NYC Drag Queen Of The Week – Marti Gould Cummings
There is no shortage of drag queens in NYC. You can’t throw a rock without hitting some twink in a dress thinking he’s got what it takes to shantay down the runway just because he’s seen every season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race while practicing YouTube makeup tutorials. There’s a difference, though, between learning how to just paint your face and turning that face into a work of fucking art. This weekly series highlights the queens who stand out from the crowd and rock those heels til they bleed.
Meet Marti Gould Cummings.
Looking at your schedule I can see you’re a very busy person.
If it’s not performing, then it’s politics. So, I have something going on every day of the week.
When did you become so passionate about politics?
You know I think we all just kind of felt, ‘Oh America, nothing can go wrong’, and then Donald Trump becomes President. For the past two or three years I’ve been engaged and involved because I believe in what this country has to offer and right now it’s very scary and so we need more young, queer people to be involved and to be heard.
What are you doing to make that happen?
I started the Hell’s Kitchen Democrats and I’m now a member of my community board and maybe someday you’ll see me run for something. My goal is, if I run for office, I’m running to win but I want to inspire people.
Would you run for office in drag?
A lot of times I go to political events in drag because I have to work after so to me it doesn’t matter how I come dressed. It’s the agenda and the actions we’re trying to take that matter.
What makes the New York drag scene different from anywhere else?
I feel like 99% of the drag queens who are drag queens in New York City had moved to New York to be performers, so they have that training. They know how to hold an audience and captivate an audience. New York City is the only city where a drag queen is on stage solo for two hours, sometimes more. I really never see that anywhere else.
I’ve noticed that in New York there are a lot of comedy queens.
It’s comedy driven because we’re New York, we like to laugh, we like to have a good time. We can’t ever take ourselves too seriously. You have to be able to laugh at yourself and laugh at the fact that we live in shoeboxes that cost $20,000 a month basically.
Most drag queens pick a stage name to perform under, but you kept your real name. Why?
When I started doing drag a decade ago I thought very long and hard about if I were to change my name and I decided I don’t want to change my name. I am the performer behind it. I want people to know who I am.
Marti Gould Cummings performs Sundays at Pieces for BINGO 5pm-8pm and at Hardware for The Late Late Show at 11pm, Mondays at Therapy for Stage Fright, Wednesdays for Legend Wednesdays at RISE 11pm, Thursdays for Ultimate Drag Pageant at The West End 11pm, one Friday a month at Stonewall, one Saturday a month at Boxers UES and one Thursday a month at Talde in Jersey City.