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Travel Tales: Pandora Boxx

The RPDR alumni launches a new character and looks to the future

Travel Tales: Pandora Boxx
Pandora Boxx. Image courtesy of the subject.

Pandora Boxx has been one of the stars to emerge from the cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

A frequent flyer who jets around the world to perform, we recently caught up with Pandora to swap travel stories and talk wedding plans.

RPDR All Stars 3 will be hitting screens soon. Who’s your money on?

Trixie Mattel. I love the whole cast but she’s my wager.

You’ve recently launched a new character on your YouTube channel, what was the inspiration for Aunty Pandy?

I realised I have no desire to be a mom, but I liked the idea of being that fun, probably tipsy aunt that either you have or want.

She’s a mesh of my mom, my late aunt, and an old Broadway star.

Is Aunty Pandy a new direction for your performance, or a minor diversion in the evolution of Pandora Boxx?

She’s just a character, but definitely like me in a few ways. I think anytime you do something new it’s an evolution of yourself as an entertainer.

She drinks way more than me. I could never keep up with that.

You’ve always been quite political and outspoken, what’s making you angry at the moment?

Everything.

I feel like Trump and his cronies are literally pissing on all of us. I just sit here and think – how can anyone think these things are good? I mean, I know how. They’re all rich, straight, and white. The same people who’ve had all the power in this country since its creation. They’re terrified because the world is evolving, and their old ways of thinking are antiquated. Of course, it’s really all about money.

The #MeToo movement has exposed some of the darker secrets of the entertainment industry. Is sexual harassment something that you’ve ever had to grapple with in your career?

I’m so glad that women are finally brave enough to stand tall and say – we are not going to take this anymore. This is a movement that has been a long time coming.

I’ve worked in bars that had a huge straight clientele, and it was unbelievable some of the things straight men would say to me. I couldn’t actually fathom that this is how they talk and treat women. It was vile. Men can do better.

In the current social and political discussions in the US, who are some of the voices who have surprised you or who you hadn’t expected to be so vocal. For example, I’m really impressed by Alyssa Milano but I’d never have predicted her to take on such a strong activist role?

Well you definitely nailed it with Alyssa Milano. Her Twitter is amazing and powerful. I heard a rumour she may go into politics. She has my vote.

RuPaul has also been very vocal, but that doesn’t necessarily surprise me because Ru has always spoken his mind. Morgan Fairchild is also someone very political. She’s on top of everything.

A lot of the others I follow who are very outspoken but didn’t necessarily surprise me, because they’ve always been fighting the good fight, are people like Martha Plimpton, Patricia Arquette, and Jeffrey Wright.

The most politically active and knowledgable queen I know is Lady Bunny. Girl, she’s knows her shit! Literally and figuratively.

What would your travel tips be for someone visiting LA?

There’s so much to do in LA! Just plan enough time because traffic can be a bitch. Choose someplace either right near the places you want to visit, or someplace centrally located so it’s easier to get around.

If you love the gay scene, then the strip in West Hollywood has a bunch of gay bars all within walking distance. Downtown LA also has a great gay scene now. People should definitely check out my favourite bar in LA which is Precinct DTLA.

There’s so many choices for food here too, some of my favourites are Hugo’s, Rosa Mexicano – the fresh guacamole is the best, Quarters for Korean BBQ, and Tatsu Ramen.

There’s also so many brunches to choose from, but I’m a queen so I have to recommend checking out a drag queen brunch. A lot of my LA gal pals host a drag queen brunch, so make sure to check out where Jasmine Masters, Ongina, Mayhem Miller, Wendy Ho, Allusia Alusia, Misty Violet, and Vicky Vox will be. They know where the party is at!

Last time we spoke, you were hoping to travel to Hawaii and also Dollywood. Have you managed to get to either of those places?

I did get to visit Hawaii and it is beyond beautiful. I need to go back and spend more time there.

I haven’t been to Dollywood yet, but my partner and I have discussed getting married there. We’ve been engaged forever, so it might be time to just do it. A destination wedding to Dollywood!

Which destinations are on your travel wish-list for 2018?

Puerta Vallarta is definitely on the list. I want to try and take my new comedy-cabaret show there. I also really want to get back to the UK – I love it there. I’d love to get back to Australia too.

I’d also love to plan a trip where I don’t have to work. What’s that called? A vacation? I don’t use that word a lot so I don’t know. Can someone plan that for me?

Any New Year’s resolutions for 2018?

It’s so disappointing when you don’t keep them, so I don’t make them too difficult. Mine are basically – drink some vodka, create some art, and keep on keeping on.

Read more from Gareth Johnson


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