Bianca del Rio spotted the electric fan in one corner of the room. She spoke, brandishing the razor sharp wit that audiences got to enjoy on the sixth season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” where she emerged the winner. “My only fan. It’s the only thing that’s gonna blow me.”
But that’s not true. Bianca, the alter ego of Roy Haylock, has fans (and followers—1.8 million on Instagram) all over the world. In fact, she has so many fans in the Philippines that tickets to the Manila leg of her “It’s Jester Joke” world tour sold out in just one day. LA Comedy Live had to add a second night because there was such a high demand for tickets.
The day before her March 12 show at the Samsung Hall of SM Aura, the press room, which had been buzzing in anticipation of Bianca’s arrival, erupted in cheers and screams when she finally walked in, something you don’t normally see happening at a press con. The energy in the room was electric and at the center of it was Bianca, whose killer lines, quick zingers and deep, deep dimples charmed everyone.
“I’m a big fan,” one guy told her. “You have great taste,” she replied. “I’m nervous. This is like a dream for me,” he said.
“You need to get better dreams. If I’m your dream, you’re f_cked,” Bianca said, making everyone laugh.
One reporter asked. “Have you ever done comedy outside of drag?”
She replied, “I have when I lost my luggage. I had no choice. I always say, what’s a drag queen without their luggage? A man.”
Another reporter asked, “What’s next for Bianca? What else do you want to do?” She said, “I don’t know, maybe be a reporter and be as gay as you are.”
Everyone hooted and hollered.
Bianca’s one-woman stand-up comedy show is a riot—one that laughs in the face of the world’s growing obsession with political correctness. No one is safe. No one. Not previous and current “Drag Race” queens, not Trump, not the audience, not Michael Jackson. Straight, gay, young, old, Bianca has jokes about you. “I don’t care. Someone’s gonna get pissed off no matter what you do. So what does it matter in the end? You have to just do what you do and some people are gonna like it and some people aren’t. If they don’t like it, I can’t get upset because they’re just going to die anyway. So why get pissed? Why get upset,” Bianca said.
Tagged the “Joan Rivers of the drag world,” Bianca refers to herself as “a clown in a gown” and an insult comic. She’s so good at reading people that they ask her to do it all the time. “It doesn’t always work. I’ve been at the airport and people have said, ‘Hey, can you read me?’ I’m like, ‘B_tch, can I get off the plane?’ Or like, ‘I love you, can you say something mean?’ It doesn’t work that way always. It is funny to see how people react. Usually in the show, I always have too much to say.”
It may have been Bianca’s first time in the country but “It’s Jester Joke” is actually her fourth show that has traveled the world. “I’m doing stand-up comedy in drag. I’m not lip-synching. I’m not doing death drops. I’m not doing musical numbers, backup dancers. God knows you don’t want to see that. It’s literally a conversation with the audience and we laugh and we make fun of ourselves and everybody around us.”
That’s exactly what she did. And the audience in Manila loved it. Loved it.
At the end of her show, members of the audience got to ask Bianca questions.
“How do I come out to my grandparents?” one girl asked. “Do you feel the need to come out to your grandparents?” Bianca asked. “You haven’t told them yet that you’re a lesbian? They haven’t clocked it by your shoes? Or your demeanor? Or the fact that you like hair in your mouth?”
“They’ll cut me off,” the girl said. “You mean they supply you with money? You tell them if you stop with the money, I’ll stop your oxygen. And then you’ll get the money faster,” Bianca said.
But then she asked the girl to go onstage to record a coming out video with her and there was that streak of nice Bianca—the same one we saw in “Drag Race” when she offered to lend Adore Delano her extra waist cincher. “I am nice when it matters,” Bianca said to us during our one-on-one interview. “You know, as a human being I’m nice but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to make fun of your ugly dress, you know, I have to.”
How does it feel to be in Manila for the first time?
Well, Manila Luzon and I had sex many… Oh you mean… I’m kidding. You know it’s funny because as I’ve been posting I think the wording was “Bianca in Manila, Bianca in Manila” and people were making jokes so we had to clarify that it wasn’t Manila, the loser of “Drag Race.”
Would that be so bad though?
Oh no. God no. I wouldn’t want to sleep with her. I’ve known her too long. No. I know what she’s really like. I’m excited to be here. These are the last two dates that I have on this side of the world. It just worked out great—two shows!
What’s it like being on the road for so long?
It’s great. I mean, that there’s good and bad with everything. But I think if I complained I’d sound like an assh_le. You don’t have much sleep. You don’t have much of a normal life. I do miss my dogs. But, you know, I do have pockets of time at home which is great. You gotta give a little to get a little. I would be miserable if I sat home and said, oh, I wish I could be in the Philippines. You’ve got to balance it out for yourself. And I drink and that’s important, too.
What do you drink?
I drink wine. White wine when I’m onstage, red wine when I’m not onstage.
How’s your godchild Lola?
She’s good. She’s going to be 14 this year. It’s wild. She’s doing well. What was funny is that she recently had a slumber party and a couple of her friends had come over and they were talking about how they loved Trixie Mattel (from “Drag Race” season 7 and “All Stars” season 3). And then Lola was like, well, do you know (about Bianca)? And they were like, no! Because the girls had only seen the later seasons.
Oh my god, they need to be schooled.
She schooled them. She was like, not only do I know him, and we’re close, but I was on there. So now she’s a star.
When did you first realize you were funny?
Not today. I don’t know. It wasn’t always funny. It was called different. Different kind of included the gayness, the craziness and the humor. I was always called different. Probably when I was in my teens and I would do it out of awkwardness. Or you do it out of situations where you thought, ‘Okay, well, let me make a joke, because it seems really weird here.’ And then it just kind of evolved. And then it has just been part of my personality.
What can you tell us about the third “Hurricane Bianca” movie?
I can’t say much but we do have quite a few people that are going to be involved because I end up in Africa randomly because that really makes sense. Shangela will be back with me. Willam is returning in this one as well which is quite exciting. And we’re adding Latrice Royale. I’m looking forward to it. It will be a lot of “Drag Race” alumni which should be lots of fun. We just have to find the time when I can film it. That’s the crazy part. I’ll be traveling ’til December with this show. Yeah, there’s a whole ’nother world that needs my hate.
What are your thoughts on the “All-Stars” double coronation?
Look, everybody was so ready to fight on Twitter. I know both of them and I like them both a lot. Monét (X Change) I’ve known in New York for quite some time and Trinity (the Tuck) I got to meet through “Drag Race” and we go to lunch and always cackle. Instead of trying to b_tch about who won, why don’t they just sit back and be happy that they’re celebrating two queens? Who gives a sh_t? They’re fine. They’re all working. They’re all making money. They’re good. And I think that’s maybe the part that I can’t understand because I’m not a 13-year-old girl who gets crazy about sh_t on the internet. What are you fighting about? These two people are friends. They respect each other. So you know, enough with the bullsh_t, people.
How does it feel to be the first drag queen at Wembley Arena?
I’m lucky that that many people want to see me but it was really more of a business thing. I had performed in London at a theater that was 3,300 seats. We had done three nights sold out so they said, ‘Let’s just do a larger venue’ because it would work. It does sound glamorous but whatever. Whatever is what I’m trying to tell myself and so I don’t get scared. It’s just everybody in one night. But yeah, I mean, it’s pretty amazing. It still blows my mind. But you go, okay, I can’t get lost in that. I can’t get too confident by that. But I also can’t get scared by it. You have to treat every audience like there were just five people. Because when I worked in New York, sometimes you would literally have five people or it would be packed. You have to treat it the same way. You still have to do the show.
What’s the first word that comes to mind when we say Pit Crew?
Oh, my absolute favorite. She is so rotted and so insane. She’s really one of the smartest, funniest people that I know and one of the few people that can make me cackle. If she calls me, I have to take a good hour to sit on the phone. That’s how long it is because she’s batsh_t crazy. Truly one of my favorites.
My one word for her if you asked me a couple years ago would have been annoying. But she’s doing she’s doing much better now. She’s performing, she’s been traveling around… And she’s heavily medicated. So she’s much better.
Glamour! I remember being a child and seeing Ru on the MTV Video Music Awards. I was in high school and and she was this huge blond Glamazon. Never in a million years did I think I would meet him or be on the show. You know, we don’t go to lunch because she doesn’t return my calls, but I do get to go to lunch with Michelle Visage and she eats like Jiggly (Caliente).
You always say you don’t take yourself seriously. What do you take seriously?
The business side of it. I take serious that I’m grateful for this opportunity. I take serious being professional. I think outside of that, you gotta laugh. I mean, even if you were faced with something horrible, you still have to find humor in it. You have to find the bright side of it. The more you laugh, the easier life gets. It’s all jester joke, get it? I worked that in. It’s jester joke, it was a cheap plug.