All About Nina Flowers

kbs_94321LOCA! This queen may have looked fierce every time she stepped out onto the runway but as we soon discovered, she has a heart of gold. The only queen from Season 1 not to have been in the bottom two lip syncing for her life and the first to ever enjoy a legendary tic-tac lunch with Mama Ru (in my eyes, the true winner of the first season of the best show in the world). Prepare yourself for the fabulousness that is Miss Nina Flowers!

Nina Flowers provided us with so many incredible moments in Season 1 – from nailing the carwash photoshoot and winning the very first challenge, to vogueing it out on the runway and (rightfully) winning Miss Congeniality later on in the season. Aside from being an absolute sweetheart that the other queens could only ever say good things about, Nina’s sense of humour was top notch. Instead of crumbling when things went a little wonky, Nina knew how to laugh at herself. For example, during the teleprompter challenge, Nina ever so sweetly read out “This is your name, good night”… instantly cracking up as she realised what she had said. Another stellar example of her vibrant sense of humour was during the mini challenge with the female fighters in the makeover episode. After straddling the punchbag and showing it who was boss, doing a move that they called the “ground and pound”, Nina shouted “Don’t talk back to my face bitch!” at the punchbag. I’m in stitches every time I see that scene!

kbs_9596-x3-427x640During the MAC Viva Glam episode, Nina revealed that recording the message would be a challenge as she thinks in Spanish and sometimes doesn’t know how to translate some words. In my opinion, she had nothing to worry about – she looked fierce and got the message across perfectly. What I also thought was really lovely and showed off her beautiful character, was that as she left the set she thanked the two models (later to be known as the Pit Crew), which the other queens did not. In the voiceover, as she pummelled the runway in her iconic feathered cuffs, she said “If I like what I see, it doesn’t matter what anybody else has to say… because I feel good about myself ”. This should be the mantra in everyone’s life!

One of my favourite episodes was the Absolut Vodka one where Nina transformed herself into Miss Mango. Having to prepare three looks that week (swimsuit, executive realness and an eleganza evening gown), Ru asked Nina during the walkthrough who she’d be drawing inspiration from for her executive realness look. “I’m basing the executive woman in the image of my mom… She was not only my mom, she was my best friend. She always encouraged me to go for the things I wanted in life”.

nina-flowers2Nina may have dedicated herself to the art of female impersonation for over 20 years, but she is also an incredibly talented DJ. You can tell Nina has rhythm flowing through her veins after she nailed the choreography for RuPaul’s music video, Cover Girl. During the iconic lunch with Ru, she told Nina “You’re a legendary queen and I cannot tell you how happy I am to have you here”.

I’m overjoyed to reveal that I had the pleasure and privilege to interview Miss Nina… something I feel deeply honoured to have done. Read on for her fabulous answers!

Chloe: What made you audition for RuPaul’s Drag Race?
Nina: I had recently moved to Denver, Colorado, and I was still looking for work, so it was an opportunity considering my schedule was flexible. A friend of mine from Puerto Rico told me about an online competition for Drag Queens to appear on a reality TV show. Drag performers on TV – never heard of it, so I was happy to fill out a profile.

Chloe: If you were to be cast in Season 9, who would you play in Snatch Game and why?Nina: Cyndi Lauper, she has always been one of my biggest inspirations. In fact, she was my #1 choice for All Stars, but at the very last minute I changed everything. I really thought it would be interesting to bring some of my Latin culture into the show, plus I wanted to challenge myself, so chose La Lupe.

f32e0d21e2bd2a6a73ced1785fb8706bChloe: Who or what inspires Nina’s incredible style?
Nina: I’m a child of the 80s. While my name was inspired by one of my all time favourite punk rocker artists, Nina Hagen, she has also inspired many of my looks. I’m also inspired by artists such as Boy George, Cyndi Lauper and Annie Lennox, to name a few.

Chloe: What’s your favourite song at the moment?
Nina: I’m very particular about my music…kind of like my drag. I don’t listen to radio that much. I like stuff that is very progressive and raw. My favourite at the moment is Isaac Escalante & Xavier Santos feat Alan T – Like A Man (Original Mix).  It’s super hot!!

Chloe: If you were to get stuck in a lift (elevator), which celebrity would you want to be in there with (past or present) and why?
Nina: In a situation like that I would want to be stranded with someone incredibly funny so that they would make me forget I’m stuck in an elevator. I would love to go through that with the mother of punk rock, and as I mentioned previously my #1 of all times, Nina Hagen. She is hysterical and the bitch can sing! So I’m sure she’d be making jokes and singing in that elevator…lol

Chloe: If you could have any magical power, what would it be and why?
Nina: Make everyone smile. Things are so different when people smile at you. A smile makes everything feel right, makes everyone feel like they belong. A smile is so powerful – it can wash away all your insecurities. Smiling is priceless.

i8fbqyeChloe: Have you visited the UK before and if so, what’s your favourite thing about it?
Nina: Yes, I visited about two years ago. I loved it – the people, the architecture, the culture… everything. I had the pleasure of performing at West 5 Bar, in London; The Village Inn in Birmingham, and Cheerz in Aberdeen. Now I look forward to visiting again, but this time for my music.

I just want to say a huge thank you to Nina for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions – it will forever be appreciated. I hope to see you perform and/or DJ one day, whether that be here in London or over in the U.S. Stay fiercely fabulous!

Check out Nina’s off the chart soundcloud at www.soundcloud.com/nina-flowers and her incredible website. Also be sure to follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, too!

28/31 Marching two by two

28. What are you looking forward to?

This week I was asked by one of my bestest friends if I wanted to march for Macmillan in this years London Pride Parade on the 25th June… my answer was of course YES!

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I’ve not been to any Pride celebrations before so this is going to be a huge experience for me. I’m looking forward to being among all the jubilation, the party atmosphere and surrounded by the most accepting people in all of London. They’re all my family! and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!

I’m hoping that even though the parade doesn’t finish until 4pm, I’ll still get to see some of the Pride in Trafalgar gig… although they still haven’t announced who’s going to be performing which is super exciting!

So to anyone who may be heading to London to enjoy the day… HAPPY PRIDE!

 

20/31 Be thankful for today

20. A difficult time in your life

Well this is a change of pace…

I don’t think there has been any time in my life that has been so tremendously difficult that it warrants writing about. So many people have it so much worse. The tens of thousands of people that had to flee Alberta to escape the wildfires, losing their homes and all of their belongings. The passengers onboard the EgyptAir jet that vanished over the night this week and their families and friends who are desperately waiting to find out what happened.

Sure, I have bad days and minority difficult days – who doesn’t?! But I think right now is not the time to be ranting about trivial things like being tired or being stuck on the tube.

17/31 There’s no buddy like a Brother!

17. What is your most proud moment

Watching my brother collect his degree. Ooo no wait… it was during his last year at University, when I watched him in his Drama group’s end of year performance. He had a couple of vocal leads and I welled up like a baby. I thought, in that very moment, that my heart was actually going to burst! It’s in these moments that I wish I was allowed to film it to be able to feel that pride over and over…

2/31 Wait… you didn’t know?!

2. 20 facts about you

I have a feeling that this is going to be a tricky prompt… ten I could have managed but 20 facts just about me?! Well, here goes:

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My Queen… Amen!

  1. I’m addicted to RuPaul’s Drag Race and love pretty much all of the queens that have walked through the ‘You Better Werk’ room doors.
  2. My favourite colour is duck egg blue.
  3. I own more pairs of socks than I care to admit.
  4. I’m a bit of a Netflix addict – entire mornings can disappear if I’m not careful.
  5. I love singing and dancing.
  6. When I’m at home, I’m often found in pyjama’s… I mean what’s the point in wearing your outdoor clothes, indoors?!
  7. I began and completed WordPress’ 365 Days of Writing Prompts challenge in 2014.
  8. People find it odd that I don’t drink tea or coffee…
  9. If money was no object, I’d go to see a West End theatre show every single week.
  10. I have a very close family, which means the world to me, and am even related to Howard Carter, the guy who discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb.
  11. My Great Nan reached 104 and a half years young… the half is very important at that age.
  12. I’m obsessed with Mi backpacks. So far, I’ve got a peacock feather one, a gumball one, a galaxy print one, a duck egg blue polka dot backpack and one with elephants all over it.
  13. I’m commonly found wearing Converse hi-tops… wearing heels is for special occasions.
  14. For RuPaul’s BOTS, I temporarily dyed my hair blue. I loved it so much that I’m planning to dye it permanently blue – hopefully two tone, using cobalt and duck egg blue (of course!)
  15. Through my last job, I was sent on press trips to Iceland (Ice Age 4: Continental Drift), Norway (How To Train Your Dragon 2) and Slovenia (Postojna Cave), interviewed a robotic cockatoo (Nigel from Rio 2, with actor Jemaine Clement in another room) and even photographed the stars of TV on the red carpet at the National Television Awards.
  16. I have a BA (Hons) in Human Resource Management.
  17. I love afternoon tea… especially quirky ones such a Spanish or Thai themed.
  18. Working in children’s media means that I get to see many of the new films before they hit the cinemas and I’m a big kid who loves everything Disney, so I end up enjoying every single screening… sometimes even more than the kids that are actually there.
  19. I love unicorns, rainbows and mermaids. I even wanted to be a mermaid growing up… still do!
  20. Primates are my favourite animals (well, and dolphins and marine life of course), but I’ve been lucky enough to meet the famous Primatologist, Dr Jane Goodall three times and even helped her present awards.
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At the most recent Jane Goodall Roots & Shoots Awards with my flatmate, Féaron, where we got to meet Dr Jane’s beloved Mr. H, which travels around the world with her.

You’re a winner

#361: You’ve just won £1 billion pounds in the local lottery. You do not have to pay tax on your winnings. How will you spend the money?

I’d first use it to set up my family for the rest of their days, mortgage and bills wise. I’d then quit my job and really focus all my time and energy on finding an exciting new job within the video editing/producing/presenting industry. During this time, to mix it up, I’d plan a killer family holiday, making sure everyone’s wishes were fulfilled. Once I’d secured my perfect role, I’d finally move into London and start various evening classes.

Of course, it goes without saying that I’d donate regularly to charity and give food, drinks and/or blankets etc to the homeless.

P.s. I missed yesterday’s prompt as I spent Boxing Day with all the family… also looking after my cousins 4 and 6 year old girls… needless to say I slept for almost 15 hours today! (I usually get 6-8 hours sleep a night).

The best day ever

#358: You get to enjoy the best day ever — describe in detail what that means to you. Where are you? What will you do? What’s the weather like? What will you eat? Who will you see?

I’d be with my family of course – my mums side and my American relatives that are currently over for Christmas (hence why my posts have been fairly late recently). It wouldn’t matter too much where we were so long as it could fit everyone in cozily. We’d be reminiscing and playing games… sort of how today went really! We’d eat lots of mini versions of the classics – fish ‘n’ chips, fajitas, bruschetta, filled naans and of course, mini puddings!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Memories of holidays past

#349: What is your very favourite holiday? Recount the specific memory or memories that have made that holiday special to you.

That’s a tricky one – I absolutely LOVED going to Walt Disney World when I was younger, because come on… it’s Disney! On the other hand, I really loved the trip to Spain as I went with all my family and we all had so much fun.

What I should do is go back to DisneyWorld in Florida with my entire family (well, my immediate, my auntie & uncle and my cousins). PERFECT!

My precious

#345: Who is the person in your life who can do no wrong? Describe this person and tell us why you hold them in such high esteem.

Does such a person even exist?! Surely it should be a lot clearer by saying something like “…who, in your opinion, can do no wrong?”. Everyone has their flaws

Tattoo…you?

#334: Do you have a tattoo? If so, what’s the story behind your ink? If you don’t have a tattoo, what might you consider getting emblazoned on you skin?

I’ve always been in two minds about tattoos – I’d like to get one as the right designs can look really nice but on the other hand, not only do I face the dilemma of where it would go but ultimately will I regret it later when I’m old and wrinkly?!

That said, I was close to getting one last year after my Great Nan passed away. She’d been the head of the family for my entire life and at the amazingly grand age of 104, she was still an incredibly tough cookie who refused to give up her independence. Putting it simply, she was an inspiration to all of us who has very much been missed each and every day. In remembrance and as my own way of honouring her, I was looking to get a small ivy based design since her name was Ivy. One of the reasons I didn’t go through with it however, was because I couldn’t decide where to place it – I wanted to be able to see it, so that took my back out of the equation; I didn’t want to get it somewhere that would be affected by growth/child birth, which then excluded my middle; and then I also felt I couldn’t have it on any part of my wrist/arms as it may look unprofessional… this all just gave me a headache!