Marina entered the workroom wearing a gorgeous navy-inspired look, a reference to the Spanish word for marine: Marina. Those first seconds were enough for us to foresee what kind of queen she is; smart, conceptual, and, as she stated in this exclusive interview, also with artistic concerns.
From the get-go she waged her sharp fashion sense and street-punk aesthetics. The 34-year-old artist brought her unique approach to drag to the competition, and though she sometimes struggled to get her message across with looks that might have been too avant-garde to be understood, she managed to achieve a well deserved place among the top four.
Through her journey throughout the contest, she starred in the most tense moment of the season with Juriji and also marked a first in Drag Race herstory showing her private parts on the runway when paying homage to the late Spanish artist, Ocaña. Marina is part of the increasing number of trans artists who have recently joined the global Drag Race family and she shared her opinions on that with us.
Here, Marina speaks about Barcelona’s drag scene, the importance of not losing your essence after Drag Race, and her jaw-dropping looks through the season.
Hello Marina. Three of the top four queens were based in Barcelona. How would you describe the drag scene over there?
The drag scene in Barcelona is, if anything, very diverse. It’s a very artistic scene, with a lot of people doing drag and approaching it in different ways, and that’s very rich for the scene. I think this is the main difference if we compare it with the drag scene in Madrid, where people approach drag from a more commercial point of view. In Barcelona there is a bigger artistic concern. Also, we have to take into account that in Barcelona there is a very rich trans culture which makes Barcelona such an interesting scene.
We have to talk about the Ocaña moment on the runway. It was so iconic!
When I read Queen of my City, the inspiration struck me like lightning. In less than a second I knew exactly not only that I was doing Ocaña, but also everything that was going to happen on the runway, including the skirt moment. The way I planned that runway was so organic, that when you have this kind of instinct you feel that nothing could go wrong. You are doing something that is very authentic and that you believe. Before the program came out, I was a little afraid of how the public would react, if they would understand it at all. Truth is, it’s not a very well-known reference, but I thought, ‘Look, you’re trusting your gut instinct, so nothing is gonna go wrong’. And in that sense the reception was very positive. People understood it and those that did not know the reference and enjoyed the runway, looked it up and discovered Ocaña, which was also the goal, to put the reference first.
Also, the look you dedicated to the trans community on the Spanish Heroines runway, was one of the best of the entire season.
This one was quite complicated, because when you pick such a strong theme that also touches you personally, taking it to a reality show on television is something that you don’t know for sure how it is going to come out.
There are more and more trans artists competing in Drag Race. What do you think of the participation of trans people in Drag Race?
It’s not only right, but it’s necessary. Trans artists having the possibility to express ourselves and having the opportunity to be known seems incredible. We have to keep in mind that drag is art, and like any other sort of art, it shouldn’t have a gender. In Spain, drag comes traditionally from transvestism, which is understood as men dressed as women. However, society changes, the world changes, and I think it’s important that platforms like Drag Race also adapt to the new times and to what is happening out there. Society understands better the fact that identities flow and has a better understanding that non-binary people, within the trans umbrella, can have many perspectives and they all are valid.
Did you have a plan or strategy to reach the final?
Not really. I like to compete, I enjoy the competition, it motivates me. In the first few weeks I was thinking a lot about getting into the final, but then, as the days went by, I was relaxing and began to enjoy myself and realise that the important thing was not only about winning but also about showing off and having a good time. And also about getting to know yourself better, because they put you in situations where you, as an artist and as a person, have no option but to adapt.
Is there something you have learned or discovered about your drag or about yourself during your time there?
I have realised that I have to learn how to manage certain situations, because sometimes I was carried away by my nerves. Although this is like a drag masterclass, you are there, you do everything, I have learned many things, but I have not discovered things on an artistic level.
What has been your favourite moment of your time in the contest?
The musical. I remember when we were rehearsing the day before, and at one point, being there on the set with los Javis and my sisters, and thinking, ‘wow’. I felt like I was where I needed to be, a strong feeling, when you realise you are exactly where you were supposed to be. I haven’t talked about this with anyone, but while rehearsing I got very emotional and felt very happy. Also, the makeover challenge, when the boys from the Foundation came, was also a very special day. Once we reached the final we were already relaxed. At that height of the competition you think ‘I have made it this far.’ I was enjoying it a lot, and that moment was one of the happiest ever.
So, what’s next for Marina?
For me, it is very important to keep Marina in her place. I come from doing drag in a less orthodox way than my sisters. The drag that I have done has always been more of a small bar thing, more vindictive and artistic. For me, it is very important to maintain this essence and not to lose it and remember where I come from. Because my drag is very personal, and that’s very important to me. I would tell you the same thing that I would have told you if you had asked me before joining Drag Race: to be able to continue working, creating, and above all, developing my own drag projects and being able to take them to a larger format. But I’m happy being able to continue working, evolving my drag persona and maintaining that Marina essence.
All episodes of Drag Race España S2 are available to watch on Atres Premium in Spain and exclusively on WOW Presents Plus everywhere else. Subscribe via: https://uk.wowpresentsplus.com