Competing for the Crown: Kristina Nekyia (BHoF 2013)

The incredibly flexible and mysterious Kristina Nekyia has answered my 2013 pre-BHoF Q&A, and she will take to the stage in a matter of days at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2013. I put something lighthearted and fun together this year, and requested some extra ‘media’ from each contender.

When I’m on stage, I feel… completely free and safe and connected to something beautiful and much larger than myself.

When I’m on stage, I want the audience to feel… I don’t really care what the audience feels as long as they feel something! Any emotion is better than disinterest.

Kristina Nekyia's self portrait.  ©Kristina Nekyia
Kristina Nekyia’s self portrait. ©Kristina Nekyia

BHoF is special and important to me because… the museum is the only real repository of a valuable and under-represented piece of history. More than just the history of one art form, it is the history of the development of women, sexuality, and American culture. Plus, it contains so many beautiful photos and objects that inspire us today. The event itself is so valuable because it bring us together as a community to share our work and achievements, cheer each other on, and push the art form higher and deeper in both quality and concept.

I chose the act I am competing with because… I love it! I am performing for the first time to my boyfriend’s music, which is so special, hearing his musical voice speaking to me every time I am on stage. This is also my first classic burlesque act, which is so yummy, getting to work with a corset and some amazing fans from Catherine D’Lish!

If I am crowned Queen… I will be deeply honoured and do my best to represent the community and act as an ambassador for the museum.

If I could speak to myself when I was a new performer starting out, I would say/tell myself… be real, be yourself. There are so many performers out there who you can compare yourself to in skill, stature, or success, but there is only one you. No one else can perform the way that you can, with your voice and perspective and vision. It isn’t easy to be authentic, but it is worth the work. These two quotes from two jazz greats about sum it up:

“A genius is the one most like himself.”  Thelonious Monk
“Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.”  Miles Davis

Kristina Nekyia. ©Dusti Cunningham
Kristina Nekyia. ©Dusti Cunningham

Something that few people know about me is… I’m very shy. Really. On stage I don’t feel it, but off stage I’m so socially awkward. I fear that sometimes I come across as being snotty or aloof, but it’s really just that I get nervous in big groups. I do better one on one or in small groups.

I am happiest when… I am living entirely in the moment, fully engaged in whatever I am doing, whether it is dancing, or training, or cooking dinner, or snuggling, or anything else I choose to do!

My greatest strength is… Desire.

My biggest vice is… Desire.

My greatest fear is… Being trapped, unable to follow my dreams.

A kiss from Kristina Nekyia.
A kiss from Kristina Nekyia.

If I could spend a day with any woman in history, past or present, it would have to be… Can I pick a few? For very different reasons… Dorothy Parker, Mae West, Madonna, and Queen Elizabeth.

I if could have a superhero power, it would be… the ability to communicate a pure feeling or thought without the muddiness of words.

The best piece of advice I have ever been given is… Only give advice after someone has asked you three times, so you know they are really ready to receive it.

If I could only watch one movie, hear one song and read one book for the rest of my life, they would be… That sounds depressing. I’m not sure I could pick that, but I’ll give you some of my go-to selections. Movie: Harold and Maude. Song: Meu Amor Meu Bem Me Ame by Zeca Baleiro. Book: The Passion by Jeanette Winterson.

The key to show-stopping striptease is… Authenticity.

My hopes for the future of burlesque are… More authenticity!

Find out all you need to know about the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend at their new website…

Visit Kristina’s website…

21st Century Burlesque
21st Century Burlesque

Quoted in major international newspapers and held in high esteem and affection by the international burlesque community, 21st Century Burlesque Magazine has documented the contemporary burlesque scene since 2007. Founded and edited by Holli-Mae Johnson.

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