The enduringly entertaining Pandora Boxx has done much to distinguish herself besides having the distinction of competing on the sophomore season of a little show called RuPaul’s Drag Race. Since then, the Season 2 contestant has returned to RPDR as a Season 1 and 6 All Stars competitor—all the while, racking up credits as an actor, comedian, recording artist, and writer. All of those elements will come into play, when the sly, wry drag queen brings her latest one-person touring show to NYC on April 6 and 7. “Named from a catchphrase that RuPaul said weekly during Pandora’s return to RuPaul’s Drag Race on All Stars 6,” the advance promo material tells us, “Pandora’s new show combines stand-up comedy, music, and video to show why she was called Drag Race’s original Comedy Queen.”
Anticipating her upcoming NYC gig (taking place in that forever drag-friendly Times Square venue, the Laurie Beechman Theatre), Chelsea Community News recently posed a few questions to Pandora, yielding the below easy, breezy Q&A.
Scott Stiffler, for Chelsea Community News (CCNews): What was working in the digital format, during the pandemic, like? What role does it play in your performance arsenal, now that the clubs/theaters are booking live performance again?
Pandora Boxx (Pandora): It was very, very odd. I mean, honestly, the whole pandemic was crazy. In mine and most people’s lifetime’s we’ve never lived through something like that. I mean, it wasn’t a war or anything of that level. For a lot of people this was jarring. It was the birth of the “Karen” and such. I thought, “I’ll never work again.” Thankfully, people were craving entertainment. I was fortunate enough to do a few digital one-person shows. At first it was very odd. But I could see when people digitally tipped so I took that as applause. Also, fortunately, my husband and our quarantine bubble people were there so I could see them covering their mouths to not laugh out loud. I guess because I’ve been doing this since I was 19, I generally know what will make people laugh or at least have a good time.
CCNews: What do you value and what do you dread (if anything) about doing a live stage show again, after being sidelined by COVID restrictions?
Pandora: I will say my first one-person show back again since 2019, I was terrified. Can I do it? The Pandemic was terrible in so very many tragic ways. A sideline of it was that introverts got to live in a bubble and then having to go back into the “real” world is very scary. I say I’m an extroverted introvert. I say this because in my day-to-day life I can be a bit of a recluse or often scared to speak like I was as a youth. To go back out there was so very scary. I did it though. The crowd was amazing. At that point I, again, realized why I do what I do. I love to entertain people and make them laugh.
CCNews: When working on new material for this show, what subject matter
engaged you and made the cut?
Pandora: I will say, I decided it was what made me happy. I wanted to do stories and bits I like to tell. It’s a bit of a “greatest hits” of material I’ve done in various shows. Of course, with some new things sprinkled through. I did decide after the first show when I went “off book” that I need to get a little more political. When horrid people are targeting MY drag community and family, I cannot just turn a blind eye. Just trust, It’ll be in a funny way. My end goal for any show I do is to make sure everyone has a good time.
CCNews: For those who haven’t seen Pandora Boxx live and in person before,
what can they expect that meets or challenges or exceeds expectations,
based on your work in the digital and TV formats?
Pandora: Fuck what you’ve seen. My show is funny, irreverent, relatable, and just a good time.
CCNews: Regarding new laws in Tennessee and pending legislation elsewhere. that restricts drag performance: What can performers and admirers/audiences do to resist such nonsense? What accounts for the passage of such laws, at a time when drag awareness and appreciation is at an all-time high?
Pandora: VOTE. VOTE. AND VOTE. If you aren’t in these states look for petitions or anything. Support your local drag shows. Post on social media about how you support drag shows. Honestly, that last part, right now, is probably crucial. Make videos, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram Reels, shout out that Drag Queens are not the problem! We are the easy target because they are coming for the entire LGBTQ comunnity.
CCNews: What’s your advice to aspiring drag performers who want to make a name for themselves—and might have to do so without making it on to RuPaul’s Drag Race?
Pandora: Despite the backlash, drag is big right now! Also, probably why they decided to target us. I just say get yourself out there, whether it’s shows, videos and such. There’s SO many queens, legendary and now, that have made a name for themselves without that show. Names that come to mind: Juno Birch, Vicky Vox, BibleGirl, Rhea Litre and the list goes on.
“Pandora Boxx: The Boxx That Rocks!” is performed Thursday, April 6 and Friday, April 7 at 7pm, at the Laurie Beechman Theatre (located inside West Bank Cafe, 407 W. 42nd St. btw. 9th & 10th Aves.). Tickets are $25. A VIP ticket for preferred seating and a backstage meet and greet is also available for $40. There is a $25 food/drink minimum, per person. To purchase tickets, click here. For artist info, click here.
ABOUT PANDORA BOXX: Drag queen, actor, comedian, recording artist, and writer Pandora Boxx is best known as a contestant on the Emmy-winning show RuPaul’s Drag Race (Season 2, All Stars S1 and 6). Despite not winning, Pandora proved to be the breakout star and was named by Entertainment Weekly as their “America’s Next Drag Superstar.” EW.com said that hers was “the most controversial elimination of the season.” Fans voted her “Miss Congeniality” of the show, winning by a landslide. That popularity lead to becoming a drag professor on RuPaul’s Drag U (Season 1-3) for which she was voted MVP by fans of the show. Other appearances include: AJ and the Queen (Netflix), The B**ch Who Stole Christmas (Film), Binge Queens (WOW Presents Plus), Open To It (Web Series), Wigs in a Blanket (OutTV), The Browns (OutTV), Some Kind of Wonderful (TV series), Talk Show the Game Show (TruTV), The Mysteries of Laura (NBC), Are You There, Chelsea? (NBC), Watch What Happens Live (Bravo), One Night: Stand Up: Dragtastic NYC (Logo), The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (NBC), Jeffrey & Cole Casserole (Logo), Clip of the Week on The Soup (E! Entertainment), People you Know (Web Series), Drag Center (Web Series, LogoTV.com), X-Confident (Short), A Voice From A Lantern (Film), The Unauthorized Musical Parody of The Devil Wears Prada (Stage), Psycho: The Musical (Stage), Steel Magnolias (Stage), and her own original play The Lipstick Massacre (Stage). In 2011, Pandora added recording artist to the list releasing the song Cooter!(written with Billboard recording artist Jipsta) which reached 56 on the iTunes dance chart. Following up on that success, she released Nice Car! in 2012, I Knew You Seemed Shady, Different, Oops I Think I Pooped and Ridiculous (featured on All Stars 6). Pandora was the creator, writer and star of the public access/internet show The GAY (means happy) SHOW! That show and other work were featured in several film festivals like the ImageOut Gay & Lesbian Film Festival and the Berkeley Film and Video Festival (receiving two honorable mentions). Currently, Pandora is touring the globe spreading giggles, fabulousness, and glitter. Find Pandora on Instagram: @PandoraBoxx, Facebook and Twitter: @ThePandoraBoxx.
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