03 September 2012

Behind the Scenes with Bianca Del Rio for Next Magazine's 2012 Summer Yearbook

Bianca is never impressed...

New York drag queen Bianca Del Rio graces this week's cover of Next Magazine as Eva Perón and McKayla Maroney, photographed by Kevin Thomas Garcia. Shot for Next Magazine's 2012 Summer Yearbook, which highlights this past summer's many gems, Bianca is also featured as U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney who was photographed with her now world famous stank face. With the release of this past issue Del Rio proudly becomes one of only a handful of drag queens to be featured on the publication's cover.

How many gays does it take to get a drag queen into a dress?

We began the photo shoot one Wednesday afternoon at Kevin's studio apartment where we crammed myself, a drag queen, a photographer, and four other assistants as well as a few other friends who wanted to view the photo shoot and help out during its production. "This is just magical," Bianca exclaimed as four of us helped her into her white Evita gown. How many gays does it take to get a drag queen into a dress? Apparently four, with the help of pliers.

We got her out of the dress, into a car service with all her crew in tow (as if she was Princess Di and we were her royal bodyguards), and drove to Central Park where the second location of the photo shoot was to take place. Upon arriving at the Bethesda Fountain and fastening Bianca into her dress we found quite the crowd had gathered to watch the spectacle. Bianca found she had quite the loyal following of prepubescent girls ooh-ing and aw-ing with an occasional "Wow, mommy! She's so pretty!" to which a parent would respond by dragging their child away from the man in a dress.

One of my favorite shots of Bianca was the quintessential Evita pose, with both hands extended up in the air, calling out to all of her descamisados. The best part about that particular shot was that right behind her was a crowd of tourists watching as this all happened. She turned around to her adoring fans and struck the same pose again and was met with cheers. There were a few times when a passing cyclist or pedestrian would drop their jaw in shock or confusion as to what was going on but the overall experience was brilliant.

We proceeded to a stage in the park where we shot quite a few gorgeous shots of Bianca twirling about and dancing in her gown. Let's just give you a bit of a background story as to how we acquired this dress in the first place. Bianca Del Rio, while a fantastic drag queen and entertainer, actually has a day job working in costume design for Evita on Broadway. Next Magazine calling her up expressing interest in shooting her for their cover was just a great excuse for Del Rio to create the dress for herself. I mean, wouldn't you?

Our final location was back at Kevin's studio where we shot Bianca as U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney with her infamous stank face. The picture was then made into a meme so that Next Magazine readers can crop Bianca into their favorite shots and upload them onto their Internet pages such as Facebook, Twitter, or blogs, creating "Bianca is NOT impressed."

Who wore it best?

We had a fabulous time behind the scenes of this photo shoot with the fantastic Bianca Del Rio and Next Magazine's Kevin Thomas Garcia. We still have a score to settle, though. Who wore it best, Eva or Bianca?

Check out more behind the scenes pictures from Bianca's photo shoot here!

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