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  WINDY CITY TIMES

DRAG Bianca Del Rio vs. the World
by Angelique Smith
2019-10-01

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From Sydney to Singapore, Bianca Del Rio, the season six winner of RuPaul's Drag Race, has been spreading clown realness all over the globe with her "It's Jester Joke" tour. Now she's bringing her unmatched comedic timing and razor-sharp wit back to the United States with "the biggest ever solo drag stand-up comedy tour in North America" ( according to a press release ), making a stop in Chicago on Thursday, Oct. 10, at The Vic.

Bianca Del Rio: I am literally minutes before a show here, in Belfast, Ireland.

Windy City Times: We appreciate you taking the time! I'm a huge fan.

BDR: Well, you have incredible taste and I appreciate that.

WCT: This is your fourth solo comedy tour. What do you think you've learned from the first three?

BDR: To drink more. To keep myself intoxicated. Honestly though, you figure out scheduling, you figure out what works best on the road. Because it's a pretty rough schedule by choice. For instance, last night we were in Dublin, tonight Belfast and then tomorrow I'm in Toronto. I prefer a tight schedule because I find that I don't run out of steam. The momentum of the show works best when I keep moving.

WCT: Which tour stop has been your most memorable so far?

BDR: Two days ago, I was able to do Wembley Arena in London, which was insane. It was a huge build-up leading up to it because it was an extremely large, 8,000 seat venue [for the] show, so it was quite wild to experience that on that particular stage.

I didn't realize how many people were there until the lights came on and then you go, 'Oh, my God!' Also, I'm really looking forward to New York this year because I'll be doing Carnegie Hall—which is something I think you always hope to get to do as a performer. Not that every other city isn't great—I'm grateful for all of them—but those two in particular have been big milestones for me.

WCT: Fan tweets about the show at Wembley kept mentioning the word "dark." What's so dark about your show?

BDR: That's just what the show is and I think that people that consider it "dark" are people that don't necessarily know me. As you grow as a performer, a lot of people may not know that I'm from Drag Race, a lot of people might not know my type of humor, not everyone has seen all of my tours.

It's interesting because you do get the conundrum of, if you continue to do the same thing on the same level, then your close fans will get bored with it. If you do something out of the box, then the other people don't know how to handle you. It's such a weird place to be. I guess to people who aren't aware of what I do, it might come across as maybe a little darker than other stuff; but, for me, it's exactly what I've thought but it's a build up to where you're going.

WCT: It's definitely a progression. What do fans in Chicago have in store with this tour?

BDR: Expect the unexpected, I always say. And my show, honestly, will change a bit politically in a few side notes. When I'm in the UK, I discuss Brexit and Theresa May, whereas in America, we've got Trump. Each night is a different show for me, you never know what's going to come out of my mouth and I never know how it's going to translate to an audience.

WCT: Are any topics off limits? Are there any lines that you're unwilling to cross?

BDR: No. Nope.

WCT: Well, that was an easy question to answer.

BDR: I think the minute that you start saying, 'I can't talk about this,' it becomes ridiculous. I am a man in a wig—I'm the biggest joke there is. Therefore, we should all be able to laugh at me and everything else around us. The world is a joke, you've got to find the humor in it. If not, you're going to be a depressed motherfucker.

WCT: When did you first find your inner clown?

BDR: I don't know if I found it or if it was found by others and they pointed it out. As a kid, I think a lot of the choices I made were out of the ordinary for a child. It wasn't until I was a teenager where I just embraced that this is who I am and what I do. It had nothing to do with being gay or wanting to be around boys or anything. It was just the fact that I was always considered different.

WCT: It's a pretty standard line in reality TV competitions to say, "I'm not here to make friends." As a self-proclaimed insult comic, how do you balance making friends—not just on Drag Race but with other famous people—with being true to your brand of comedy?

BDR: I think that with the people that know you as a person, it's pretty normal. You connect with people on a certain level, whether it's work or whether it's sharing the same ideas. I'm actually fascinated by the people I've met that are somewhat celebrities that have a squeaky-clean image and they're total cunts offstage. It's a completely different dynamic for me because I'm a cunt onstage, but I'm really nice offstage.

WCT: How did it feel to be ranked number one of the 100 most powerful drag queens in America by Vulture?

BDR: First of all, I find it laughable. Listen, it's lovely to be on the top of a list and for them to say that. But in the end, there's another list that says I'm the worst drag queen in the world. That's what you have to come to terms with, as lovely as that gesture is, apparently the writer liked me a lot. So, thank you! But if you go around believing that kind of insanity, you're fucked. I appreciate the moment, but it doesn't mean shit past the first ten minutes it was written.

WCT: What's next for you?

BDR: Whenever you're in the middle of something that's huge, someone says, 'Well, what's next?' and you always go, 'Can't I just get through tonight?' What's next? I don't know! Hopefully, more work. There're always some things in the mix. At this moment there's not much that I can talk about specifically yet until they announce it.

WCT: I've read that there's going to be a Hurricane Bianca 3?

BDR: Obviously, Hurricane Bianca 3 is on the agenda. Just trying to find out when I can squeeze it in to film; hopefully, it will happen in 2020. We're plotting, planning and sorting for the next year. And obviously, I would love to continue touring because I love a live audience. I enjoy getting to see the world and seeing all of these fabulous people that think I'm funny.

For tickets to the "It's Jester Joke" tour and more info, visit TheBiancaDelRio.com .

Related: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/NUNN-ON-ONE-COMEDY-Rachel-Dratch-talks-Biance-del-Rio-gay-friends/66924.html .


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