How did you find your way into the wonderful world of drag?
Wonderful? I started 17 years ago in New Orleans. I was doing a play in drag and it snowballed into my career.
Who are your role models in comedy?
The obvious ones: Joan Rivers and Don Rickles.
Where did the name Bianca Del Rio come from?
No fabulous story; a friend gave it to me. I needed a drag name, and they gave it to me.
What motivates you?
My dealer. No, a live audience laughing.
Tell our readers something about Bianca that would shock them?
I’m a man. Next question.
In the drag community, who is your role model?
I don’t really have “one.” I think any queen who’s working is a role model.
What would you say is the one thing about drag that you love?
Was the New York drag market hard to break into?
Not really. I had 10 years of drag experience from New Orleans, which I believe helped prepare me for the New York City drag market. I also wasn’t doing what the other girls do. So it made it more of a novelty.
Living in New York City, is drag a full-time gig?
No, although it does consume a lot of my time.
I understand you are a clothing designer and dressmaker. How did that come about?
It came about when I was 16 years old. I had designed and built costumes for several theatrical productions as well as doing hair and makeup for the opera, which I continue to do now. I currently work for a Broadway costume company where we build costumes for Broadway shows, ballets, operas, etc.
What was your first show in NYC?
I co-hosted Star Search with Shequida. What a fucking nightmare.
For each show that you do, what changes do you have to make and why?
It changes for me every night, depending on the audience. There are nights when it’s a great crowd, and there are also some nights it’s not a perfect crowd. When dealing with private gigs, there are sometimes special requests that you have to adapt to.
What was your greatest experience in doing drag?
This interview with you, Frankie.
Have you had any celebrity run-ins?
Yes. That’s the great thing about New York City. Too many to mention.
What is the hardest part of being a drag queen?
With your shtick, your comedy routine, do people expect Bianca Del Rio even when you’re out of drag?
No, not really. Most people are shocked it’s me because I’m a lot shorter and a lot nicer than my alter ego.
You perform weekly. Anything we should look forward to?
Mondays at the Ritz, Tuesdays at G Lounge, Wednesdays “Hot Mess” at XL Nightclub, once a month at the Soho House, and soon to be seen at Cherry’s on the Bay and Sandcastles on Fire Island in the Grove this summer.
Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
Not doing drag.
What advice would you give an up-and-coming drag queen?
Stop. Don’t do it. Kidding. I would tell them, never let a bitch see you sweat. The drag community is full of apples and oranges. There is room for us all. Except Shequida – she’s useless.
- Frankie C. firstname.lastname@example.org