Bianca del Rio is arguably the most popular winner from RuPaul’s Drag Race ever, and early next year she’s heading back down under for a national tour. Matthew Wade caught up with her to talk drag, throwing in the towel, and It’s Jester Joke.
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What’s one of the main ways drag has changed over the past ten years?
Exposure is the biggest change. Before RuPaul’s Drag Race, there was a large part of the population who had never been exposed to drag. They had never been to a drag show or even seen a drag queen. But thanks to the power of television, now drag is in their living rooms. Television is a powerful thing.
I think there is good and bad with everything. Overall, I think it’s a good thing. More exposure leads to more acceptance… for drag and the LGBTI community in general. It also makes drag queens step up their game because there are more people wanting to do drag now. The untalented ugly ones better figure something out because there are 20 new queens doing their research and polishing their skills, just waiting for the opportunity to take someone’s place.
As a comedy queen, do you feel the rise of ‘woke culture’ impacts the way some people receive your jokes?
I can’t worry about how each person receives my comedy. I do what I know and what feels right for me. Some people will like it and some people won’t. I know it’s not for everyone, and that’s okay. There are lots of other queens they can see.
Do you ever have moments where you want to throw in the towel?
I think about it every day, because I’m human… and old. But what’s the alternative? Working in a cubical answering phones all day? I’d rather eat broken glass. Prior to Drag Race, I had planned on quitting drag when I turned 40. That just goes to show you never know what the future has in store for you. I can’t do it forever, but I have no plans to stop anytime soon.
You recently released your new book Blame It On Bianca del Rio. What are you hoping your fans take away from the book?
I’m hoping my book replaces the Bible in every cheap hotel in America and converts every Trump supporter and Republican who cheats on their wife in those hotels. I know… I dream big. Seriously, the book is a 43-year-old drag queen giving advice. I just want people to lighten up and laugh. There’s enough heavy and depressing shit in this world. The book is just meant to be light-hearted and fun.
What’s a piece of advice you wish you’d been given when you were younger?
Don’t do drag! It’s a trap!
You’re heading back to Australia next year – what topics are you hoping to address in It’s Jester Joke?
I’ll tell tales of my world travels and the outrageous circus that is my life, and I’ll cover topics ranging from politics and travel to family and social media. And of course I always touch on current events and pop culture.
What can fans expect from the show?
Like any good hooker, they can expect to have a fun time with me!
What’s your favourite thing about visiting Australia?
My favourite thing about Australia is that Courtney Act is no longer there. Just kidding! My favourite things are koalas and chlamydia.
Bianca del Rio will be touring her new show It’s Jester Joke in 2019 between Wednesday 20 February and Sunday March 1. For more information or to buy tickets visit: thebiancadelrio.com/2019-tour