DRAG PORN: [RAVEN MANDELLA]

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RAVEN MANDELLA

(Photo by Mark Storey)

If you don’t know who “Raven Mandella” is already, then it’s time to GET YO’ LIFE!
Originally from Leeds, (like Mel B), Raven is one of London’s premiere drag and cabaret stars, gracing clubs and parties both in the city and internationally, “True Story”.

Birthed from the likes of MZZ Kimberley, Raven’s effervescent energy continues to storm the stage of life.

Ted Rogers “Artpornblog” has been lucky enough to work and live out life alongside Raven Mandella many times over the past year. It is time to really get into this queen so here’s the lowdown on love, life and keeping it real the Mandella way…

Ted: Raven, you seem to be a consistently positive person who manages to manifest their ideas and get the most from a situation. Are there any life philosophies you follow?

Raven: People should be able to do what they do whenever they wanna do it. My life is my life and yours is yours. It’s none of your business what I do and none of mine what you do.
We can pass each other and appreciate it. You don’t need to suck the life force out of me. I might get envious of someone but I don’t feel the need to put them down, some people see a fire and want to put it out, but not all fires need to be put out, “Leave it to the firemen Luv”.

Ted: The way you conduct your life, “your way”, is impressive. How or where do you find the strength to do this?

Raven: I wake up every day without thinking about other peoples thoughts on me, it’s neither the first or last thing on my mind. I feel it’s my right as a human to express myself and feel happy.

Ted: Is there anything that has happened in your life that has led you to live this way or were you born like this?

Raven: Lots Luv, I always stood out, felt different and questioned what was wrong with me. I was crazy and strong minded in my expression. Other people always wanted to bring me down, some still do. “Jerry Springer” and “The Spice Girls” were around at the time I was growing up and it gave me lot’s of attitude; I suppose that and living in the ghetto brought out my inner queen.

I’ve always felt strong, but as I grew up I hung out with the wrong people and often questioned myself. These were the lowest points in my life. I know what it’s like to feel low, I know what it’s like to feel the worst and I never wanna go back.

I know i’m a good person, I have my family and I don’t care or need the opinions of other people. Sometimes I meet fickle or fake people and I just don’t get it. So I shut it out because I don’t want or need the bad energy in my life. I know what it does and i’ve had enough of it.

Ted: It can be hard to shut out influencing sources such as the media and advertising, especially in a busy city. Do you read the paper?

Raven: Yes

Ted: How does it make you feel?

Raven: Sad, lots of bad things are happening.

Ted: Does it affect your day?

Raven: No, because I know this stuff is happening already, I can’t allow it to affect my day.
There is good stuff going on too but I probably haven’t read it in the paper. I’ll have witnessed it first hand or read it on Facebook or something.

The papers have no in-between. It’s either dark, like someone being stabbed, or something that doesn’t matter like Kim Kardashian’s new nipple.

Ted: Do you listen to the radio or watch the news?

Raven: No, I’m a bit disconnected.

Ted: Do you think that perhaps by being disconnected you’re actually more connected?

Raven: Yes, rather than watching screens or flicking through channels, I actually go out and live life!

I work on the club and cabaret scenes, I have a big social life as part of my work and I connect with people this way.

But when I’m not doing this I connect to myself, watch anime or read manga, I buy nice clothes, eat good food, talk to my family and close friends and generally treat myself. I look forward to tuning out.

Ted: And this is your way of making space for yourself?

Raven: Yes.

Ted: Raven, you are an inspirational energy to observe and learn from. What would you say to this?

Raven: To me this is just what I do, I just get up and do things that make me happy and feed happiness into the universe. I like to make other people feel like they can be themselves and other people to allow me to feel like I can be myself.

The main person who makes me feel like that, “being me, whatever that is, is amazing”, is Amy Zing of “SinkthePink”. She makes me feel like there is genuinely good, reaffirming, special people in the world.

I have other constant friends and mentors too, such as: “Tasty Tim”, who is my closest London companion and flatmate, “MZZ Kimberley”, my drag mum and “Glyn Famous” and “Joan Oh” of SinkthePink; of course there are others too, that northern bitch, “Chrissy Darling”, to name a few.

These are the people who are always themselves, they are my security, I know I will go up to these people and they will always be those people. Because of their consistency and confidence in being themselves, these are the people I relate to and love.

Ted: Raven, Artpornblog loves you! Your very being is awesome and you entertain me day and night. I’m so glad you are busy being you. It’s a pleasure to be around.

You used to be able to catch Raven at Madame Jojo’s, but now you can see him across London pretty much everywhere! She’s transient!

If you wanna get a regular sighting however, visit Raven at, “Popcorn”, in Heaven, near Charing Cross Road…

Check Raven out on social media at:

https://www.facebook.com/raven.mandella

https://twitter.com/mandellaraven


Interview by Ted Rogers “Artpornblog”
xXx

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