If you call him Christopher Caldwell, he'll think you’re either his mother or a bill collector. And his previous drag name, Kittenwithawhip, was just too cumbersome to Google.
That's how this popular emerging drag performer came to be called Bob The Drag Queen—which was also the winning name called during last May's season 8 finale of "RuPaul’s Drag Race."
As the reigning queen, Bob took home a cash prize of $100,000. Ever since, the campy comedian has been on a nonstop touring schedule, which will bring him back to San Francisco next week for an After School Special event, hosted by Impulse SF.
“Bob is not a character, it’s a nickname,” he said on a phone call from his home in Washington Heights, New York City. The Drag Queen will soon pack up his wigs and heels for multiple San Francisco performances—one of which he’s looking forward to the most.
On Saturday, March 18th, Bob will join Peaches Christ live on the Castro Theater stage at 3pm and 8pm for Legally Black. The stage comedy spoofs Reese Witherspoon’s 2001 "Legally Blonde," a film about a sorority queen who follows her ex-boyfriend to law school for revenge only to learn she actually has some legal savvy. The stage show will precede the film screening.
“It’s smart and immaculately thought out,” Bob said. “This show is one of the most exciting things of my year. It’s a Peaches Christ production, so it will be brilliant. And I’m involved, so it will be hilarious.”
He joins previous Drag Race winners Bianca Del Rio and Sharon Needles, who have done movie-parody stage shows written and directed by Peaches Christ. “I’m always down for a good laugh and working with Peaches is a dream,” Bob added.
The “Purse First” singer, a 30-year-old Columbus Georgian, is fully aware of himself. The song from his winning Drag Race lip-sync performance, “I Don’t Like To Show Off,” was selected with irony, he said.
“Showing off is what I do with my whole life. That’s the the real joke,” Bob said with a laugh. “If I go into a room, I don’t believe in dulling my light so anyone else can feel better about themselves. If you’ve been given a gift, then you should show it off.”
After Legally Black, Bob will appear in Hater’s Roast at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater on March 24th with other Drag Race contestants, including fellow Season Eight finalist Kim Chi.
Of Hater’s Roast, Bob says the show is “me and a bunch of queens sitting around talking shit about each other. Basically it’s what we do backstage, but we’re gonna do it on stage.”
When constantly surrounded by drag queens, pronouns can become confusing. As a general rule, Bob said he uses male pronouns for himself.
“My name is Bob, so I’m not super pronoun specific,” the bald, eyebrowless jokester said with a laugh. “I call people ‘gurl’ all the time. ‘Gurl’ with a ‘U’ is different than ‘girl’ with an ‘I’.”
Bob said he tries to respect gender preferences. “I have a bunch of friends who are gender fluid, and I keep up with their pronouns to be respectful.”
Bob, an outspoken transgender rights supporter, admits that it’s hard to be a queer public figure and not be political. Of Trump's recent reversal of the Obama administration's gender-neutral student restroom policy, Bob said he believes that Trump likes to pander to insecurities and fears. “Trump doesn’t understand [the LGBTQ community]. People often fear what they don’t understand, and if you can invoke fear, that’s the fastest way to get a reaction.”
Bob is no stranger to getting reactions either. His Instagram account has 445,000 followers and tens of thousands of “Likes.” In addition to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, he says he’s on “all the hoe apps like Scruff and Grindr."
“I’m also on Reddit even though I shouldn’t be. And I’m on Venmo way too often,” he said.
Though he uses his phone to keep up with his hectic schedule, some commitments do get past him. When asked about his upcoming show, After School Special with Bob The Drag Queen, March 25th at Public Works, he was shocked.
“What the heck is that?” he replied with a laugh. “I didn’t even know about this. I’m excited to find out what it is.”
Listed as a free event on Eventbrite, the afternoon will include go-go dancers, free food trucks, concert ticket raffles and entertainment from The Drag Queen himself.
“We don’t really get to stay in town,” he said about his whirlwind schedule. “We usually show up to the city, do the performance and then the next day we leave. As soon as I get some downtime, I’ll let you know how it feels.”
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