Bob The Drag Queen

‘Performing in front of a live audience is better than sex – it’s my Utopia’

OK, so let’s get this over with. How did you get the name Bob the Drag Queen?
It’s actually not a very good story. I used to have a different drag name. This guy came on stage and didn’t hear my name properly, so he started to make up all different names. He asked me if it was Kate. I said, “Yeah, Kate is a drag name.” Then I started to just make it more simple, and decided Bob…Bob the Drag Queen…and I thought it was funny, and then I created my name.

So how long have you been doing drag?
Six years now.

What made you decide to do drag? Do you have a drag mother and all that stuff?
No, I don’t have a drag mother, but I do have a drag family. I watched the first season of “Drag Race,” and I thought what they were doing looked like fun. It looked like something I could do, so I decided that I could. My whole life I just decide I can do things: “I can do that,” then I just do it.

Have you ever done a drag pageant?
I’m not very good at pageants. It’s funny, because I’ve never won one. I don’t do well in those.

I thought you competed in Miss Fire Island this year. I judged it.
I competed two times and came in second and third place. Those were the only pageants I’ve ever done.

I saw you at Bianca’s Roast, and I thought you were one of the funniest there.
Thank you, thank you, that’s what I do best. I do that really well.

So tell me, what’s going on in your life?
Right now I do five shows a week. I am also working on a couple of Web projects, and I’m working on a documentary too.

A documentary?
I met this guy Christopher Birk who’s really intrigued with drag queens, and we decided to do one about me. Every year I set a goal for myself. So one year I said I need to be working so many times a week and that I needed to make a certain amount of money just off of drag a week. I said if I don’t make that I’m going to do something drastic. Then I reached that goal, and then the next year I decided to become one of the top drag queens in New York City. I thought if I don’t reach that goal by the end of the year then I’m going to move to L.A. I reached that goal, and then I told myself I was going to be one of the top drag queens in America by the time the year ends, or I’m going to do something drastic. And I’m still on my current trajectory to reach that goal, and that’s what Christopher Birk is going to document. They filmed me already on Fire Island. They are going to follow me around for a year.

When the movie comes out I want another interview.
OK, absolutely. I’d love to.

There is a lot of hype about you lately. I don’t know if it’s because of this documentary, or because you’re one of the top drag queens in New York City.
I think it’s a combination of things. The name Bob the Drag Queen is such a bad name, but I think that the fact that it’s so bad makes it so good.

It’s a really bad name! Also I am very closely affiliated with Bianca Del Rio. When you’re around someone like that, that’s so popular, you gain residual popularity as well. So the people that came to see Bianca wind up seeing Bob the Drag Queen. People notice that Bob the Drag Queen is really, really funny. So they go to see Bianca because she is so popular, and then they also see that I am really funny too.

Let’s get specific. Where are you working now and when?
Every Sunday I’m at Hardware at 7 and at the Monster at midnight. On Mondays I’m at Barracuda at midnight, on Tuesdays I’m at Industry at midnight, and on Wednesdays I’m at Therapy at 11 o’clock.

You’re a busy girl!
Well, that’s another reason I’m popular: I work. I’ve worked in all the drag bars in New York City. There isn’t a bar in New York City that hires queens that I haven’t worked at. That’s why I’m so popular, because for a while you could not go out in the city and not see me! Plus: I really love talking.

And you really are funny! Back to this documentary…when do you expect it to be out?
We started filming about two weeks ago, and we’re going to be filming for a whole year. They are going to be following me for a year. Well, I gave myself a year to make it big! I’ll be taking my camera crew; we will be going to Florida together in October, we will be going to Chicago together, and L.A. Oh, that’s another thing I’m doing, I’m going to be in a movie in L.A. called “Cherry Pop,” so they will be following me there too.

Where are you originally from?
I’m from Atlanta, Georgia.

When you were growing up did you ever aspire to be a drag queen?
A drag queen? NO! My mom used to own a gay bar when I was growing up. She had a friend named Sydney, and Sydney once got shot by a drag queen. Yeah, a drag queen shot him, and I was terrified of drag queens! He always told me that drag queens were crazy, don’t trust drag queens, so I never thought I would be one of those gun-wielding drag queens that shoot people!

Have you shot anyone recently?
Not today.

So, you’re new addition to a crayon box. What brand-new color are you?
I’ve always loved the color macaroni and cheese. Or I would be Amistad Black.

If you could do anything you wanted for one day, and as much of it, what would you pick?
Oh, wow, that’s such a good question. I would spend one day doing a huge, sold out, stand-up comedy show in Madison Square Garden. And I believe that I will do it. That’s the way my brain works. There is no reason why I can’t achieve all the things that I want to achieve. Performing is my favorite thing to do. It’s better than eating; it’s better than sex. Performing in front of a live audience is my utopia. It really is!

You are very, very inspirational.
Oh, thank you. As long as I make people laugh.

What do you think would happen if you were onstage and nobody laughed?
That’s never happened to me. I have never bombed. EVER! When I tell jokes people laugh every single time. I think the reason is because my comedy  comes from an honest place. I don’t just try to regurgitate jokes. If you lose the passion in your comedy, you might come up a little bit dry. Your jokes won’t land because you don’t believe in what you’re saying. So if you don’t think it’s funny, nobody else will think it’s funny. You know what I mean?

Yes, I do. You know, I interviewed Bianca, and I think that you are just as funny, if not funnier.
Never heard of her. A lot of people compare me to Bianca, but I’ll always be bigger and younger. I love her.

I love her too. Everyone loves her. So what would you want myself, your fans and your followers to know about you that they don’t already know?
Such a good question; there are so many things. I used to be able to solve a Rubik’s cube in less than two minutes, but I haven’t done that in like four years. I can’t do it anymore. My name is Bob the Drag Queen, and I’m a queen for the people. I genuinely believe that I am a queen for the people. I don’t do drag for myself, for selfish reasons. I love it, but I really, really think of myself as a public servant. My job is to go out there and provide levity for the people, because life isn’t easy. Michelle Visage or RuPaul had said that “even if you sat in a room and stared at the walls for the rest of your life, even that would be hard.” No one’s life is easy, so I feel good when I get on stage and tell jokes, even though they may seem frivolous and silly, and people just laugh with me. I really consider myself a very strong public servant.

Well, I definitely think you’re very inspirational and will be one of the most internationally famous drag queens that has ever lived!
Oh my God, now I have so much to live up to! I’m going to do you proud baby, I swear.



Eileen Shapiro

Best selling author of "The Star Trek Medical Reference Manual", and feature celebrity correspondent for Get Out Magazine, Louder Than War, and Huffington Post contributor, I've interviewed artists from Adam Ant, Cyndi Lauper, and Annie Lennox to Jennifer Hudson, Rick Springfield, LeAnn Rimes, and thousands in between. My interviews challenge the threat of imagination....

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