out there, I'm available.

Matthew: For me personally, I have still my private practice. I still see clients outside of therapy and I’m also, moving more into coaching as well. And, just on a personal note, me and David are engaged, and we plan to get married next year. So that's also a big thing. for us as a working relationship and as a non-working relationship. So, I think with me growing my therapy practice, our growing our relationship, I think those are definitely two big things that I'm thinking about in terms of future steps for me.

Neville: Outside the show. I mean, this right now we're riding the wave for sure. Let's be clear. But right now, I'm in the process of launching my nonprofit, which is called Obtaining Mental Wellness (OMW). I also have the pleasure of managing the extremely talented Heaven Lee. She performed at the premier party, and this drag queen is flying all over the place. So, I'll be right behind her carrying bags and booking gigs. After the show, we received some emails, and some people want to book her. So right now, we're riding that wave too. I just moved to LA, so I am figuring it out here and I'm enjoying every second of it. And this is a great start.

Watch Sissy That Psyche on WOW Presents Plus and follow the Sissy Squad on Instagram – Neville, David and Matthew are all there!


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