Hometown: Columbus, OH
Current City: Columbus, OH
Nina's alter-ego, Andrew, grew up in a small northeast Ohio town, before departing for an even smaller village to attend college at Denison University where he graduated with a B.F.A. in Theatre Performance in 2001. Born from a deeply ingrained need to create, and with much help from her drag mother, Virginia West, Nina came to be, and she has been captivating audiences nationwide ever since! Through strict dedication and commitment to her craft, Nina has racked up enough accomplishments over the past decade to make anyone's head spin!
During her twelve years of performing, Nina has become a creative force in the drag community, bringing unparalleled production and camp to her performances and shows. She has written, produced, directed, and starred in over 30 main stage theatrical productions. She has also tried her hand at film - quite successfully, might we add! On her own, Nina has created several video and song spoofs on her shelarious YouTube channel! She is also proud to be a reoccurring cast member in a series of film shorts, Columbusland, produced by the Gateway Film Center for which she is serving as an Advisory Board member in their 2013-2014 season.
On top of her theater and film performances, Nina has also honed another skill - puppeteering! Since founding 'Nina West's Puppet Shop Puppets & Friends,' Nina has worked to create original and colorful performance partners for both stage and screen. (It's always great to have an acting partner who can't upstage you unless you tell them to!) Her talents as a musician and vocalist have not gone unused, either! This past summer she performed at CD102.5's SUMMERFEST alongside the likes of Matt & Kim, Smith Westerns, and Coldwar Kids. Nina's vocal talents have been beautifully combined with her acting and stage performance skills, allowing her to work with national touring casts of titles such as Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Aida, and Hairspray (to name a few)! She was even privileged enough to perform with the touring company of WICKED in both Columbus and San Diego to help raise money for local AIDS organizations and the repeal of Prop 8.
Somehow in the midst of her film projects, her music career, her theater performances, and her extensive activism, Nina manages to find time to perform for delighted crowds throughout the country. Her on-stage drag appearances extend beyond performing and into hosting. Recently she put on her M.C. hat for the sixth year in a row to host Columbus's HIGHBALL Halloween party, the nation's largest annual block party.
While it may come as no surprise that such a talented artist can boast having shared the stage with nearly every past RuPaul's Drag Race contestant, this highly versatile queen has also been known to rub elbows with many other reality stars such as Kelli Martin (Project Runway), Reichen Lemkuhl (Amazing Race and The A List), Dominique Reighard (America's Next Top Model), among others. The extensive list of legendary celebrities she has worked with also includes Tiffany, Cazwell, Julie Brown, Lady Bunny, and Ana Matronic. However, in spite of all this star power, Nina says the proudest moment of her career thus far has been winning the 2008 title of Entertainer of the Year, F.I. in Louisville, Kentucky. In this competition she delighted the audiences with her unique performance style and became known for wearing an evening gown that came to life before the audience's eyes, thus leaving it dubbed "the gown heard around the world."
Her style has been called camp, comedy, performance art, and political pop, but whatever you want to call it, we're sure you've never seen a queen like Nina West!
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