Spotlight: Marty Miller

Brooklyn-based comedian Marty Miller sits in his bedroom with his new Tulip Shade: The Gem, which replaced his overhead boob light.
Marty and his Gem

Afternoon, Tulips! This week, we paid a home visit to one of our favorite customers, Brooklyn-based actor and comedian Marty Miller, famous online for his candid Instagram personality and sock puppet musical numbers. Ahead of one of Marty’s lovely annual holiday parties, we stopped by his apartment in Bed-Stuy to observe the installation of his new Tulip Shade, the Natural Gem, for some in-real-time boob light replacement surgery. We caught up with the rising star about his interior style, his one-man show, and his relationship to his boob light.

Hilton Dresden: Hi, I'm Hilton Dresden. I'm here with Marty Miller. 

Marty Miller: Hey Hilty.

Hilton Dresden: Why don't you introduce yourself? Who are you? Where do you live? 

Marty Miller: My name's Marty. I'm 29 years old, if you can believe that.

Hilton Dresden: I could not.

Marty Miller: Most people guess 18. I'm a waitress. The best waitress in New York, confirmed, and I'm going for global. The ultimate waitress. 

Hilton Dresden: And where do you waitress?

Marty Miller: I work at a place called Bernie's, in Brooklyn. I also live in Brooklyn. 

Hilton Dresden: And what borough? 

Marty Miller: Brooklyn is a borough. In Bed-Stuy. I live in a lovely little home that is… I don't wanna say decrepit, it's not decrepit at all, but… it's charming, but it does lack some certain je ne sais quois. 

Hilton Dresden: Is that because you're renting? 

Marty Miller: Yeah, because I'm renting. I'm also poor, so there's only so much I can do as far as home improvement.

Hilton Dresden: Do you enjoy your bedroom, which is where we are right now?

Marty Miller: I love my bedroom. But I'm not just saying this: a huge problem is the overhead lighting. It’s a disaster.

Hilton Dresden: But this is a beautiful, big room. It has a lot of potential. And you're very into interior design and making your space cozy

Marty Miller: I do love making a space. I care about the space that I'm in and the space that I have people in. It's important to me.

Hilton Dresden: Right now, do you use this room for guests? I mean, you sleep in here, obviously. Do you do anything else in here? 

Marty Miller: Well, I mean… [Laughs] I'm sorry about that part. I have a roommate, so sometimes I’ve got to be in my room. And I feel very lucky that this is my personal oasis. This is my little space. But it's also nice, when I have a friend, or my roommate has a friend over, and I'm like, “Let's go hang in my room.” It's still comfortable.

Hilton Dresden: But it's kind of dark, I'm guessing, because you can't turn on the overhead light.

Marty Miller: Exactly. Because imagine putting [the boob light] on with the guests in here. I mean, can you imagine? 

Hilton Dresden: How would you describe your interior style? 

Marty Miller: I think “found” is a good way to describe my style. I mean, most of the stuff in my home is stuff that I found along the way. So it is pretty eclectic. 

Hilton Dresden: Did you build the room around any specific pieces you found? Are there pieces you want to shout out here? 

Marty Miller: This trunk that I'm standing on to install my Tulip, my Mom used this trunk to pack for college, and it's just been with us ever since. And now I have it. A lot of the room reflects that kind of style. 

Hilton Dresden: [Motioning to the Tulip mount] And here comes the moment of truth, by the way. 

Marty Miller: I just click it in? [Looking at his new Tulip] Are you kidding me right now? Like, are you kidding? This is completely heaven. 

Hilton Dresden: I know. 

Marty Miller: Oh, my God. 

Hilton Dresden: I mean, the space is transformed. 

Marty Miller: No, like, everything is different now. Everything has become completely and utterly different. How cute.

Hilton Dresden: What's the first thing you notice when you walk into someone's apartment? 

Marty Miller: I don't want to say the layout, but, yeah. I mean, one of the things I definitely notice off the bat is the lighting. 

Hilton Dresden: How did you feel about your boob light before the Tulip?

Marty Miller: I hated my boob light. Because it's fluorescent and it's ugly. And bugs get in it and then you’re, like, seeing the carcass.

Hilton Dresden: How does the Tulip make you feel?

Marty Miller: The Tulip makes me feel more grown up. I feel like I have a salary where I could afford a light fixture. Like I have hired someone to install a new light. Everything is different now because of the color. 

Hilton Dresden: You know, I'm going to use that quote as the headline. How was the install? 

Marty Miller: I've never done anything easier. 

Hilton Dresden: How long did it take?

Marty Miller: 90 seconds. 

Hilton Dresden: How do you make your friends feel at home when they come over? 

Marty Miller: A glass of wine, soft music, and even softer lighting.

Hilton Dresden What does your perfect, lazy day at home look like? 

Marty Miller: A clean home. Amazing lighting. Good snacks. Good wine. Great show. 

Hilton Dresden: Do you have any projects you're working on right now that you're excited about? And where can we find you online? 

Marty Miller: I do, actually. I'm a comedian, in a way, and I have a solo show called Beth. And Beth is coming back by popular demand to Union Hall on January 29th at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on their website, or you can find me on Instagram @ItsMartyMiller. You can find the ticket link there. 

Hilton Dresen: I've seen Beth. It's incredible. Can you give just a logline for people who are curious? 

Marty Miller: I sure can. I use anecdotes from my past and stories about my current reality as a server in New York City to explore grief, my own queer experience, and the difficult but often necessary need to keep on keeping on.