Bianca Del Rio Hits the Road
Whether she’s hosting The Pit Stop or touring the world with her brand-new global comedy tour Dead Inside, Bianca Del Rio remains hilariously incomparable. As she prepares to hit the road to start entertaining the masses, Del Rio sat down with me for an extensive chat. She offered some solid advice on how to pivot from Drag Race to touring life, and told me the one location on the globe that she has yet to travel to, but is more than ready to explore!
Michael Cook: You are heading back out on the road with your new comedy tour, Dead Inside. What has brought you roaring back to the stage?
Bianca Del Rio: I had been doing tour after tour, so a year off has given me all of the ammunition to come back and be raging yet again! As I often tell people, I don’t know if we’re going to solve any of the world’s problems, but we are definitely going to laugh at the BS that is going on—you have to!
MC: This is your sixth tour, after both Unsanitized and It’s Jester Joke being monumental successes. The last tour was the first tour since COVID and you managed to take what had been going on in the world and turn it on its ear, making people truly laugh again. Was the reaction everything you wanted or did some people insist on still being insufferably offended about some of the content?
BDR: I think there are always going to be PITA people, but I think that the minute that there are none, then you’ve lost it. The people that were there and the ones that confront me had nothing but good things to say. Years ago, someone had to be rude to your face; now they can just do it online.
Rarely is someone rude to my face and I look at it this way: if you come and buy a ticket and you’re not in favor of it or it’s not your cup of tea, I can respect that. You’ve seen it from beginning to end and that is your opinion and we’re all entitled to that.
It’s the people that just see a clip or a photo or just assume by the title “this and this” and it’s like, you have no idea! In the end, I am always grateful for the people that come and watch and usually the people that get it are the smart ones. So, I am grateful for that.
MC: With every tour, you break new ground across the globe. From Carnegie Hall to Wembley Stadium, you have headlined monumental spaces. Is there anywhere in the entire globe that you have not headlined that you still would love to?
BDR: Antarctica! It’s the only continent that I haven’t done yet. The last tour was 129 shows, 27 countries, and 99 cities. Antarctica being the only continent I haven’t done yet, I am going to go entertain the penguins. Sign me up—let’s do it!
MC: You are a person who has not forgotten where they come from, and you make a concerted effort to bring the people you know along with you to get a chance to relish your success as well as have their own. Is that by design?
BDR: It started in the UK. It was required to have an “interval”—intermission to us in America, but interval there. I can’t break up my show because I’m not doing shows and costume changes, so we decided if we had an opening act, we could have an interval in between and I would go on and do my full set. It’s impossible to lure people in, stop, and then come back.
Immediately there were fabulous girls that I knew—Mary Mac, Myra DuBois—who were in the UK and who were friends of mine. Then we came back to America, I think it was the third or fourth tour, and I said, “Why can’t we do this in America as well?” Wendy Ho and Sherry Vine were friends of mine in New York City. They were two of the first people that I met there and were basically just lovely and no BS, and they’ve remained that way.
MC: You have very strong opinions about lots of things, and I am sure that people consistently approach you for advice on things. What is the one piece of advice that you consistently find yourself giving out?
BDR: The big question is always, how do I make this happen, how do I go on the road? How do I gather an audience? First you have to have an act, you have to have an act of some sort of product. Decide on that and then you can run with it.
The other piece of advice that I give people is never let them see you sweat; you just can’t. You can’t let them ruffle your feathers. I’m intimidated by no one—or at least they don’t think so. It’s a complete business and that is how you have to look at it. I often tell them that—not that they follow it because they still go do albums and music videos anyway (laughs)! The key to all of it is really going on the road. ▼
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Michael Cook has been a part-time resident of Rehoboth Beach for over a decade. He is currently a contributor to Instinct Magazine, World of Wonder’s WOW Report, and South Florida Gay News.
Photo credits: opposite page Shaun Vadella
Right, Erik Carter.