PHOTOGRAPHY BY JASON RODGERS
Who is Dina Martina? I like to think of myself as a comely lady who wants nothing more than to entertain the pants off of everyone.
What lipstick do you use? You’ll have to excuse me, but no true lady ever divulges her beauty secrets, just as she never reveals her age. I will, however, tell you my horoscopical signage. I am a proud Aquarium.
Are you single? Yes, due to a mutual unspoken agreement between me and men.
When did you begin singing? The first time I sang in public was in the Little Miss Las Vegas Pageant when I was five, and in the talent competition I sang a lovely piece by Beethoven.
Who or what inspires you? During the holiday season I find inspiration everywhere, especially in the simple things. I find inspiration in the glint of the snow, you know? Smiling at a blind person on the street. Things like that.
Where is your favorite place to perform? I loved playing in a little town in Southern California called Ensalada.
How do you come up with the material for your shows? It’s basically like drawing names out of a hat, only instead of a hat it’s a urinal.
What has been your favorite moment or memory from performing? Performing on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which I got to do in 2019.
How did you begin working in Provincetown? The Job Fair.
What’s your favorite color? I’m actually really loving some of the colors from my spring line of bathroom fixtures, but I can’t really pick just one. I mean did you ever see Sophie’s Choice? It’s like that, only with bathroom fixtures instead of children. But you’ve gotta see these toilet colors — colors like Intimate Puce, Light Beef, Russet Hole. But if we’re talking fixtures like faucets and shower heads, I think Rose Gold is such an amazing color because it doesn’t really go with anything.
You are well known for your Christmas shows. What is your favorite part of Christmas? Well, you can’t deny that Baby Jesus is adorable, especially when he’s teething. And Mary’s pretty neat… but my favorite part of Christmas is Lipton California Onion Dip.
Have you ever had to deal with hecklers? Yes, Heklina is wonderful and I wish her the best in Palm Springs.
Anywhere new that you haven’t been before where you would like to perform? I’ve never been to an Arby’s in Finland. I’d love to perform at an Arby’s in Finland.
How many hours does it take you to get ready before performing a show? Usually about seven hours, but I can shave some of that time off if I also use my lipstick as foundation.
What advice would you give to aspiring performers or entertainers? Don’t be afraid to go against the grain. Be a rebel! Wipe front to back. Also, when they tell you not to touch your plate in a Mexican restaurant, really listen to them. The plate is pretty hot.
How has your act evolved over the years? Nowadays I employ lots of Cirque du Soleil-style dancers to fill up the dead air, whereas in the early days I relied heavily on marionettes.
What do you think sets your shows apart from other performances? I realized a long time ago that I could really stand out from the rest by eliminating all production value.
When are you happiest? I am the absolute happiest when I win the lottery. Unfortunately that has never happened, so I am now and always have been miserable.
Dina Martina during her seven-hour makeup routine at Sony Hall in New York City.
Dina Martina photographed with Tabasco at Sony Hall in New York City. November 2022. The spicy canine belongs to Dina’s manager Daniel Nardicio.
Photography Direction by Paul Hamann.