Entertainment » Television

Catching up with Pandora Boxx

by Scott Holland .
Friday Sep 10, 2010

Pandora Boxx has been internationally entertaining the masses for more than a decade. Pandora most recently appeared as a contestant on the smash hit "RuPaul's Drag Race" (Season 2) on the LGBT network LOGO. The show garnered the highest ratings ever for the cable network. Despite not winning, Pandora proved to be the break-out star and was named by Entertainment Weekly "as their America's Next Drag Superstar." EW.com also called Pandora's "the most controversial elimination of the season." That popularity lead to becoming a drag professor on the spin-off show called "RuPaul's Drag U" which airs Monday nights at 9 pm on LOGO. It was a pleasure to sit down and interview this incredibly creative and talented performer.

Out of the womb in sequins

When did you realize you wanted to be an entertainer?

I think it was when I exited the womb in sequin pumps!

At what age did female impersonation become an interest?

It’s funny, I have a picture of myself when I was five years old in drag. I was wearing my mom’s clothes and wig. She took the picture and then the next day threw the wig out. She has since come to terms with me doing drag. It helped greatly when she got the VIP treatment at one of my shows. Then she LOVED it! Pandora was always inside of me trying to claw her way out.

How did you pick your name?

I had been into Greek mythology at the time and Pandora was the first woman created. She opened the forbidden box and let all of the evil out upon the world leaving only man’s hope inside. I thought with a name like that you’d never know what to expect. I am also a huge Madonna fan and the names Madonna and Pandora have similar qualities to them.

What and where was the first time you were on stage and when was the first time you got paid?

I think the year was 1912 and the money was the hot pennies that people were throwing at me. I remember doing a lot of shows for free when I first started. My first performance was at a dark, slightly seedy gay bar called Infinity in Rochester, NY. That was back when I thought Chapstick and a wig was enough. I remember getting paid seven dollars for a show once AND being happy. Oh, misguided youth!

How does your family react to you performing as a female impersonator?

They love it! Although I don’t know if it’s a parent’s dream to have their son grow up to be a drag queen, so it did take some time. My mom and sister are very proud. Right before my father passed away he really seemed to accept the drag part of my life. He came to see the play I had written and starred in called "The Lipstick Massacre." It was the first time he’d seen me in drag in person. It took him a few minutes to be ok with it. He loved the play but told me that he didn’t like my wig for it and should get a different one! Ha! Wig advice from my father!

How did you go about getting on "RuPauls Drag Race." Tell me about the experience?

I sent in an audition video for season one and didn’t get on. I decided that I absolutely had to get on the show, so I put together the best audition video I could and sent it in for season two. It worked! It was the most amazing experience of my life. It was fun, crazy, grueling, intense and I loved every minute of it. I was actually going to quit drag last year. I put it out into the universe that if something didn’t change for me in a major way that I was going to hang up my fake boobs. It changed in the biggest way possible. It was the universe telling me to, "Keep those panties on, fake lady!"

Your impersonation on the show of Carol Channing was so dead on it was amazing. Have you impersonated her before and what other celebrities do you impersonate?

Thank you so much! I adore Carol so much! I’ve never done her in a live show before. In fact, that was only the fourth time I’ve ever really impersonated her. I just knew I had to nail it. I’ve done her before in my sketch comedy show called "The Gay (means happy) Show!" which you can see on YouTube (YouTube.com/gayshow). I do some other celebs like Madonna, Janis Joplin, Carol Burnette, Cyndi Lauper, Dolly Parton, Britney Spears (usually the crazy version) and even Jan Brady!

You have written, produced and starred in a short film, "Mrs. Kasha Davis: The Life of an International Housewife Celebrity" and a play "The Lipstick Massacre." What’s the process like for this and how is it different from performing as Pandora in a club?

I had done a series of short videos with my galpal Kasha Davis called Kasha Cooks. I decided that we should do a longer form video to submit to the ImageOut Gay & Lesbian Film Festival which is based here in Rochester, NY. I adore Kasha. She’s a talented comedian. It’s so great to be able to create my own work and not solely rely on just lip-syncing to other people’s work. That’s the reason I wrote my play "The Lipstick Massacre." I wanted to branch out of the club scene and get back into acting. This was the perfect way to combine both worlds. It was great that the play resonated with so many people. It was a hit! We are hoping to bring it to NYC soon.

Tell me about the man behind Pandora.

I think she’s completely taken over him. She runs my life now! I am much more reserved and quite out of drag. Now that I am traveling a lot and doing drag all the time when I’m not in drag I just shut down. Pandora takes a lot of energy, and makeup!

Describe Pandora in 5 words?

Wacky. Hilarious. Outrageous. Raunchy. Entertaining.

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you.

I’m a total Sci-fi geek. I love shows like "Doctor Who," "Battlestar Galactica," "Eureka" and "Warehouse 13." I also love "Star Trek!" It’s always been a dream to be in a "Star Trek" movie or show.

What’s ahead for Pandora?

I’m not completely sure but I’m so looking forward to what lies ahead. My own television show maybe? I think "The Pandora Boxx Show" has a nice ring to it? Doesn’t it?

Catch Pandora performing all over Florida in the next few weeks. On Thursday, September 16th she will be at Revolution in Orlando. On Friday, September 17th she will be at Georgie’s Alibi in St Pete along with Tatianna. Then on Friday, October 8th you can catch her at Living Room Nightclub and on Saturday, October 9th at Discotekka.

For more information on Pandora’s touring schedule please go to PandoraBoxx.com

Copyright HotSpots! Magazine. For more articles from HotSpots! visit www.hotspotsmagazine.com


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