“NOT TODAY SATAN, NOT TODAY”
by C.L. Frederick
Bianca Del Rio is synonymous with insult humor, sharp wit and drop-dead diva ensembles that would make any girl envious. Her “Bianca Del Rio’s Rolodex of Hate Comedy Special” world tour makes a stop in Kansas City on Oct. 25 at the Folly Theater, and the performance will be a must-see for fans and comedy aficionados alike. After touring throughout Europe, Australia and much of the United States, Del Rio makes her first appearance in Kansas City and, according to the diva herself, the show promises to give her audience “a peek into my crazy world.”
Expect an unfiltered, no-holds-barred show heavy on taboo with one of the world’s top comedy queens. Quips such as “Girl, if I wanted to come for you, I’d come to your room at night and cut your wigs up” and “Not today Satan, not today” have become quotable one liners from this standup diva and have garnered her legions of fans the world over.
Del Rio, also known as Roy Haylock, has been a part of the drag world for nearly 20 years. She got her start with a career in theater, but that soon led her to discover a passion for performing in drag. “Costumes and makeup began to snowball until it trickled into my everyday life,” said Del Rio. She eventually came up with her drag queen persona and describes herself as a cross between Joan Crawford and Bozo the Clown.
The New Orleans and New York City club scenes are where she first honed her craft, and after establishing herself as one of the preeminent drag queens in the United States, Hollywood came calling. Del Rio was cast on season six of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” a popular and culturally significant television show alongside other well-known drag stars Courtney Act and Adore Delano. “Drag Race” became a boon to her burgeoning career and turned her into a GBTQ icon. She went on to be crowned the winner of season six and admits life has not been the same since. “It’s really interesting the power of television. I’ve been at this a long time and to have all these opportunities now is kind of insane,” said Del Rio.
Del Rio’s newfound celebrity status has afforded her countless unforgettable experiences. She adores her fans and is thankful for the “amazing ride” that success and fame have given her. Her most treasured moment was being interviewed by her idol, Joan Rivers. “I have met her a few times and was able to be on her show ‘In Bed with Joan.’ This encounter was a dream for me. I couldn’t believe I was interviewed by Joan Rivers,” said Del Rio.
As a comic, Del Rio is more interested in being in the moment and telling jokes in an off-the-cuff fashion rather than being a traditional joke writer.
“I think that it’s not so much improvising as knowing when to use the right material at the right time,” Del Rio said. “That’s one nice thing about this show. There’s a whole section that’s question and answer, so I get to really test myself, and you never know what’s going to come out. You never know what the audience is going to bring out of you.”
She also believes in pushing buttons in her performance and not playing it safe while taking risks and challenging her audience by being politically incorrect and unapologetic.
“This is an hour and a half of me talking,” Del Rio said. “It’s nice because the audience gets to sit down and is hopefully interested in what I do and what I have to say. It’s a little more deliberate. I explain how I became who I am today.”
Next up for Del Rio is a film that she is currently working on called “Hurricane Bianca,” co-starring Willam Belli and Rachel Dratch. The film addresses some important LGBTQ issues that still face the community, such as employment discrimination and the fact that in 29 states it is still legal to be fired for being gay. The movie, however, is a comedy and involves a male teacher who gets fired for being gay and ends up enacting revenge on the town by returning to the school as a substitute teacher. The catch is that the substitute is Bianca Del Rio, in drag. “It’s a serious topic, but it’s done in a funny way,” added Del Rio.