There I was, sitting in the front row of The Wild Project, waiting to see performer Amber Martin, when
some trashy bitch with a blonde mullet came tottering out on the stage
in a pair of scruffy, spikedheeled boots that were falling off of her
feet, a too-small silver tube top and turquoise stretch pants falling
down to the crack of her ass. "I’ll dry hump you for a quarter!" she
screamed, thrusting her pelvis at singer Casey Spooner, who was
sitting in the audience. She moved on to another victim and when the guy
handed her a quarter, she said, "Sweet! I didn’t even have to dry hump
you!" Then she belted out a badass version of "Love Hurts." Turns out
she was Amber Martin, the star of the show, Amber Alert!
Texas-born comic singer, dancer and performance artist was up to her
old tricks again. Her show included songs, monologues and skits where
she impersonates singers like Dionne Warwick, Reba McEntire and Janis Joplin; this is one broad who has a voice. She’s assisted by an able cast including Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters, Angela Di Carlo, Cole Escola, James Kalliardos and, live via Skype from Portland, Ore., Kaetlin Kennedy from
Martin’s old performance group House Of Cunt. Within moments, a pair of
labcoated cosmeticians appeared and stripped her down to a bikini. She
immediately transformed into a Stepford wife glowing in dulcet tones
about her brownie recipe with a bewigged Escola. "He’s playing golf!"
they both intoned about their husbands, but the audience knows
otherwise; an explicit gay porn flick projected on the screen revealed
what the men were really up to. The full ensemble is employed at the
show’s end, dressed as cheesy 1970s hookers strutting their stuff for a
group of unseen Asian johns, then, immediately afterward, playing an
overly enthusiastic high school glee club.
Martin is a popular girl-about-town thanks to the monthly Mattachine party she throws at Julius with film director John Cameron Mitchell. The packed theater was stuffed with her admirers, performers like Adam Dugas and Nath Ann Carrera and artist Chris Moukarbel. I sat next to photographer Matthu Placek, who
took her promo picture. "Amber is so talented," he enthused. I agreed,
and waited with the crowd to congratulate her. "Amber, you need your own
TV show," I told her. "Like Carol Burnett." Swigging from a
bottle of beer, Martin lit up. The two have a lot in common. For
example, Burnett once said, "I liked myself better when I wasn’t me."