Prior to auditioning for RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9, Valentina had only been doing drag for 10 months. But with a plethora of Latin influences—from telenovelas to the Miss Universe pageant—and an exceedingly polished look, this sassy young queen is a fiery addition to the race, and plans to scorch her competition.
QLife caught up with Valentina before the season started for an interview about her experience with the show,
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QLife: Tell us a little bit about Valentina and what's been happening in your life right now.
Valentina: Well I'm Valentina, and I'm on RuPaul's Drag Race Season Nine. I am a native of Los Angeles. I studied the performing arts throughout my education. I went to Bancroft Middle School and Hollywood High School. And I'm very excited to be on the show.
QLife: What inspired you to auditioned for the show?
Valentina: It was my first time auditioning. I was going through a tough time figuring out if the fashion world and working in retail is something that I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Is this how I see myself being a happy, successful person because I'd always desired to have my work to be my art and my vision.
So I found out about the audition, and I was reflecting on my life and how I wanted it to shift and go in a different direction and. I want to seize the opportunity to have that kind of adventurous “I don't give a fuck I’m gonna take a risk” kind of vibe.
I auditioned, and I made it, and I'm so blessed because it's shifted my life and now I got to do everything my heart desired ever to do which is to be a drag queen clean and have my work revolve around my vision and my art.
QLife: Of the past contestants, who do you feel has gone on to resonate with their career and become the most successful in their field?
Valentina: Well I think of the Ru girls there are very, very many successful girls. Obviously Bianca, Adore are very successful but one that personally resonates with me, that I admire on a personal level Miss Fame. She has shifted drag in her own unique way, and she's created her own path. She’s not just a drag queen; she’s a model that has created success in her talent as a makeup artist. She can go on tour teaching makeup. I admire how she's created such a successful career in such a short amount of time highlighting her talent. It's not her trying to do what anybody else is doing. She just really thriving at being the best version of herself.
QLife: What's been your number one learning experience through all of this?
Valentina: To to stay grounded. I just want to make sure that I continue to be the same person. To stay humble to stay grounded and to receive everything as a blessing and a gift. I have a big following now, and lots of attention and these are blessings that not to be taken for granted. Admiration or respect from a following is so much to take on when I've never had this. So throughout this experience, I'm learning to keep grounded, and be humble and be grateful for all the things that come in my direction and take everything as a blessing.
QLife: Tell us about the New York Premiere Party and how it was interacting with your fans.
Valentina: It was amazing! The Red Carpet experience was everything I ever dreamed that. I'd always dreamed of being on a Red Carpet and serving a look with all the flashing lights and cameras. It was the fantasy that I lived in my mind that I was at the Oscars in an Oscar de la Renta gown. It was like this full on fantasy. It was great. We all performed. It was a huge, amazing stage at the PlayStation Theater. After the event was over some of the girls went out, and we mingled with our fans. I, of course, couldn't get enough and I stayed for every last picture and met every beautiful face that came up to me.
It's an amazing feeling that someone will come up to you and admire what you do. My following tends to be very Latino-based because I am the Latina queen and I incorporate a lot of Latin culture into everything that I do with Valentina, so I have a lot of fans that come up to me, and they say "thank you so much for performing the songs that you do."
A lot of my fans are Mexican as I am, and they say “finally we have somebody to look up to.” These things are very warm and very dear to my heart. Anytime I have someone come up to me and say “Can I get a picture?” no matter how crazy I look, I am always going to say yes, and I'm always going to appreciate it. You never know if a year from now, you might be that girl in the corner that no one is asking for pictures, so right now they're asking you and you have to say yes and you have share that love that they're giving you and give it back. It’s very special, very sweet.
QLife: How’s your family? Are you keeping in contact with your close friends as you move along your journey?
Valentina: I'm very close with my family. They’re all rooting for me, they all keep asking me when the show’s going to come out, and they all want to have a viewing party the party. I'm a very loyal person, and when it comes to my family and my friends, I owe so much to them through this experience. I have a team of friends that have helped me so much. Whether it’s with styling my hair or helping me stack some lashes or helping me out when I'm having a bad day, it's like this team of people that I just love. Although my life's going to be super busy, and I'm going to be pulled away from them, they are the most treasured thing that I have.
QLife: Did you learn any new skills from the show?
Valentina: How to do my makeup fast. I don't enjoy doing my makeup fast, but through the process, I'm learning the difference between a three-hour beat an hour and forty-five minutes beat. That’s something that I'm learning along the way. Doing my makeup is something that I really enjoy. The process is something that I indulge in. It's like this ritual that I have of transforming. Now that I'm so busy and that I been on the show, it's starting to become like work; it’s like “put your makeup on because it’s time to go to your job.”