Bianca Del Rio is here to remind you It’s Jester Joke

Everyone’s favourite clown in a gown is heading back to Perth with an all-new show and a timely reminder that It’s Jester Joke.

Bianca Del Rio, the winner of the sixth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race has taken her sceptre and run with it, releasing her first book Blame It On Bianca Del Rio, two feature films with comedy superstars like Rachel Dratch and Wanda Sykes and countless stand-up world tours.

We called Del Rio as she wrapped up her UK tour with fellow Drag Race finalists Courtney Act, Adore Delano and Darienne Lake to find out why she’s dedicated her career to comedy.

Before we get into the show I wanted to ask; Did drag or comedy come first for you?

“I think it was drag! It wasn’t a conscious effort to go into comedy, I think it just kind of evolved you know? It was the same thing with drag.

I was a theatre kid and was always making people laugh backstage, then I got into shows, then some of the roles I played ended up being drag roles which led to the bars, then when I was on the bar scene early on it became comedy because a lot of the queens were either dancing queens or singing queens and none of them wanted to talk on the microphone to kill time… so that became my speciality over the years.

Now 23 years later I’m talking to you, which is kind of wild!”

It’s Jester Joke is obviously a stand up show, but it seems like the overarching message is ‘don’t take things so seriously’. Is that right?

“How can you take things seriously?! I’m a man in a wig dressed as a clown.

It should be fun, and I think that the state that the world is in means we need to laugh at something. Take two hours out of your day to come and laugh at me and then you can go back to reality.

It’s important to laugh and keep that balance because right now, I’ll get on Twitter or something and read the comments, or even read the news, and it’s discouraging. You don’t know what to believe, you don’t know what’s real and you can’t make some of this shit up!

You do need an outlet for it all, and I think comedy is very important for that.”

How much has changed for you since Rolodex of Hate? That was a few Australian tours ago now!

“It was very challenging initially to do the first show because you’re supposed to talk about what you know, so I for some reason thought it was a great idea to talk about my life, but now I’ve realised it’s better to talk about other things.

I did that show for quite some time, it was over a year of travelling with it! Through that you kind of figure out a better rhythm. I remember sitting there with a performer friend of mine and talking about what I personally didn’t like, and she said ‘well, why don’t you just do another show?’

I realised that rather than worrying about what I’ve already done, I can move on and create something new! So that’s been my motto with each show that I get to do.”

Comedy is a strange beast in current times, and many online are quick to tell you if they don’t like a joke. How do you deal with those criticisms?

“Well I don’t! I don’t care what a 13-year-old child has to say on Twitter, that doesn’t affect my life in the least. I lived in a world where there was no social media so if fans have a little bitch, it doesn’t bother me.

Anything you do, someone’s not going to like it. That’s just the way the world works. That doesn’t mean it’s not funny. It can not be funny to you, and you’re entitled to that opinion, but that doesn’t mean I change my ways, that doesn’t mean I apologise, or back down. I think a lot of the time I don’t think these people are offended, they’re just trying to be social media warriors.

I’m not your elected official, I’m not your President, I’m not your parents! You don’t have to deal with me, so go about your business.”

It’s been four years and six winners since you took the Drag Race crown. Are people still screaming your catchphrases in the street?

“Absolutely! It’s kind of fascinating how the show has evolved, not over the years, but just because at some point it’s in the UK on Netflix and that came out years after we were on the show in America so it’s actually worked out to our advantage to have these pockets of time in between so you’re introduced to a whole new audience.

I never thought I’d be performing in Hong Kong or Brazil or Singapore… it’s kind of wild to think that many people are aware of you, aware of that particular season, or even remember what you were saying! It’s flattering but it’s also quite shocking. The world is a lot smaller than you’d think.”

All Stars 4 is currently underway. Are you excited to see any of your sisters back on TV?

“Over the years I’ve become friends with so many of them, or I’ve known them for quite some time! I’ve known Manila for at least 12 years, Latrice I’ve known for years, Trinity I’ve known since her season, so it’s always great that they get an opportunity to go back and show their talents because a lot of the girls leave the show early so this is a chance for them to come back stronger!”

Bianca Del Rio: It’s Jester Joke will be at the Perth Concert Hall on Tuesday 26th February. Tickets and more information available from perthconcerthall.com.au

Leigh Andrew Hill

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