Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pandora Boxx Interview

I was lucky enough to speak to famous drag star Pandora Boxx recently and just as expected,it was nothing but a pure delight. The star is best known for starring in Season 2 of Rupaul's Drag Race (which had the highest ratings the network had ever seen). Pandora has gone onto to star in a spin off show 'Rupaul's Drag U' and will also be the host of another show 'Dragtastic: NYC Stand Up Comedy Special'. 

I spoke to Pandora about her past,experience on the shows and her other successes as well as getting an insight into her future projects. 'Rupaul's Drag Race' will be airing here in the UK & Ireland after summer so don't read further to avoid spoilers.

1 - First of all congratulations on all your success so far! Now the show will be airing here in Europe just after September,so for those who have not seen Season 2 yet,what can they expect from the show and from Pandora Boxx?

Thank you so much Evin!  You never know what is lingering about in that Boxx of Pandora's!  I think you can expect flashy clothes, humor and a dash of sexy all rolled into one sassy Boxx. 

2 - Arguably yourself and Juju bee were the only...comedians when it came to drag,more so with yourself . . do you feel like being funny helps you stand out from,lets say performs who just mime to a song?

I think my comedy does make me stand out definitely.  Anyone can get up there and lip sync someone else's work.  Ok, well, not everyone can do it fabulously but you get the point.  I think being able to carry yourself with your own material, be it comedy, singing or synchronized swimming can help put you in a class by yourself. 


3 - What were you like growing up . . . interests,school,hobbies,television etc?

I was a bit of a TV addict.  I think that helped cultivate my sense of humor.  I always liked creating characters whether it was playing with my sister's Barbies and Strawberry Shortcake dolls or writing my own play that I put on in fifth grade for my entire school.  I also used to make puppets and my sis and I would force my parents to watch our puppet shows. 

4 - You shared a dark part of your like on the show - which many of us can relate to . . it was great to see 'real' moments like this because it made the stars more easy to connect with. Have many people reached out to you after this?

So many people have.  It really was astonishing to me.  I had no idea by talking about my attempted suicide that I would strike a cord in so many.  It didn't surprise me so many had been where I was but I just wasn't expecting the type of impact that I had.  I almost didn't talk about it but I'm so glad I did.  I've received a few emails from people telling me that they didn't go through with it because of what I said.  That is truly powerful and I feel blessed I could help someone in that way. 


5 - When did you first start experimenting with drag and what was your first show like?

I have a picture of me in drag when I was five years old!  My mom threw out the wig after she took the picture.  I was crushed.  I think with all the characters I was creating, Pandora was always bubbling up under the surface.  Right after I graduated high school is when I first did drag.  I went to a "drag party" where a few friends were getting in drag.  A drag queen put me in drag but made me look really hideous because I was dating her ex-boyfriend who come to find out wasn't really an "ex."  Bastard! 

6 - Tell me about the new show Drag U and your role on the show?

I am a drag professor on RuPaul's Drag U.  My job is to help biological women find their Inner Diva that has been lost for some reason.  By transforming these women into full on drag queens we help transform their lives and make them realize they are fabulous!

'Poster for Rupaul's Drag U on Logo TV'

7 - Now myself and many others were pretty annoyed with your placing on the show,especially as I thought you were a shoe in for the final - you still did quite well but were you annoyed at this too and did winning miss congeniality make you feel better because it was from the fans?

Winning Miss Congenialty, by a landslide they said, was amazing because yes it was voted on by the fans.  They spoke and they spoke loudly.  I know that Logo received quite a few angry emails.  I know I was flooded with emails and Facebook messages and Tweets.  It really made leaving when I did feel much better.  I have no complaints though.  RuPaul's Drag Race has done so much for me and without that show I wouldn't be doing the amazing things I am doing and I wouldn't be on RuPaul's Drag U!  I think being on Drag U is a great consolation prize. 

8 - The show will be airing in Europe and the UK soon,where the show is quite popular . . are you prepared for a whole new bunch of adoring young fans and whats it like knowing that millions across europe watching you?

I am so very excited for the show to air in Europe and the UK!  I have to admit I have never been to Europe before.  I have always wanted to go and I hope to soon.  There are so many countries and cities there I want to visit.  It's so exciting to think that people will see the show there!

9 - I have to say,your Carol Channing,for me was the funniest thing on the show . . are you asked to do this impression alot now? 

I do get asked a lot just to say, 'Raspberries," when I meet people.  It's funny.  I'm just so glad so many people enjoyed that!  I adore Carol Channing so I'm happy to bring her into the consciousness of the younger people watching the show who had no idea who she was.  She is one of a kind! 

'Pandora Boxx as Carol Channing' Comedy Gold.

10 - You've had great recognition after the show,and deservedly so . . what are your upcoming plans for the rest of the year?

I'm doing quite a lot of touring through the end of the year.  I'm also hosting a stand-up comedy special for Logo in NYC in a few weeks.  Hopefully they will play it in Europe!  I also wrote a play called "The Lipstick Massacre" that may just be on its way to NYC too!  I'm also working on some music and I'm so very excited to have my own material.  People can always find out what I'm doing on my websitewww.pandoraboxx.com.  The extra "X" in Boxx is for "X-factor!"  

Poster for 'The Lipstick Massacre' which won rave reviews and sold out shows.

Quick Fire Questions!

1 - Fav songs to perform to : Eight Miles Wide by Storm Large, All The Lovers by Kylie Minogue, Like a Prayer - Madonna (though my favs change all the time)

2 - Choice of drink? Absolut Berry Acai, Club Soda & Cranberry

3 - Fav television shows : RuPaul's Drag Race and RuPaul's Drag U of course!  And Doctor Who, Torchwood, 30 Rock, Battlestar Galactica, Ugly Betty

4 - Fav movies : SO many!  Drop Dead Gorgeous, The Color Purple, Steel Magnolias, Death Becomes Her, 9 to 5!

5 - Best style tips : Wear what makes you feel fabulous!  And you can never go wrong with the right pair of sassy black boots!

6 - Have you been to Ireland before? or plan to . . I have not and I would love to!

7 - Tips for an upcoming drag queen? Run!  Ha!  Just be fabulous and have fun.  You may not be the best at first but with a lot of hard work, duct tape and makeup you can be the fabulous self you long to be.

A huge thank you to the brilliant Pandora Boxx. Information on the shows European air dates coming up.
In the meantime visit www.pandoraboxx.com for more details and be sure to become a follower of the blog.

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