Exploding into our consciousness as a fan favorite cast member of the second ever season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (and later on the first season of “Drag Race All-Stars,” where she was shockingly eliminated on the first episode) this hilarious queen has kept herself extremely busy – and the rest us perfectly entertained – over the years on stage, on screen, and behind the scenes. Now returning one more time to our city with a new stage show detailing her TV Drag Fame Life and Beyond, Pandora Boxx opens up to Thotyssey!
Thotyssey: Hey Pandora, thanks for talking with us today! So, it’s Halloween weekend! Is this an exciting time, or is it always Halloween for you?
Pandora Boxx: I do love Halloween! But alas, every week is Halloween for me. Unless I’m working or someone sends me an invite I can’t refuse (hint, hint), I usually stay home. Thankfully, there is Stranger Things 2 to keep me in the Halloween spooky mood.
Per tradition, there will be thousands of drag queens born this week. What is your best advice for a baby Halloween queen today?
Stop. Quit now. There’s too many queens right now. Ha!
Are you still based in Rochester these days? Do you know what the scene like there now?
Nope. I moved out of Rochester 6 years ago. I’m sure the scene has been devastated since. Kidding. Not really.
Were you at NY DragCon?
I was! It was amazing and such fun. The fans were super nice and excited, so thanks to everyone who stopped by my booth to say hello!
And do you have any favorite NYC queens?
NYC has a bevy of amazing, fabulous queens. One of my favorites is my galpal Sherry Vine. She’s hilarious, and a whore. My favorite combo!
As a comic, do you think comedians should apologize for their jokes that might offend people, or is “Comedians Don’t Apologize” the rule?
I guess it depends on the joke. Nowadays, it is literally inevitable you will offend someone. Just look at social media! Though I think if you are coming to a comedy show, you have to be aware you won’t like everything a comedian says. I mean, if you are wrong you are wrong, even if it’s under the guise of comedy.
I’m also of the belief that it’s all not that serious. Take a pill, lick a peen, eat a donut, lighten up.
So you are a Drag Race all-star and a fan favorite, being one of the most naturally funny queens to have graced that set since you debuted back in Season 2. What remains a personal highlight of your time during that season?
Ha! Well, thank you for that. “The Snatch Game” was definitely the highlight for me. I still lost the challenge, even after doing everything they asked and them loving it. But watching RuPaul genuinely laugh with me was like a kiss from baby Jesus.
Definitely, we will always remember your Carol Channing from “The Snatch Game.“ What did you think of Bob the Drag Queen’s take on her in Season 8?
I mean, I love Carol, so I’m happy to see anyone do her and bring more attention to the genius that is Carol Channing.
I actually thought I was over it. But then realized all the Racers live in a Drag Race bubble, so we have to constantly relive moments over and over. So it’s been 5 years, and I still have to talk about it like it was yesterday. So I’m going on a cathartic journey in my new show *insert title here,* and will be talking all about that experience.
More on the new show in a bit! I hate to say it, but I’m sure you agree that the All-Stars format was greatly improved when that whole “teams” device was dropped after the first season. Do you think you would’ve done better with the revised format?
No one liked the format of All-Stars 1. Thankfully they really listened to the fans and blew it out of the water with All-Stars 2. I loved it. Who knows what would have happened if that was how it was done for us? It sure would have made a more interesting show.
Mimi has been having a rough go of it lately following a home robbery, and claims that Drag Race fame has not helped her career much. Do you keep in touch with her at all?
Yes I do. We knew each other before she got on Drag Race, and still spoke after AS1. We actually were totally cool on set after our workroom meeting with Ru. She pulled me aside, and felt I threw her under the bus. I whole-heartedly apologized because I was just upset that she was not doing well with my makeup, but that apparently didn’t make great TV. That’s reality TV, though. The show isn’t about one or two queens, it’s about everything as a whole.
Any thoughts on the recently announced cast of All-Stars 3? Are you excited to see anyone in particular, or are you disappointed that someone is missing? I wanted to see your Rochester sister, Darienne Lake!
Of course I wanted to see my long time galpal Darienne Lake (she’s older). I was pulling for Kasha Davis too. Rochester!
I think the cast is pretty amazing. I am super excited to see my Season 2 sister Morgan McMichaels compete. She’s amazing! Oh, and of course Shangela was on S2 for a hot minute. Love her! I absolutely adore BenDeLaCreme, too. We just worked together recently on Peaches Christ’s parody of 9 to 5, which was 9 to 5 Inches. Ben is a delight to work with. I mean, there’s so many great queens!
Do you think Drag Race fans have gotten more meaner and ridiculous since your original season? And are the newer girls on the show partially to blame for this?
Yes. And not completely. Some supposed fans are just downright nasty. I hope someone gives them a hug, because clearly they are in need of some love in their lives.
As for the queens, and I guess the show… you can’t set something up where people read each other all the time and not expect fans to want to act like that. But also, it’s not the show or the queen’s fault that people can’t separate a show from the real world. Though there are a few queens that really just make it worse by the way they engage with these fans. That’s a hard lesson I had to learn. Sometimes people are mean online just to grab attention.
Oh, by the way, apropos of nothing… were you really on an episode of The Ricky Lake Show back in the day called “Get a grip doll.. you’re too fat to be a drag queen” ????
What show? (wink, wink)
You’ve recorded a lot of music over the years. “Nice Car, Shame About Your Penis!” is one pretty amazing single that you put out with singer Shango. It’s kind of a cliche about sportscars and small dicks – but it’s totally true, isn’t it?
Ha! Well, Shango wrote a really funny song, so I thank her for that! I actually had someone post a comment on that video that I needed to apologize to the “small penis community” for how offensive this video was to them. I was a bit taken aback. I mean, to me it’s not about that, it’s about douchebag guys who act like assholes and have to show off their cars because they are lacking in every other way.
I see that you’ve produced a show that starred Kasha Davis in the past. What’s more challenging, creating a showcase for yourself and your own material, or a vehicle where somebody else is the star?
I live for Kasha Davis’ campy humor. I’ve loved writing things for her, and helping her create things. Her voice is so fun to write. I wrote a play called The Lipstick Massacre and wrote a part specifically for her. It ended up being my favorite part. She played it brilliantly. I’m actually in the process of some rewrites, and we are planning to remount the show. It’s very exciting.
There’s some personal stories, some parody songs, some fart jokes. It’s really a journey into discovering who I am after all these years of being a drag queen, and the effect of living in a Drag Race bubble. I’ve worked really hard to make it funny, but still give you a peak inside my Boxx.
Is there anything else you wanna mention to the children?
Should drag queens in America today be more politically and socially active, or is their role in these times solely to distract us and be funny and fabulous?
Now, see…. that’s totally up to the entertainer. If you aren’t true to your voice, then it won’t be authentic, and people will see that. My belief is that I have a voice and I am passionate about a lot of things: like the environment, animal rights, and the travesty of Fuller House getting three seasons. These are important issues, people! So, I voice my opinion… but I try not to be too preachy.
Okay, last question: Cher in Mamma Mia 2! Will this be Everything, or the Carry of Carrys?
Thanks so much, Pandora!
Pandora Boxx’s stage show *insert title here* will be at the Laurie Beechman Theatre on November 3rd (Friday) & 4th (Saturday) at 7pm, and check Thotyssey’s calendar for updated area appearances. Follow Pandora on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, and visit her website.