, , , , , , ,

Most of us have an alter ego that lives inside and is seldom exposed to the world. Sure it may come out under special circumstances, but it is typically buried away in a safe place. But wait…what if your alter ego was so fabulous, so over-the-top outrageous that you could not hide it any longer? Would you expose it to the world? One Denison University grad did just that! But this article isn’t about him, it is about his alter-ego…

A combination of kitsch, pop culture, camp and comedy form to create Columbus drag queen extraordinaire. Welcome to the world of Nina West!

Winner of the 2008 National Entertainer of the Year and performer in Hair Spray, Mamma Mia and Phantom of the Opera (to name a few), Nina West is an icon to the drag community. She has proven to the world that being a drag queen is not a shameful or less-than profession. It is an expression of art.

Today, you can catch the uber popular queen performing her own shows right here in Columbus! She is the force behind such musicals as: Heels of Horror: A Nightmare on High Street, Two Peas in a Pod, and A West Family Christmas.

Nina West’s elaborate and jaw-dropping costumes are one reason to check out her shows! Below are a few of my favorite outfits she has made/worn.

But behind the thick layers of make-up, over-the-top costumes and sometimes outrageous songs, Nina’s shows tell a simple message, love yourself!

One reason I enjoy watching Nina perform is for how she makes me feel. I always leave her shows feeling empowered and ready to take on the world. Nina’s strong character is an inspiration for people everywhere to be true to themselves and not be afraid of what others may think.

Aside from being talented, fashionable and down-right fabulous, Nina also has a caring heart. She is the co-founder of Project: Zero Ohio, an organization that raises money and awareness for local HIV/AIDS. So far Nina has raised over $300,000 for various HIV/AIDS organizations.

Her shows open your mind to a new world, one where people are free to express themselves however they wish. Her message, universal. Her antics, wild and hilarious. But above all, Nina West is one of a kind.

For information on upcoming shows or more insight into the world of Nina West, check out her website!