Bob the Drag Queen to headline the Moontower Comedy Festival in Austin
She’s a winner, babe, and she’s coming to Austin.
Bob the Drag Queen won Season 8 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”, and the artist has become one of the most successful drag artists in the world. In addition to live tours, she has made memorable appearances on television shows like “Tales of the City” and “A Black Lady Sketch Show”; found legions of listeners thanks to the “Sibling Rivalry” podcast with frequent contributor Monét X Change; and taped a few stand-up comedy specials under his perfectly cinched waistband.
The artist also stars in HBO’s Emmy-nominated “We’re Here,” an unscripted show that takes Bob and his “Drag Race” colleagues Eureka and Shangela through a small town in America, helping people to find their voice through the art of drag. (Bob’s alter ego Caldwell Tidicue also serves as consulting producer.) Season two premieres in October.
Bob the Drag Queen will headline the Moontower Comedy Festival on September 24. We met the drag superstar over the phone. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
I saw your special “Suspiciously Large Woman” stand-up, and now you come to Moontower. How does standing crowd work compare to the work of a drag show crowd?
Well, every show that I do is still a drag show. I’m here – it’s a drag show. I got up out of the trail several times. But also at this point I’m really functioning from a point of view (of) even though I’m not in flirting, people still know who I am. It’s not quite the playing field. … People expect less of you when you are undressed. It’s not just hanging out; it is life in general. When you dress well, people expect more from you. And you know, when you dress up people expect less of you.
Did you have to find the rhythm to keep the crowd engaged in a different way?
No, I started doing drag and acting at the same time. My first performance was actually stand-up. So I didn’t have to relearn a trade or anything. I was learning at the same time.
Whenever you find out someone is a drag queen, it doesn’t necessarily tell you what they are doing for entertainment, even if they are engaging in entertainment. … They play with genre and create art. Because you have people doing drag and stand-up, drag and lip-sync, live drag and singing, drag and drama, drag and social, drag and the arts visuals. I think it’s a common misconception that drag is specifically lip syncing with music.
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Regardless of the art form on stage, the past year of live and in-person entertainment has been very, very strange and scary, and rather calm. Has it helped you focus on something in your creative life that you would like to do differently?
I have certainly looked into the digital space. I hadn’t had the opportunity to do a lot of digital work before, and now I realize that there is a lot of merit in that. … I have a podcast; I went to two episodes a week. I post weekly on YouTube. I’m on TikTok, I have a lot more fun on social media than in the past.
Speaking of your podcast, I am a regular listener to “Sibling Rivalry”. Everyone’s conversations with their friends can’t become popular podcasts. How did you find out that you and Monét had the kind of chemistry that could be translated into an audio format?
I just thought our conversations were so funny, and someone should overhear them. And luckily, Monet agreed he was wild enough to give it a go. At first we were really doing it ourselves, like editing it ourselves, everything. Over time, we have improved a lot. And we also had a lot of help. It’s not just the two of us trying to run the podcast on our own anymore, which is really good.
In the process of having such a big stage over the past few years and meeting all kinds of different people, has it been an educational experience for you, to be exposed to different points of view that you don’t? maybe not even aware that they existed? Do you think this has helped you broaden your view of the world?
Honestly, one of the most important things (which exposed me to other worldviews) was actually moving to New York, because it’s such a diverse city. From a small town to New York, it was really crazy for me to see people who thought differently from me, or outside the status quo. …
The point is that whenever I’m in these other cities (for work), actually, if I’m traveling outside of “We’re here”, when I’m traveling on a tour, I’m never really in the cities. long enough to absorb any amount of the community. I am always inside and out. You show up the same day and leave the next day.
You mentioned “We are here”. It made me cry successfully in every episode.
I have arrived.
Mission accomplished. Can you tell me something about what we should expect for “We are here” in the future?
First of all, I’m so grateful that we had a second season. It’s a really big deal, and it’s not lost on me, and I’m really proud of it. We’re pushing the boundaries of inclusiveness even further. I was very proud of our inclusion of season 1 and season 2 is even better. The stories we bring are so awesome, so important and really need to be heard.
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How do you negotiate that, from a purely emotional point of view, when you go to these small communities that you are not? Do you need to actively work to lower any type of anxiety or fear in these situations?
Normally no. I’m not going to say what city it was – I don’t want to spoil anything – but there was one city this season where I was like, “Oh, my God, I feel like I’m being triggered. Like, I grew up here. … I felt like I had flashbacks.
You work with people on very personal and intimate situations and issues in their lives. Has it ever brought you things in your own life that you find useful?
Ah, always. It’s not uncommon for me to really see myself in the stories (topics). You know, it’s not like we’re advisers or anything. … We just hang out with them. And while they’re talking, we talk to each other and then, you know, you both cry. Everyone always says, “I cried over this episode.” Yeah, me too, except it was nine days and not an hour.
At the Moontower Comedy Festival
Bob the Drag Queen will headline the Paramount Theater at midnight on September 24. Single tickets cost $ 25. Visit austinheatre.org/moontower-comedy to verify badgeholder access and review security protocols.