Does the name “Pandora Boxx” ring a bell? You may have seen her on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Or you may recognize her from her stint as a professor on the short-lived reality makeover show RuPaul’s Drag U, where she helped transform the lives of ordinary women through the miracle of drag. Or you may recognize her from her multiple TV appearances, in shows such as Are You There, Chelsea? and She’s Living for This.
After touring the country nonstop, Pandora is coming to Atlanta – along with fellow Drag Race sisters Ivy Winters, Sharon Needles, Michelle Visage and more – for Battle of the Seasons at Center Stage Theater on April 22. Before her appearance, we spoke with her about the upcoming show, her favorite season six contestant and her thoughts on Mimi Imfurst.
Hi Pandora! How are you? How have you been since the last time we saw you?
Well, it depends on when the last time you saw me was! (Laughs) Since Drag Race, I’ve been doing a lot. I travel all the time, I have my own stand-up comedy show that I debuted off-Broadway and then I have my music, as well. It’s just been nonstop since the show, and now we’re adding on the Battle of the Seasons tour. This is the third, or fourth, leg of the tour and it’s really exciting because it’s a lot of cities we have all wanted to go to and experience and perform. Plus, we get to do some great big venues, which is really exciting!
What are you most excited about when you think about coming down to Atlanta?
I’m excited because the show has gotten great reviews every time we’ve performed it, so it just gets me excited to perform for different audiences. And there are some huge fans of Drag Race who come to the show, so it’s great to see, and feel, all that energy and excitement. I also enjoy getting to work with a lot of the queens who are in the show with me. We may not have been on the same season, or get to work together that often, so it’s cool to get the chance to.
If you had to explain what Battle of the Seasons is in comparison to an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, how would you explain it?
It’s a big drag show, but it’s very different. There are a lot more live elements to it, so it’s kind of like RuPaul’s Drag Race: The Rock Concert! That’s probably the best description I can think of. There are live songs, group numbers, and then you have the biggest drag queen of us all, Michelle Visage, as the host. How can you go wrong with that?
I know that you are watching season six of Drag Race because of your weekly recaps on logotv.com, but let me ask you: who is your favorite queen this season?
It kind of changes week to week, but I think there’s a lot of really good, talented queens on this season. I’m really, really good friends with Darienne Lake, so I have to say that she’s my top favorite. But I love Bianca, I think Adore is adorable – pun intended – and I also really like Trinity. I like her, but I just wanna shake her a little. I want her to have the confidence cause she’s good, but I’m not sure what’s happening.
So if you had to pick a winner this season, who would you pick, and why?
Well, there are still a few more weeks left and anything could change, but I’m really feeling Bianca Del Rio as the winner. I think she’s standing out above all the rest, and I think the reason that’s happening is because there hasn’t been anyone like her on previous seasons, so people are naturally gravitating to her. And she’s so funny! And mean, sometimes with the things she says, but they’re always true! She’s just a breath of fresh air on this show and she’s doing well in the challenges. She’s been good and consistent, probably the most consistent out of everyone on the show so far.
What is your relationship like with your Drag Race sisters? Are you guys just naturally nice to each other, or is there still underlying bitchiness? Any frenemies?
Well, I think it’s just like any group of people you know; you’re not gonna like everybody. We all naturally gravitate to certain types of people. But I will say, the one thing we do all have is a shared experience. We’ve all been through the ups and downs of the competition, and that’s an experience that, unless you have gone through it, you’ll never truly understand. That’s definitely an instant bond!
You were on RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars for one episode and you were partnered with Mimi Imfurst. Unfortunately, you two were eliminated in the first round. Do you feel that, if you had a different partner, you would have done better?
Well, I think Mimi was kind of the wild card on the show; no one expected her to be on. So I was certainly at a disadvantage because of that. I knew that they weren’t going to look at her the same way they looked at Jujubee or Raven, so there was this kind of underlying disadvantage. On Drag Race, you competed by yourself, and then on this show, you compete on teams. So, starting out on a team that already has a disadvantage is difficult.
There’s nothing personal against her, even though lots of people watching thought there was and they thought I gave up. And I’m like “1. I made out with Mimi in that photo shoot challenge, so that’s not giving up. That’s really sacrificing!” (Laughs) And I say that with lots of love!
But there was a lot happening on that show. Plus, if you watched the Untucked, they would see that Mimi walked off the set and that probably didn’t help us stay much longer than one episode.
Do you think a show like RuPaul’s Drag Race has helped, or been detrimental to, the drag community?
I think it’s helped immensely. It’s brought drag to the forefront of entertainment and shed a light on the talent we have in this country. And, with the show, there’s more of an interest in drag now. There are queens who aren’t even on the show that use this as a platform of inspiration, so I think it’s really great.
With drag becoming more mainstream, where do you see the culture in five, ten, and fifteen years?
Well, at that time, we’ll be on Drag Race season 20 by then, so I’m pretty sure RuPaul will be a full-blown Disney animatronic and Michelle’s boobs will be bigger. The thing about Drag Race is that there’s really only one show like it; and that’s Drag Race. I think there will be probably be more! More queens doing music, or more queens on television shows, so I think, and hope, that it’s just gonna get bigger and more widely accepted.
What else do you have in the works right now, besides Battle of the Seasons?
Well, I have a new stand-up comedy show that I’m putting together that’s gonna be in New York in September; hopefully I’ll be touring with that. I’m also working on some new songs, and there will be new music coming out soon. I just don’t have a definitive date yet. I love making music, you know? I’m not an amazing singer or anything, I just enjoy it and hope that other people do, too. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to buy it. (Laughs)
Lastly, if there really was a battle between all the seasons, who do you think would win?
My season! Duh!
RuPaul’s Drag Race: Battle of the Seasons hits Atlanta on April 22 at Center Stage. Tickets are available now at bowerysouth.com. For more on Pandora Boxx, visit pandoraboxx.com.