RuPaul's Drag Race Winner Bianca Del Rio on Traveling the Country: "Three Drinks, We're All the Same"
Courtesy of Mathu Andersen
Some cities are gayer than others, and South Beach is pulling a serious three or four on the Kinsey scale. The influence the gay community has had on our development through the decades is no secret, and why would we ever want it to be? Miami is out and proud, and we celebrate our heritage any chance we get.
One such chance is right around the corner, coming June 23, as Glitter Box Mondays basks in its own milestone of four great years bringing drag to the masses at SoBe's Kill Your Idol. To make the evening really unforgettable, they drafted this season's winner of everyone's favorite fishy show, RuPaul's Drag Race, to host the party, Bianca del Rio.
Yes, that beautiful, bossy bitch is on her way to South Beach, and we got the chance to catch up with her in advance.
New Times: First of all, congratulations on your win, Bianca. It was stiff competition.
Bianca Del Rio: It's been an amazing journey. I have no complaints, it's quite lovely.
How long ago was it that you actually won? It's filmed, and then you have to watch how everyone reacts when it's aired, right?
When it aired, we filmed it the week before, but they filmed all of us winning, so it's not like any of us knew. They filmed all three of us winning in front of a live audience, and then they aired that night who won, so I was not privy to any information prior to it. Just imagine, 1,600 people in an audience, you can't trust them, so they filmed all three of us and aired it later that night, so none of us knew until the moment.
It's the right way to go, let's be honest, we live in a world of social media, 1,600 people tweeting and posting and conversating. It's crazy to assume you're in front of a group of people and you can trust them.
How has life been since the win?
It's good, I'm based out of NY, and I'm home for a day and then I'm leaving tomorrow. The amazing thing about all of it is getting to travel to all these different cities, soon countries because I'll be going to London. It's amazing, the opportunity, and I love work, and the great thing is to get to work and travel. That's the best part about it, you get to meet all these people that tweet or give facebook comments, which wouldn't have happened without the show.
In someone's personal life, traveling can open their minds and their horizons and change them as a person. Do your travels have any effect on Bianca as a character?
No. I think what's funny is that as you go around, and no matter where you are or what you think the city's going to be, it' still the same people. You still have a pocket of people that you get and you understand. Everyone likes to think they're so different, like 'oh New York is this, Chicago is that.' Trust me, three drinks, we're all the same. So when you're in that environment, it's not so black and white. I think what's funny is that, you know, an audience is an audience, and the great thing about it is they all want to see you and see what you have to offer. The've been amazing, and I'm enjoyed traveling, but it's not so taxing as you'd think. You get these moments. I mean, how often have you tweeted someone and you have the chance to meet them? It's rare that it happens for me. I didn't have twitter prior to the show.
So your life has definitely changed in that regard.
Oh my god, definitely! I'm 38, and 38 is different. I have a Twitter page. I didn't have a Facebook fan page. I didn't have an Instagram page before the show. It's actually pretty amazing.
Social media is incredible in that way. I think Twitter is one of the best ways of interacting with people.
It's been very rewarding for me. I've had Neil Patrick Harris, Cheyenne Jackson, Margeret Cho tweet me. Allan Cumming. It's pretty genius. These people that you didn't realize were watching the show, and they've been my biggest cheerleaders. When does that happen? It doesn't happen but on social media, and that's pretty genius.
You're also working on a movie, Hurricane Bianca. Is that still in the production stages?
Totally! I started crowdfunding prior to Drag Race, and then I left to go do the show which we filmed last summer. I had to hide from the world for a minute and go film the show. Now that the show is over, we're back to crowdfunding again, and we hope to shoot by next summer. It's called Hurricane Bianca and all the information is hurricanebianca.com. It's this genius idea that a friend of mine came up with, and we're writing it and making it happen together, which I'm looking forward to. Also, in the fall, I'm currently writing a one-woman/one-man type of drag review that I can travel with, not necessarily the same thing I do in the bar, but something I can do with a sit-down crowd and more of a cabaret setting.
That's very cool. What inspired that?
Just looking to do something different. The great thing about traveling is you get to see this audience. Everyone wants to see more or something else, and the great thing about the show is it gives you this amazing platform to do things that you might not have been able to do prior to it. People are more willing to take a risk on you now because there's an interest. It's something that in the back of my mind I've always wanted to do, so now I'm just making it happen.
You're coming to Miami to celebrate the Fourth Anniversary of Glitter Box Mondays at Kill Your Idol. You just finished saying how every city is the same, but what does the Miami drag scene represent or look like in your mind?
I think the great thing is that going to other cities and seeing what they have to offer, every bar or restaurant event that I've gone to in the last few months has been amazing. To meet these other performers that work well in their environment and do what they do successfully is always a treat. Miami is a place I've been to a couple of times. I've probably worked there maybe twice over the years, so I'm looking forward to being there. I think every city and every drag queen has a different aesthetic or set up, but in the end, it's mutual respect for one another. I'm looking forward to going there, meeting them, hanging out, and having a good time. It's not so much that every audience is the same, but there's the same types of people wherever you go. It's not like, 'oh, that's a Miami crowd," I don't believe in that. I believe that we all do what we do. An audience is usually there for a show, and they have a god time whatever you have to offer. There's drag queens who lip sync brilliantly. There's drag queens who sing live brilliantly - none of those are me. I go into the comedy aspect, so it either works for you or it doesn't, but the great thing about doing a show with a bunch of people is if you don't like me, you'll like someone else.
What brought you to Miami in the past?
I was there vacationing with friends, one of those moments like "let's go," and I went. My friends still live there, so I'm going to see them when I'm there. I don't vacation often, but when I do, I like a sunny, tropical place.
It's going to be plenty sunny, and slightly disgusting.
No, I can't wait. I've been in New York, and you never know what the weather is going to be like. This crazy winter/summer/spring. I'm looking forward to it.
Glitter Box Mondays 4-Year Anniversary, with Bianca Del Rio, at Kill Your Idol, 222 Espangola Way, Miami Beach. Two rooms, DJs, Boom Boom and the Glitter Box Cast, and celebrating Dustin Reffca's birthday.The party starts at 11 p.m., and cover is free. Call 305-672-1852 or visit facebook.com.
Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.
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