In Her Own Words:
Natasha Lee Martin
began her career at the age of 5 when she was cast in a radio play for WSAR Radio called "The Man in the Snow". Directed by her uncle David Tulli, this was to become a source of inspiration for many roles to come. In
the years since Natasha has appeared in television and film roles on FOX, TLC, DISNEY, NIPPON TV JAPAN and many stages throughout Philadelphia, NYC and the east coast. Trained at the Actor's Studio Program in NYC, Natasha also lectures, teaches workshops and private acting coaching. She is a professor of Theatre at several colleges and universities in the tri-state area.
Natasha has performed in many productions over the years. In our conversation with her, she elaborated on portrayal of LGBT characters in theatre:
I played Garnet Mclit (the butch dyke detective) in "The Well of Horniness" by Holly Hughes a few years ago. Holly Hughes came to see the show and had dinner with the cast and she was really lovely. When I asked her what she thought of my slapstick portrayal of Garnet and Holly said "I was drunk when I wrote it. I thought you did a great job" she was being very modest at the time.
There is also a role I played that would be cool to mention is when I was cast as Al/Kate Bornstein from "Hidden A
Gender" (book- Gender Outlaw- She is now writing a new version "The Next Generation"; the role of Herculine was originally played by Justin Bond (Kiki and Herb) and directed by Noreen Barnes.)
Since I played such roles like the transgendered Al/Kate there has been a shift in consciousness through the accessibility of the once underground performance of LGBT and Queer characters with the development of festivals such as the fringe in NYC and Philly and the Humana some of which I have worked in. Now previously limited producible work is happening in the streets, cafes and found spaces. Media constructs such as twitter, facebook, etc, have enabled these artists to have a mass level of marketing and exposure to the mainstream previously unattainable.
It is so refreshing to see people like Justin Bond doing Kiki and Herb on such a grand scale touring the world. It is inspiring to see this visceral response by the community when they have an outlet for their voice in order to overcome those limitations once observed in a conservative theatrical regime. Upcoming shows:
I am performing with Cooper Shaw at the Gotham comedy Club
NYC through the month of August.
For show dates, times for all of her shows please visit her website.Recommended Things To Do:
For a boisterous outdoor experience there is a new and hip German joint
called zeppelin hall
which is an authentic European style Biergarten,
which is a huge restaurant with both indoor and and outdoor spaces
where hundreds of guests gather under the trees and stars to drink
beer, eat and socialize too cool on the water overlooking nyc seats
like 800 and it is one of the few hot spots that attract artists of any
walk of life, gay, bi straight, tranny and suits alike haha.
If you are looking for some old school vibe (like williamsburg brooklyn
or alphabet city in ny used to be...sniff) jump the train to Journal
Square in JC and you can be reminded that there are communities of
artists creative and resourceful enough to find great space and who
have worked very hard to enhance the area. I moved out here about 2
since I work as an actress and director in nyc and teach at
various colleges in the tri-state area.
There is also a performance space out here called Art House Productions
which features various spoken word artists, film screenings, live music
and original performance and various theatre companies popping up so there is always an experience to be had.Recommended Places To Eat:
live 15 min west of Manhattan on the train in Journal Square. The great
thing about the 6th borough (jersey city) is that there are fabulous
and reasonable places to dine and drink. One of my favorite haunts is
called Skinner's Loft
because it is cozy, sexy for a date or smalltalk (exposed brick, candle
lit tables) nobody stares at you for talking too loud or being
eccentric and has eclectic food without the pretentious eclectic price.Recommended Artist:Noreen Barnes
is on the board of the Triangle Players Theatre
and she will be directing there this coming season. She has worked closely with Joe Chaikin, Kate Bornstein, Justin Bond and many other influential and diverse voices of theatre and performance. Noreen is the director of the graduate studies program in Theatre at VCU in Richmond, VA. She is published in many journals on topics of queer theory, is a scholar, director and professor of Theatre History and Dramatic Theory and Criticism.