The Marti Party

The Marti Party

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BY Nicholas Baxter

Growing up on a Maryland farm, gender bender Marti Gould Cummings says he was the flamboyant boy on the playground who ran around, belting show tunes at the top of his lungs. “I flew out my mother’s vagina on a broomstick with sequins exploding from my ass,” he laughs.

Heels and costumes have always made him feel glamorous, but he doesn’t consider himself a drag queen. “I am a performer who simply bends the rules a little,” he says. “I am androgynous, a drodge-queen. I am me with a little sequin and stiletto.”

Whatever people want to call him, Marti Gould Cummings’ unique look has won him legions of fans throughout the world. Since making his cabaret debut in 2005 at The Duplex, he has headlined many of the city’s most popular watering holes, including current shows at The Ritz, XL, Barracuda and now Industry Bar, where he hosts the weekly RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars viewing party every Monday night.

You’ve been called the hardest working diva in New York nightlife.
I don’t know if I am the hardest working, but I do work hard entertaining all my Bottom Brigade fans and nuggets.

How do you manage five nightly shows in New York? 
Each night is structured differently. I host karaoke at Barracuda on Tuesdays. On Saturdays I perform New World Stages with Kelly King. Sunday at The Ritz is my solo show.  And now, Mondays is my RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars viewing party at Industry.

How do you really feel about the girls of RuPaul’s Drag Race?
I have had the pleasure of working with a lot of the girls through the years, including the late Sahara Davenport, who was incredibly sweet. Mimi Imfurst frequently invited me to perform numbers at her old show in Astoria, Queens.

What do you say to criticism that the show is mainstreaming drag?

Mainstream is awesome! I think RuPaul’s Drag Race has given drag a new face by showing viewers the many different forms of the art, as well as the process of character making. From costumes, to music, to styles, it is all really cool to see.

You say you’re not a drag queen, but would you consider what you do to be a form of drag? 
As RuPaul says, we are born naked, and the rest is drag.

What’s the main message in your “Real Girl” song?
Real Girl tells the tale of a young boy who simply wants to dress up. In his mind, there is nothing wrong with expressing himself through imagination. The song speaks to anyone who fearlessly feels the need to shout out who they are.

Would you consider yourself a “real girl”?
Yes, queen! I am real girl! I am a mother of the house of bottom!

You’re the subject of a new documentary, also titled “Real Girl.”
The film offers a peak into my life as I prepare for a gig and get into character. It’s no-holds-barred.

What do you hope viewers will take away from it?
I hope young queens growing up across America right now will see it and realize that they, too, are worthy, and they better never let anyone take that away from them. Be you, love you, and be of service to those around you.

How are you of service to the community?
I am involved with The Ali Forney for Homeless LGBT Youth, Broadway Impact, GLAAD and the Hetrick-Martin Institute. It is so important to give back.

Are you optimistic it will get better?
I’m confident it will!

Even if Mitt Romney takes office?
That won’t happen, but if it does, thank God I have a passport and a farm in Nova Scotia.

Marti Gould Cummings hosts the RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars viewing party every Monday night at Industry. His documentary film, “Real Girl,” premieres November 10 at 9 p.m. at New World Stages. Real Girl remixes will be available on iTunes soon.