Michael Martin started his theater career in Inverness, Florida in a high school production of Little Shop of Horrors. After attending Florida State University, he worked for 15 years in Off-Broadway houses and the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, as well as in New York comedy clubs.
He has performed sketch, stand up comedy, and improv on tour at colleges and regional theaters – with UCB, and also with Chicago City Limits National Touring Company. He was Head of School at the Magnet Theater’s Musical Improv Training Program, and taught at Lincoln Center and the Shubert Theater. He has also run multiple corporate improv workshops, brainstorming sessions, and focus groups for advertising agencies.
As a musical theater performer, he is most known for New York musicals, such as Newsadoozies, a Cannibalism Musical, and the Kirk Cameron Players Present: A Harry Potter Musical, in which he appeared as Voldemort. He also penned or co-wrote multiple UCB Off-Broadway comedies, and musicals – including Making Lemonade, Thunder Gulch, and the long running Hot Sauce – 4th Floor Walk Up (with Adam Pally, Gil Ozeri, and Ben Schwartz).
Other NYC musical theater writing credits include the long running Thin Skin Jonny, A Farewell Reunion Tour, as well as the Off-Broadway Christmas Carol, a New Musical, in 2009. He starred in both those shows, as well.
Also a celebrated non-fiction writer, he gained popularity in 2011 for his controversial, semi-erotic PIEFOLK blog, which focused on racism in the gay community, gay domestic life, and the fight for marriage equality. Noticed by the New York arts community, Michael was asked to attend Festivus at Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller’s house, one Christmas eve, where he was able to feed Ben and Amy Stiller, and Eli Wallach his award winning Pear, and Pecan Double Crust Pie with Dried Cherries.
His writing has been covered by VICE, Paper Magazine, Time Out New York and New York 1, just to name a few outlets, and has appeared in Reductress, IT Post Magazine on DatingAdvice.com, the Gorgeous Ladies of Comedy Blog. Martin has also appeared on podcasts such as Hang Out With Me, with Myq Kaplan, Kevin Allison’s RISK podcast, his own PIECAST, and the comedy cooking youtube channel, Show Us Your Dish.
He’s written and appeared in webseries and viral videos for Upright Citizens, as well as for his own production company, PIEFOLK Presents, which falls under the umbrella of his LLC Glassstone Productions. He also pitches half hour comedy, and full length drama shows to television production companies under the Glassstone moniker.
He has shared comedy bills with Amy Poehler, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Moinahan, Aubrey Plaza, Wanda Sykes, Colton Dunn, Gabe Kaplan, Margaret Cho, Rick Crom, and Cadie Huffman, to name a very few. Once, he even got to go to dinner with, and get music feedback from REM’s Michael Stipe, a hero from his childhood, which, yes, was totally rad.
He currently lives in Los Angeles, where he writes for television. He also writes songs for his all-queer band, Evil Mutants, and he’s working on a new musical called Rick and Rita: An LA Fable, with his current writing partner, Tom Thomsen.
He has three finished novels that are currently being edited and looking for literary representation.
In the summer of 2018 he participated in a Buzzfeed investigative journalism piece about his experience in 1996 doing college summer theater at The Lost Colony. There, he met William Ivey Long, whose notorious systemic abuse of cast members collided with Martin’s sense of moral decency. While he reported the repeated groping, gaslighting, molestations, and public humiliations, the production staff of Lost Colony and the Roanoke Island Historical Society did nothing. Long continued to sexually harass Martin for the rest of the summer of ‘96.
Moreover, while he was at the Colony, Martin wrote a musical review in which he levied a veiled criticism of Long in a song parody called The Casting Couch. Even more insidious, Martin uncovered evidence of Lost Colony actors being trafficked as prostitutes and sex workers for the benefit of Long and a close associate, who wound up becoming a donor to the Lost Colony.
After Buzzfeed broke his story in 2018, Michael was harassed online by multiple people – mostly people he didn’t even know. Some of the people who befriended him during the process revealed themselves to be working for or with Long, and gleefully reminded him, via trolling, that he would never work in New York City theater again. That has not proven to be the case.
Still more vexing, Michael and Court have received many phone calls from people they deemed to be “proxy” for William Ivey Long, most notably a close friend of Long’s, Rosemary Feitelberg – Editor, Ready to Wear and Sportswear News for Women’s Wear Daily, an industry trade paper followed by the fashion designers and Broadway costume houses.
In a conversation in 2021 Rosemary seemed to be fishing for motive, more than anything. This sentiment was couched in the ridiculous idea that Women’s Wear Daily was considering an investigative piece on Long, when their function is to report on fashion trends, textiles, and accessories.
While both victims knew the open-handed sentiment expressed by Feitelberg was disingenuous, they wanted to know what the opposition was planning, and took the phone calls.
Feitelberg indicated a settlement might be on the table – Watson was quick to say he wasn’t currently focusing on a settlement, and Martin said what he has always maintained in all this – that he is simply a writer, and that “the thing that writers want more than anything is jurisdiction of their own truth.” Both men have expressed a desire to focus their attention on the scores of other victims of systemic sexual harassment, abuse, and unreported rape that plagues the Broadway community. Both men maintain that Long is merely the tip of a very dangerous, monolithic iceberg.
Roanoke Island Historic Association has been contacted numerous times, both in 1996 and again in 2021, and spoke to Martin on the telephone, going as far as to apologize for Long’s actions. While Long was quietly removed from his decades-long position as production designer of Lost Colony, RIHA has still admitted no public guilt. Though RIHA promised to follow through with structural changes, and communicate the amends made to Martin, they have as yet said and done nothing further to repair their broken system. In fact, when contacted again for clarification, they have repeatedly stonewalled.
William Ivey Long has been removed from his decorated position with the American Theater Wing, but continues to work in Broadway houses, and earn income from touring productions of Broadway shows. His show, Beetlejuice, The Musical, starts previews on Broadway April 9, 2022.