Lessons in Being Nina

Justin McIntosh, Columbus Alive

There's only one Nina West, and thankfully she's all ours (and by ours, we mean Columbus). But that might not be the case for the Arch City's favorite drag queen much longer. Nina's auditioned for Season Seven of "RuPaul's Drag Race," and though she hasn't heard back on whether she'll be cast, we think her chances are pretty damn good. Once the rest of the world sees what we see on the reg, how could she not be cast?

The latest feather in her luxurious locks is this weekend's "Nina West's Excellent Adventure," a choose your own adventure show that runs through most of May at Axis Nightclub. Expect choreography, puppets, geek references, wiener jokes and everything that can be defined as "excellent."

The idea behind this cover story was simple enough: Let's do our best to become Nina West and maybe in the process figure out that exact, scientific blend of wit, charm and kindness that has Columbus so enamored with its favorite drag queen. While we sadly fell short (there's only one Nina West, after all), we learned a lot about what it takes to be Nina. As graceful as Ms. West (and her West family cohorts) make it appear, being a drag queen the whole city loves involves an insane amount of hard work, but it's so much more than that too. Read on to see what four Alive staffers learned about becoming a drag performer.