Pandora Boxx: Miss Popular

School’s back in session for Pandora Boxx, who’s graduated from a fan favorite on RuPaul’s Drag Race to a professor on RuPaul’s Drag U.

BY Brandon Voss

July 19 2010 5:25 PM ET

Comedic drag performer Pandora Boxx may have won Miss Congeniality, but her fans were none too sweet when she placed fifth on season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race following one of the show’s most controversial eliminations. Pandora had the last laugh when Logo asked her to mentor dowdy females on RuPaul’s Drag U, which premieres July 19. Miss Boxx’s creator Michael Steck, who’s currently in talks to bring his play Lipstick Massacre from his hometown of Rochester to New York City, opens up about what he’s gained since losing the crown.

Advocate.com: How has your life changed since RuPaul’s Drag Race?
Michael Steck: Everything has changed. Last year I was at the point where I was going to quit drag because it really wasn’t going anywhere, but all that changed in the biggest way possible. Now I’m doing drag full time, traveling a lot, seeing different cities, and meeting lots of different people. The reaction that I’ve been getting has been amazing. I’d always hoped that I was entertaining, but you take that for granted being in the same city for a long time. It’s nice to go someplace else and see the impact you can have on people.

Do you get recognized as Michael Steck as much as you get recognized as Pandora Boxx?
Because we were on Drag Race almost 50% as ourselves, now I do get recognized out of drag. But as a boy, I usually get that look from people where they stare, like, Wait, is that… And I’m like, “Yes, I am Mystique Summers Madison.”

When it comes to giving makeovers to ladies on RuPaul’s Drag U, what advantages do drag queens have over real females?
Drag queens have really studied the art of femininity. We have both masculine and feminine characteristics in all of us, but to pull off drag, drag queens have to know the walk, the look, the makeup, and everything else. Women don’t really get lessons on a lot of that stuff, so sometimes they fumble through it or don’t have time for it. That’s where we come in. They’re not going to dress up as a drag queen every day, but they take the feeling from it — the feeling they get when they’re all dolled up on that stage — and apply it to their everyday life.

Because a drag queen’s look might be a little too much for a woman in the real world, did you have to practice restraint?
No, because we weren’t making them over to look like beautiful women. We were transforming them into their drag personas to bring out their inner divas. It’s all about taking them to the extreme, so there was no holding back!

Tags: television

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