April 17th, 2012 by Nina with No Comments
Once upon a time, in a far away kingdom called Columbus, an amazing and magical experience took place; an experience that was filled with laughs and joy and surprise at every turn. This experience was filled with friendships and camaraderie and family. It was also filled with lessons and growth. It was also not without its own drama and endings of its own. I can tell you right now, I am in serious withdraw from not having this experience. I miss it terribly. Every show we do together is like its very own little time capsule. This show that we have just put away, Once Upon A Nina, will be missed for what it represented to me and to the people I had the chance to share it with.
I know I usually write my “Thank You” blog almost immediately after the show is over, but I really needed time to think about what I wanted to say. Each show is a labor of love and this show was no different. A lot of heart and soul went into it.
To the production team: Patrick, Samantha, Matt B., Selena Terrace, Matt E., Mark, Jason B, Robbie Rickard, Thomas, Jason P, Bryston, Ryan, Pats, Kira, Nick N., Jeff, Nick H. –Thank you for always supporting me and going with my visions, as crazy as they may get. Your trust in me means more than you know. I only hope to repay you with the trust and support and love you have given to me.
I also want to thank every entertainer who came out to this show and supported the art of female impersonation and drag. I know that there are so many people out there who would have us all competing with one another. Simply put, there are people in the world who are only happy when others are miserable. To see some many sisters in the craft supporting this show meant everything to me. I know it can be tough, but there is only drama if we allow there to be drama. For everyone of you who came to my show, I will be there to support yours and continue to foster growth in the art of female impersonation and illusion.
Thank you to Robert Younkman and the incredible staff at Axis. Thank you for the long hours of rehearsals, and the long hours on the weekends of the shows. But more importantly, thank you for all of the laughs and the good times with me and the cast throughout this process. We have such an amazing time with you all. And truly, thank you for keeping the party going throughout these shows. The best place to perform as a queen in the city, and I am fortunate to call Axis home and blessed to call the entire staff friends. Here is to an amazing 2012.
The best sponsors!! Thank you Miller Lite & Coors Lite and of course Nick Bryan and all of those hunky Miller Lite boys for coming out to the show and supporting the true art of drag. I say it every time I have a mic in my hand, but dammit, please support a company that unabashedly supports the GLBT community. It is everything.
Thank you 3 Olives Loopy!! Leslie, you and your fab crew bring the fabulous to our party, and again, I am so proud to have you on board for these amazing adventures. THANK YOU.
Formula AM -Thank you Dave Colina and crew for believing in us and supporting us. Your instant love of us only made us instantly love you and your AMAZING product even more. You have lifetime support in Virginia and I. Anything you need, you just whistle.
Traxler Tees – Thank you Zach and crew for joining us on this new venture and helping me see new horizons. I am so excited for our work ahead together!!
Of course, big and major thanks to Union Cafe, Axis Nightclub, and the owners of these fine establishments who have stood by my side and supported each and every step I have taken in my career. Thank you.
Thank you my brilliant stage manager Jason Pirucki. I can only imagine the pressure you are under running the show from the booth. you always have such grace under fire. Thank you for being part of yet another production and giving your all to it. I love you.
Of course, I have to thank the most incredible cast I have had the chance to work with yet, for their time, devotion, and love towards me and this project.
Kira, thank you for all your have given to me in and out of this show. From drives to Cincy, to running errands all over town, you made sure we did it with a laugh and smiles. Thank you for giving so much love and life to this process. Thank you for that gorgeous backdrop. Thank you for the puppets. Thank you for the organization. Thank you for the fast changes. THANK YOU. I can’t thank you enough, and i hope you know how i feel about you. I love you.
Patricia, thank you for pulling me out of my funk and getting me to the heart of the show and believing once again that fairy tales do happen. Thank you for your brilliant mind and fearless heart. Thank you for all of our late night conversations and long afternoons of laughs. I am excited for what you and I have in store together.
Ryan, thank you for your heart. You are truly one of the kindest people I have ever met. Your raw talent astounds me. Thank you for helping me live in that world of being a kid again and helping to create these puppets that have so much soul. You constantly give, like everyone else in the cast, and for that I am so thankful and so excited for every opportunity to come your way, in and out of this crazy world of drag. Jamie, you are this incredibly free spirit that defines creativity by what is in front of you at that very moment. Your (he)art is so inspiring, and I am so fortunate to have found a friend in you. You are a reminder for me to pour every ounce of passion I have into my art. You are also the reminder of what it means to be an unconditional friend. Thank you. Lydia, you are really like my little sister. I know I say that time and time again, but I feel such a strong connection to you. Thank you for jumping in on this journey and for always reminding me to smile, through the ups and downs. That is a tremendous gift. Thank you. Nick, you are just such an amazing man who, not only supported your wife in these new endeavors but joined her and made all of us part of your family. Thank you for helping make dreams come true and making Candi take flight. Thank you for all of the trips back and forth. Thank you for introducing me to Josie’s pizza! You have a friend in me forever. Julie, thank you for bringing your smile and heart to this process. You were smiling in and out of every moment during this show. Thank you for your fabulous choreography. Thank you for making me feel like a true friend and giving me your trust and friendship in return. I am excited for our future together as friends. Katy, you are the sweetest girl in the world. Thank you for bringing all of you to this show. Our friendship has been through so much in these years. I am so lucky to have been introduced to you all those years ago at that cocktail party, and even more lucky to still have you in my life as my friend. TONIGHT! ZING! Thank you for the incredible choreography, the heart to hearts, and the devotion to me and this show. Here is to many more. Chutney, first I must say that I am so proud. I am so proud to call you my friend, and I am so proud to watch you grow into such an incredible man. Congratulations on the path in front of you but more so on the ability to see it and dive for it. Thank you for sharing this experience with me and the rest of the cast this last time and making it so unforgettable. From PARMESAN to late night chuckles, I will miss you in these shows. Thank you for the fab costumes, the studio time together, the talks. I will always be here for you. ALWAYS. Kari, you are one in a million. Thank you for also making this experience your last and sharing it with me. I will never forget our glances at one another in rehearsals, our laughs backstage. You are truly one of the greatest friends a guy could ask for, and as I am for Bryce, I am sooooo beyond proud of you. You both see your destiny in front of you and are seizing it. What a great gift to share with the rest of us. It is still very bittersweet for me, but we have all summer together before the final goodbye to Kari (for awhile). Thank you for the animation, the talks, the friendship. I love you. Alexis, you and I have been on quite a journey in our relationship. Thank you, thru thick and thin, always standing by me and having my back. Thank you for your unwavering support. Thank you for your honesty. AND thank you for taking on this show during your busy rehearsal schedule for nationals. I am so excited to watch you take this next step. BEST OF LUCK in DC and know I am here cheering you on every bit of the way. Congratulations and thank you. Freesia, my lil’ nugget. Thank you for those knowing glances, keeping me in check, and reminding me why we all do this. Thank you for making me laugh, thank you for being such a class act. You are brilliant, my friend, and I am excited to continue to watch your career bloom. it is about to explode honestly, and bitches better get ready. Thank you for sticking by my side. Candi, thank you for going with me when I suggested flying in the first place. I heard the shit hit your pants, but you kept going with an amazing smile on your face, and you made it amazing. Thank you for pushing me to trust my instincts in and out of the process. Thank you for being a real friend. Thank you for your honesty. Moreso thank you for your willingness to make our friendship so wonderful and unique. I owe you. Virginia, thank you for sticking by me when others would have had it go another way. Thank you for being my friend through good and bad, and reminding me that in this great family we call WEST we can do anything. You have helped maintain the history of this family, that has been alive and well now for over 25 years. 25 years of history that has been cared for and maintained almost solely by you. THANK YOU for giving not only me but so many of us in Columbus a reason and a place to do drag. Thank you for encouraging me and pushing me and being the first one to cheer me on. Your friendship means the most to me. Thank you. We have magic on stage and off. I am so blessed. I will always have your back, and I will always be in your corner.
It should be understood that none of this would even be possible if it were not for that amazing crowd of support we have in Columbus. Columbus, in my opinion, is the best place to be an entertainer because of all you amazing friends who come out and see and support a drag show. As long as you are there to support us, I promise I will continue to push the art and bring you the best in entertainment. We are indebted to you for allowing us to do what we do. THANK YOU.
This show was a dream to put together and and an amazing thing to perform. I am so thankful for the opportunity and hope that the chance will come again. Thank you for helping make this small-town boy’s dreams come true.
March 1st, 2012 by Nina with No Comments
January 5th, 2012 by Nina with 1 Comment
Virginia West and her crew of rockin’ vixens are ready to rock and roll and want to take you on this unique journey through music and madness!
STADIUM VIRGINIUM 2: Slippery When West will open at Axis Nightclub on Thursday February 9th at 8 pm, with a weekend full of shows to follow, including Friday, February 10 at 8 pm, Saturday Feb 11 at 6 pm and 10 pm, and Sunday Feb 12th at 8 pm!
This cast of hard rockin’ bitchin’ babes includes Nina West, Maria Garrison, Alexis Stevens, Natasha West, Sandy Von Lipshitz, Freesia Balls, Candi Panties, Pretty Punasti, Anisa Love, Chutney Sinclair, Kiley Dash, and the West Family Dancers — Katy Malys, Julie Hazlet, Lydia Feddern, and Sara Ernest.
Tables are on sale now by calling 614-421-2233 or by stopping by Union Cafe! OR contact Nina West directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve yours today!
October 6th, 2011 by Nina with No Comments
On behalf of the cast of Heels of Horror IV: A Nightmare on High Street, I am pleased to announce that we have added one more performance. The special added performance date is Thursday, October 27! Doors will open at 7 pm and the show will begin at 8 pm!
September 16th, 2011 by Nina with 1 Comment
The next chaper in this Halloween drag saga is unfolding in just over one month at Axis Nightclub. We are all so excited to add a little spookiness to the holiday season!
September 6th, 2011 by Nina with 1 Comment
I am so excited to announce the cast of my upcoming Halloween show, Heels of Horror: A Nightmare On High Street. The cast features some of Columbus’ favorite entertainers, ready to scare you into the spirit of the season!
The cast of ghouls will feature the amazing talents of Virginia West, Maria Garrison, Freesia Balls, Candi Panties, Kari Kerning, Chutney Sinclair, and the Candy Corn Drops — Mark Bryan, Julie Hazlett, Jason Tanner, Lydia Feddern, and Jamie Sommer.
Nina! Heels of Horror IV: A Nightmare on High Street is sponsored by Miller/Coors, 3 Olives Vodka, Axis Nightclub, Union Cafe.
The show will play Axis Nightclub Friday, October 21 at 8 pm, Saturday, October 22 at 6pm and 10pm, Saturday, October 29 at 4 pm and 8 pm, and Sunday, October 30 at 8 pm. Doors will open one hour prior to each performance. Tables will be available for sale beginning September 12 at Union Cafe or by calling 614-421-2233. Tables will also be available for online purchase beginning September 15. You can also contact any cast member to purchase tables or receive any more information about the show!
In the spirit of Halloween, table seating has been divided in 5 comfortable areas– mezzanine, front row, booth seating, regular tables, and an all new SPLATTER ZONE!
We promise a bloody good time!
August 31st, 2011 by Nina with No Comments
This past weekend was nothing short of incredible. The show was nothing short of a blast to share in with the rest of the cast of Beach Party, and of course, my mama, Virginia West. From show to show, I am constantly humbled by the amazing support of Columbus for its drag community. Major thanks to all of the people behind the scenes who made this weekend such a fantastic success. From sets to music to lights and performance, it is no secret that it takes quite a bit of work to get a show like this off the ground.
This cast was so exceptionally amazing to be apart of and share in this experience. Major thanks to Michael Bishop, Kira Ruckman, Matt Griggs, Kendra Knoxx, Barbie Roberts, Pretty Punasti, Candi Panties, Fancy Punasti, Alexis Stevens, Mark Bryan, Julie Hazlett, Lydia Feddern, Freesia Balls, Sandy Von Lipshitz, Natasha West, Maria Garrison, June Bugg, Jason Pirucki, Michael Phalen, Robert Younkman and the staff of Axis Nightclub, Kate Collins, Patrick Butler, Eric Allesandrini, Alan Saunders, and of course, VIRGINIA WEST. I am given the amazing opportunity to welcome back Virginia during call backs in the run of her show. Each time, I fear that what I have to say may not do justice to what I feel about my friend. I know I have said time after time that Virginia is the rock of our drag family, and that much is very true. She is the glue that holds us all together, and though it may sound trite to many, it is a reality for many of us. She has a gift at making everyone feel welcome. She is caring, loving, and giving. I could go on and on and on. What I was reminded of last night during call backs is something very unique to Columbus and to many of the drag queens in this city. Not all, but many. What we do is a gift. What we share with one another is a gift. Every show process, at least for me, is like a time capsule. I can think back to the first show I ever did, and remember what was going on in my life, as a recent college graduate trying to find work. With every show comes a different cast bond and a different energy, but that energy then takes us to show time where we are given over to the audience to feed off of and challenge ourselves. It is the best give and take relationship one could ever hope for. Honesty in every step. You know when the audience is going with you and willing to travel on the journey you set out, and you can tell when the audience has been left at the train station, looking around awkwardly. Either way, it is honest. In this experience, you learn what works and what doesn’t for you. You learn how to adjust quickly.
The stage is providing life lessons. I am lucky to share in these experiences. Nothing is ever guaranteed and nothing is given. I know that each and every moment I am on that stage, I am lucky to have the chance to perform for people. I am blessed that people want to see me. I am humbled by the generosity that exists in this city. What we have here in Columbus is very special. I say it time and time again, maybe to the point where it has worn off some of the shine. But the truth is the truth. Columbus is an amazing support network. Not everyone may get along but they certainly do rise to the occasion when someone is in need. COMMUNITY. I am reminded of that in and out of every show. And what does this have to do with Virginia, you ask? She is the one who brought me into this world. She is the one who has shared this experience with me. She is the one who, when others were doubting me and calling me booger, stood by my side and pushed for me.
With every main stage show, I try to take something away that I have learned throughout the last few weeks. Again, these shows are filled with lessons and opportunities to learn, and if those are missed, then people just aren’t getting what they should out of the process. With BEACH PARTY, I was reminded of how special what we have here is. I am not talking about the Axis shows per se, but talking about the history with which I am able to share –with amazing entertainers like Mary Ann Brandt, Lorayne Love, Blossom, The Lady Alexis Fontaine. I will have to say, admittedly, that some of this feeling was brought out of me by Lady Bunny’s visit to Columbus just a week before we opened Beach Party. In our conversations, we talked about many things – from Wigstock to Drag U, and out favorite topic of course, music. We also talked about some of the vibrant entertainers that have worked and continue to work around the country who have made defined paths for others to easily walk down.
Virginia West made it easier for me to be who I am as an entertainer and express myself the way I choose to do so. Mary Ann Brandt made it easier for me. Georgia Jackson and Sonya Ross made it easier for me. Brazon made it easier for me. Darah Landon, Missy Marlo, Maria Garrison made it easier for me. The list goes on and on and on. The point is for me to be able to do what I do, someone had to come before me and pave the way. And because of those people, I am laying down my own road for someone else to travel down and veer off of to do their own thing. A family tree if you will. Thank you, Virginia, for again and again reminding me of what it is we share in and for allowing me to share that stage with you. I love you so much and am so proud to be apart of this particular drag family. Congratulations on an amazing show and bravo for continuing a long tradition for so many of us to share and for many of us to dream bigger.
May 3rd, 2011 by Nina with No Comments
Alexis is cleaning out her old Myspace page I think, because she keeps turning up these jewels. Here is the cast of Virginia West’s show, There’s Something About Virginia! 2007.
January 4th, 2011 by Nina with No Comments
Coming this February, see a show like no other. Virginia West and company will make you jump out of your seat, sing, dance, and rock out. Stadium Virginium will play Axis Nightclub Friday, February 11 at 8 pm, Saturday February 12 with two shows (6 pm and 10 pm), and Sunday, February 13 at 8 pm!
The cast, lead by the amazing Virginia West, features Nina West, Freesia Balls, Alexis Stevens, Natasha West, Pretty Punasti, Candi Panties, Sandy Von Lipshitz, Kari Kerning, Eva Stolichnaya, and emcee June Bugg. The West Family Dancers are back for Stadium Virginium, featuring the choreography of Mark Bryan (Ethan West), and the dance talents of Brent Fabian, Katy Malys, Julie Hazlett, and Lydia Feddern.
Tables for Stadium Virginium are on sale now and available at Union Cafe, by calling 614.421.2233, or through any of the cast members! Tables are $50 and seat 4 people each. General admission will also be available the night of the shows at Axis Nightclub.
Tease up your hair, bring your lighters, and get ready to rock to STADIUM VIRGINIUM, coming this February to Axis Nightclub!