Family-sidebar-left

Listen

gsn-google gsn-google

Exclusive: Bianca Del Rio on her first tour of Asia and avoiding trouble with the law

Bianca Del Rio explains why she's not afraid to drag in a country where it's illegal to be gay

Exclusive: Bianca Del Rio on her first tour of Asia and avoiding trouble with the law
Photo: Supplied
Season 6 winner of RuPaul's Drag Race Bianca Del Rio is heading on her first Asian tour. | Photo: Supplied

It’s barely 24 hours into Bianca Del Rio’s ‘forced vacation’ and already the drag superstar is starting to feel restless.

‘I don’t do well with vacation… I don’t do well with sitting down, this was a forced vacation for a couple of days… there’s always something to be done,’ she tells Gay Star News.

‘I find that when I’m on vacation, it’s limiting; the internet is never good, you’re making endless lists, you can’t do laundry, you know those types of things.’

So how does she survive the imposed down time?

‘I will have a drink and that changes the mood usually,’ she says.

The winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race season six is spending a few days in tropical paradise Bali. The vacation comes in between an Australian tour and her first ever shows in Asia.

Arguably one of the most popular and successful Drag Race alumni, Del Rio has a lot going on, which could explain why she finds it so hard to sit still.

She is currently in the middle of her third world standup tour – Blame It On Bianca – which ends in September 2018, she’s just wrapped filming the sequel to her highly popular film Hurricane Bianca and next spring she’s releasing a book.

Despite all her success since winning Drag Race in 2014, Del Rio still counts her lucky stars and knows she has to work harder now, more than ever.

‘I realize what a golden ticket all of this is… if someone says “are you interested in doing a book”, I say “sure”. If someone says “do you wanna do a movie” I say “sure” and I think that’s how you learn,’ she says.

‘You should not feel pity for me, like “poor Bianca she’s so busy”.

‘Could you imagine what an asshole I would sound like “oh God I’ve got to write a book, oh God I’ve got to go to Bali”? That is like total first world problems, are you fucking kidding me?’

BALI! #showerwithnature #fancygaybullshit

A post shared by Bianca Del Rio (@thebiancadelrio) on

International appeal

Throughout our conversation Del Rio keeps stopping to pinch herself. She’s sitting in a posh villa in Bali, doing an international media interview and she’s about to embark on her first tour to Asia.

In just a few days Del Rio will perform to enthusiastic audiences in Singapore and Hong Kong. Considering she’s never even travelled to Asia, Del Rio has no idea what to expect.

‘It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out, but if it goes horribly wrong there’ll be stories to tell people later, it’ll become part of my act,’ the comedy queen says.

It will also be the first time Del Rio has performed in a country where gay sex is illegal. Singapore still has the British colonial law – Section 377 of the Penal Code which outlaws homosexuality. 

Life for LGBTI people in Hong Kong and Singapore is not as free as what Del Rio might be used and there’s also a different set of censorship laws in both cities.

Is she at all worried about what that might mean for her act?

‘You know, I’m not going to have sex on stage, but I think if you’re there and it’s illegal to have sex, that’s good for a laugh,’ she says.

But Del Rio hopes her presence can make some kind of difference. She hopes through her jokes she can ‘humanize the situation’.

‘Sometimes you just need to be that voice to go in and say something. It’s basically for the people, because obviously if you are a gay person in Singapore, then you want to be able to have somebody on your side,’ she explains.

‘And honestly it’s pretty challenging, I would never be too preachy or try to make fun of a place that doesn’t allow it. But if it’s done with humor, I think it will help people in some way.’

Asian tour

Del Rio sounds genuinely excited to be performing in Hong Kong and Singapore.  She knows from previous experiences not to be worried about the language barrier. Travelling to Peru and Brazil for the first time, Del Rio wasn’t sure if the audience would understand her. But to her surprise, people turned up and had a great time.

‘I’m always excited anytime I’m welcome somewhere, or anytime I’m invited to perform at all, I always look at it like “let’s see how this goes”,’ she says.

‘They’re not making any promises to me and I’m not making any promises to them, but I’m willing to go in and do the best I can. But you never really know what to expect, ever.

‘But if it goes completely wrong I’ll have a fabulous story to tell.’

Blame it on Bianca

A skilled standup comedian with 20 years experience under her belt, Del Rio can shift the mood of her show depending on the audience’s reactions.

Her latest show Blame it on Bianca follows in the tradition of her ‘tongue-lashingly hilarious’ standup.  She promises she will definitely ‘spill the T’ on her fellow Drag Race queens. Del Rio explains that her audiences still really want to hear about her time on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

‘There’s lots to talk about the other drag queens, which I do bring as part of my show, because everyone wants to ask your opinion, everyone thinks we’re all friends with one another, so that’s where you can get the real dirt,’ she says.

‘There’s not a day that goes by that people don’t ask me about RuPaul.’

Bravely, Del Rio has an open question and answer portion of her show where her audience members can ask her absolutely anything and absolutely anything can happen.

‘I just give them a natural response,’ Del Rio warns.

Post-Bianca

The self-professed ‘clown in a gown’ knows she’d be foolish to walk away from the amazing opportunities coming her way right now. But she also knows that she will not be doing drag forever.

‘I know I won’t be doing drag my entire life so you’ve got to enjoy it while you can,’ she says.

‘I’m grateful and I think it’s because of the years of having shitty jobs or having moments that were not so bright that I started to realize “wow what a lovely spot to be in”.

‘I think I work harder now than I did before Drag Race. You’ve got to keep it moving and keep yourself out there doing what you love doing.

‘In all honesty, nobody cares if you bitch and complain, nobody gives a shit.

‘So the point is get over your fucken self if you don’t like your life, change it, but if you like your life, celebrate and work harder.’

Hong Kong and Singapore shows

Blame It On Bianca Asia tour dates:

Hong Kong

When: Saturday 25 November, 8pm

Where: AsiaWorld-Expo, Runway 11

Tickets: http://hkticketing.com/events/LTBIANC1117

Singapore

When: Sunday 26 November, 8pm

Where: Shine Auditorium

Tickets: https://www.sistic.com.sg/events/cbianca1117

 


Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us .


HAVE YOUR SAY

FREE E-NEWS