In the ever-evolving landscape of entertainment, few personalities have captured the audience's attention and hearts as profoundly as Vanessa Papa. Known for her impactful presence on Netflix's reality series "The Ultimatum: Queer Love," Vanessa has seamlessly transitioned from a TV personality to a multifaceted artist and advocate. This journey, documented alongside her then-girlfriend Xander, not only unfolded the couple's story but also became a catalyst for Vanessa's personal growth and exploration.
As she embarks on the next chapter of her life, Vanessa enters what she affectionately terms her "Eat, Pray, Love era." This period serves as a canvas for her to delve into various aspects of her life—mental health, self-discovery, fitness, and an unwavering commitment to advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community. Vanessa's story, resonating with viewers globally, reflects the resilience and authenticity that define her narrative.
Vanessa, your journey on "The Ultimatum: Queer Love" was undeniably intense and emotionally charged. How has the experience on the show influenced your personal growth and the path you find yourself on in this "Eat, Pray, Love era"?
Vanessa Papa: The show was a genuine rollercoaster of emotions, marked by heartbreak and self-discovery. Unfortunately, during editing, the narrative took an unexpected turn, casting me as the villain instead of the victim. The experience, though traumatic, may have spared me from a future of marital betrayal. It aired in June 2023, but the filming in late 2021 coincided with the end of the pandemic, adding another layer to the emotional journey.
Beyond your on-screen presence, you've been a passionate advocate for mental health awareness. Could you share more about your own journey in managing anxiety and depression, and how volunteering with The Trevor Project has influenced your perspective?
Vanessa Papa: Anxiety has been a constant companion in my adult life. Various methods, from meditation to medication, have been part of my journey. Volunteering with The Trevor Project allowed me to connect with the LGBTQ+ community, lending an ear to younger individuals going through similar experiences. While I've since stepped back to manage my own mental health, the advocacy remains a crucial part of my life.
Fitness seems to play a significant role in your wellness routine. How has staying active, especially with your passion for weightlifting and cardio, contributed to your overall well-being?
Vanessa Papa: The gym has become my escape, especially in the aftermath of the show. It serves as a sanctuary where I can detach from intrusive thoughts. Whether it's weightlifting, cardio, or activities like skateboarding, staying active is intertwined with my mental health journey. The variation in workouts allows me to focus on different aspects of my well-being.
Your travels to over 33 countries paint a picture of a seasoned explorer. Can you share a memorable experience or transformative moment from your global adventures that has had a lasting impact on you?
Vanessa Papa: Traveling, for me, is a potent adrenaline rush, especially as an extrovert navigating unfamiliar territories. The freedom of being a stranger in a foreign country, learning the culture, and finding hidden gems make these experiences truly transformative. My preference for hostels and Airbnb over ritzy hotels reflects my love for personalized and unique encounters.
Now, transitioning to acting and residing in Los Angeles, how has the shift from reality TV to acting unfolded for you? Are there specific roles or projects that excite you in your burgeoning acting career?
Vanessa Papa: Transitioning to acting has been a fascinating journey. Networking and immersing myself in the LA fashion scene have become pivotal aspects of this new chapter. I'm determined to forge a successful acting career, exploring diverse roles and learning along the way. While LA may not be my dream spot without the right career momentum, I'm open to possibilities in the next three years.
Vanessa Papa's story unfolds as a tapestry woven with resilience, self-discovery, and an unwavering commitment to well-being. From reality TV stardom to a blossoming acting career, Vanessa navigates each chapter with authenticity and determination. As she stands at the threshold of new beginnings, Vanessa's narrative continues to inspire, embodying the spirit of a true artist and advocate.