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"It means everything to me": an interview with Bosco, Seattle's latest Drag Race star

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Bosco — Photo courtesy of VH1
Bosco — Photo courtesy of VH1

As we move into the new year, Seattle has more than a few reasons to be excited for what's to come in the city's flourishing drag scene. By requiring vaccine checks and mask wearing, local bars have been able to continue hosting a diverse selection of drag shows.

Moreover, one of Seattle's queens, Bosco, has scored a coveted spot in the cast of season 14 of RuPaul's Drag Race.

With a drag aesthetic self-described as "equal parts evil and naked," Bosco has made a name for herself performing at Queer/Bar weekly in a variety of shows. Luckily, the SGN got the chance to speak with her about her arc as a performer, the origins of "Bosco," and what it has been like since the announcement of her casting on Drag Race.

Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Nick Rapp: I know that you're from Montana. How long have you lived in Seattle? And what brought you out here?

Bosco: I have lived in Seattle since 2015, so we just hit year six. I moved, mainly, to not be in Montana. I love Montanans for the most part, but what I wanted to do didn't really have a place there. And I wanted to make money and perform, so Seattle was a much better option. I have my dad's family out here, so it was just a very easy and logical move.

NR: When did you start doing drag?

B: Well, I spent a few months working on makeup and figuring things out. So, the first time I ever went out and performed in drag was January of 2018. I'm going to consider that my start date. So that puts us at what, four years?

NR: Congrats on the anniversary! You mentioned in your "Meet the Queens" interview that the name "Bosco" came from your childhood dog. What kind of dog was he?

B: Bosco was a Newfoundland.

NR: Do you channel any of his energy as a drag queen?

B: No, not particularly. Bosco was pretty stupid and just liked to sleep. And while out of drag, I am both of those things, in drag that doesn't make for a particularly captivating performer, so, mainly I just took the name.

NR: I know Bosco is also a pet bear from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Did this factor into the name at all?

B: No, but I do think it's funny that Bosco means something different to, like, literally everyone. For some people, it's the chocolate sauce from Seinfeld. To Irish people, there's a puppet named Bosco from a children's show. There's Bosco the bear from Avatar. And then if you're from the Midwest, there's a fried cheese stick called a Bosco.

NR: To me, it's my childhood friend's dog named Bosco, who was really small and definitely gay. He was incredible.

B: Why are there so many dogs named Bosco?

NR: Truly, I don't know. So, how long did it take you to perfect your eyebrow technique?

B: I found the eyebrow shape about a year into drag, like, "Oh, this is neat. It'll help tell me apart from literally every other white twink doing drag right now." But I didn't get really good at the specifics of the shape until about a year after that.

NR: As for Drag Race, was being on the show a long-term goal of yours?

B: It's gonna sound super conceited, but the moment I started doing drag I was like, "I'm going to be on Drag Race." I don't know why. Especially if I look back at those photos, I'm like, "Who is she, thinking such things?" But it just always felt like that was the destination that I was going to reach, at a certain point. It always felt like a matter of when to me.

NR: What was the adjustment like from doing live shows in Seattle to jumping into performing on TV?

B: Fun story. My first performance on TV was the first time I had performed in front of people in over a year and a half because of the lockdowns — it was quite the adjustment. We filmed starting in May, so at that point, the majority of the drag queens on the show hadn't performed in front of a live audience for over a year; it was quite a bit of trial by fire.

NR: You're the first Seattle queen that has been on Drag Race for a few years. What does it mean to you to get the chance to represent Seattle on TV?

B: Oh, it means everything to me. Seattle has traditionally been very well represented as far as talented queens. But the scene has changed a lot since Robbie Turner [the most recent Seattle competitor] was on. I'm excited to represent what the scene is doing now and hopefully make room for some more Seattle girls to get on — there are so many in the scene that deserve to be on the show next.

NR: Do you have a favorite moment since announcing your spot on the show?

B: I really, really, really have enjoyed the fan art since being announced. It feels special to have my art make an impact with other artists. Like, today, I saw that there's this dog on Instagram [https://www.instagram.com/rupawl_official/] and their owner dresses them up as queens from Drag Race. So, somebody just re-created my promo outfit and put it on their dog, and it's hysterical.

NR: And are there any events in Seattle that you're excited about in the coming months?

B: Queer/Bar has been my home for years. And there's this show that I host with Irene DuBois called "Mothership" every Thursday. We're adding a new queen named Arrietty to the lineup, who's eventually going to succeed me once I move out of the rotation. I absolutely love that show; we have local talent every single week and it brings an awesome crowd. And, yeah, I get to be drunk and make fun of people on the mic and walk around and lip-synch words at people. It's great.

Though this interview was conducted over the phone, Bosco assured me that she was in full drag, wearing a wig, looking glam. Check out her Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/hereisbosco/, and make sure to tune in to Season 14 of RuPaul's Drag Race, premiering on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. PST on VH1