As Provincetown glides back to a sense of normalcy it only seems appropriate to touch base with one of our more delightfully abnormal residents, Dina Martina. The pandemic has been such a surreal experience that only someone with a queer mind’s eye like Dina could really make any sense at all of it. With only a very limited run last summer Dina’s back with her new show Chariots of Failure at the Crown and Anchor all season long. And oh how Provincetown has missed her and her soft Gs and reportage on everything from earthquake clowns to the crazy antics of her best friend Doreen. But now she’s back in this “delightful little ashtray of a town” and we couldn’t be happier. Dina took some time out of her very busy schedule to chat with Provincetown Magazine about her lockdown experience, her thoughts on the 2020 presidential election, and alternative uses for a facemask.
Provincetown Magazine: It’s been a long, long year and half. What has the pandemic been like for you?
Dina Martina: Well, a lot of people didn’t know what to do with all that extra time, but I took it as a chance to really get to know my daughter. And you know what I learned? I learned that she’s not my daughter at all, she’s actually my neighbor’s daughter, and that really cleared a lot of things up for me. That explains why she always wanted to go next door.
PM: What were your first thoughts when the world largely shut down in March of 2020?
DM: I really wished my credit score was better for the end of the world.
PM: Did you find wearing a mask to be an annoyance or no big deal?
DM: Well at first I thought they were an annoyance, but let me tell you when toilet paper was nowhere to be found those masks really came in handy.
PM: Lots of people spent lockdown binge-watching TV shows like Tiger King or Schitt’s Creek. What did you find yourself watching?
DM: The first show I binged was Dr. Pimple Popper, but like a lot of people, I’m real squeamish and I can’t bear to actually watch it, so I listen to it on the radio. And then I binge-watched my murder crime shows. I love murder! I know it’s not for everyone, though. Murder’s one of those things, you either love it or you hate it. It’s like cilantro.
PM: Last year wasn’t just difficult because of a global health crisis, but political tumult as well. What did you think of the presidential election last November?
DM: Well it’s been such a long time since we’ve even had a president, so I’m definitely happy about the outcome of the Presidential Sweepstakes, but I think we should do with the presidency what they’re talking about doing with the Supreme Court and stack it. I think we should have NINE presidents at the same time. More gaffs = more laffs!
PM: Now that we are on the road to a greater sense of normalcy what are you most excited to do again that you couldn’t because of Covid restrictions?
DM: I’m really excited to just get up in people’s faces and breath on everything, you know? To just mark my territory.
PM: We missed having you for a whole summer last year as you could only come for a short run in 2020. What did you miss most about Provincetown?
DM: The Pilgrims.
PM: After all we’ve been through what did last year teach you about life in general?
DM: It basically reinforced all the universal truths I’ve always believed. You know, like “don’t say anything nice if you can’t say anything at all.” And like when they tell you in a Mexican restaurant to not touch your plate, DON’T TOUCH IT. And how not just some things, but really, most things are better left unsaid. And that funerals are for the living. And marriage is for the dead. Well, the dead inside. But most of all it taught me to listen to my daughter.
Dina Martina performs Chariots of Failure Wednesday through Sunday at 7:30 p.m. until September 11 at the Crown and Anchor, 247 Commercial St. Tickets ($40) are available at the box office and online at onlyatthecrown.com. For more information call 508.487.1430.