07:00 • 19 apr. 2020
Born in Almeria in 1988 and raised in the neighborhood of Los Angeles, Juan Antonio Rodriguez runs his own barber, J. J. Stylists, but on the weekends it transforms into Nadine, one of the most beloved artists of the Pub Byblos of the calle Gerona. There, he gets into the skin of Shakira who climbs on top of the bar to dance or is plant the comb and the bata de cola.
Barber by day and transformist night, how does the coronavirus has stopped arms crossed?
Until the c… (Laughter). At the barber very bad because it’s my mid-life and I don’t have my well being at home without doing practically nothing. And in the shows, that is my way of escape, without being able to develop the character that is in me. At least I have time to make me costumes that I use then.
And what are your expectations in both areas before the current uncertainty?
I hope to return to have a volume of regular work in the hairdresser and be able to fix the damage that has been done to people in their homes. The tutorials of YouTube and Instagram are not suitable for all audiences. (Laughter). At the show I hope to be back soon. The artist in me needs to come out.
At what age and how he discovered that he liked to dress as a woman?
As a teenager, when I first started partying, I saw two shapeshifters in a pub of Almeria. I said to myself: “I want to go to the stage and be just like them”. Of man, for many issues, it is difficult to put on some heels and makeup. And there is so much of caracterizarme of women, but to express the art that I have inside, that would otherwise be more complicated to express. And for the record that I love to wear a bata de cola.
Do your family and friends to understand?
I am lucky that my family supported me and supports me. My family are my first fans. Don’t miss a show at Byblos. And I’m lucky to have a few friends who understand me perfectly and encourage me to continue with Nadine. And my clients from the salon don’t stop to encourage me also.
How is the routine process for John to become Nadine?
John arrives and becomes Nadine no more. I shot the whole week thinking about the songs, the costumes, the makeup, the wigs, what to say. It is a much more complex process than people can imagine. To transform into a different person yourself.
How to live with that duality?
Sleeping very little and thinking a thousand things at the same time. (Laughter). I carry it with total normality. Nadine never disconnected from John, or John of Nadine. For example, in the hair salon clients ask me about the show. And in the night I ask for an appointment for the hairdresser. And I have my parents tired of sewing and to get me to eat.
Who league more: Nadine or John?
Oddly enough, Nadine sweeps across to John. A guy is very normal as I have nothing to do in front of the lenses and the body of Nadine. Nadine likes to lead and teach cacho. (Laughter).
What do they have in common and what differentiates them?
John and Nadine agree in the love of the art and they are very perfectionist in their work. And that’s it. The main difference is that John is the person more timid of the world, and would like to go unnoticed, and Nadine is a scoundrel total that you like you can clap, warm up to the staff and make him laugh.
Nadine is an artist, what is your main talent?
Get the feeling and touch the heart when she interprets the song. The fact to be a hairdresser and make-up artist also allows me to take advantage of my body and to my face. I have the advantage that I know how to adapt to the night and to be versatile in my characters: on Friday I do the same for Shakira, the Saturdays I climb on top of the bar dancing, and Sunday I put the comb and the bata de cola.
Is there ignorance in that regard?
In the impersonation there is a lot of ignorance of what is done. And a lot of homophobia, including among the gay community. The question that I get is how to I hide. And as I advance that nice is not, we pick up with thumb tacks. (Laughter).
What is the weirdest thing you have asked, or has happened?
Questions rare I have not had so many but yes some way compromised, such as, for example, one night you were working I asked how much she charged for a ‘private show’.
It is a further demonstration of the level of confusion and ignorance there is with the impersonation, with what we do. I’m lucky to have a few heads that protect us from these uncomfortable situations. Shapeshifters are artists.