OITNB's Vicci Martinez + Emily Tarver at dapperQ NYFW

The Monday after the season six premiere of Orange is the New Black was a big day in the TomboyX offices. Our meetings were abuzz with recaps of our weekend binge-watching—cries of “No spoilers!” could be heard across the room. The consensus was clear—one of the most exciting things about this season was a new face in the cast as the storyline picked up at Max. Vicci Martinez as Daddy had our attention.

As the week progressed, news of Vicci’s relationship with her castmate Emily Tarver (CO McCullough) began to trickle out. We invited the new couple to walk for us in Dress Code, dapperQ’s queer fashion showcase at NYFW this Thursday, September 6, and were beyond honored when they agreed. 

We had a chance catch up with Vicci and Emily this week before the show and talked OITNB, what it’s like to work with your girlfriend, and an exciting new project on the horizon.

Vicci Martinez & Emily TarverHow is life different since the premiere of this season of Orange is the New Black?

Emily: I feel excited that Vicci is getting the attention and accolades she deserves finally! She had to keep quiet about her role and it sucked because we, of course, wanted to shout it from the mountaintops. But in the end, it made the build-up and the release of the season all the more exciting.

Vicci: It feels good to be back on track with my art, my music. Since being on the show and meeting Emily, I’ve been inspired to write and perform music again. I’m grateful to Orange for providing a new platform for me.

What’s it like to work with your girlfriend on set?

Vicci: We actually only met on the last episode of Season 6 so I worked with her before she was my girlfriend...didn’t take long to change that though. We always talk about how we wish we’d met each other sooner but everything works the way it is supposed to and the timing was perfect.

What personality traits do you share with your character on OITNB?

Vicci: For as badass as Daddy comes off, I think she can be insecure like me. She possibly feels she is not enough, so she has to provide things for people that equal love in her mind. I’ve worked on that a lot and I’m not in that place anymore but I certainly identify with her.

What was it that drew you to the TomboyX fashion show?

Vicci: I’ve never wanted to put myself in any category...but I’ve always known for sure I’m not into dresses and frills. I have always considered myself a tomboy if anything. The term doesn’t have boundaries. Boys can be tomboys, too! It’s a feeling instead of a style maybe? So I was happy to be introduced to TomboyX through my Tacoma people.

How would you describe your personal style?

Vicci: Casual. Black mostly. Nothing flashy. Comfortable.

Emily: Same.

Emily, your character this season is suffering from PTSD. Did you do anything in particular to prepare to tackle such a heavy subject?

Emily: I have been through some trauma in my own life and I am an extremely sensitive person. The empathy I feel for every human pours into my work. I feel for McCullough. I can identify with her loneliness. Her need to deal with her problems on her own is something I truly relate to. But don’t worry I am okay. #therapy

Vicci, you've been on a bit of a rollercoaster with your singing career, and now this new adventure in the acting world. What keeps you grounded?

Vicci: My family. And Emily. I’m reminded in my family and in my relationship that none of this is as important as loving the people you love. I feel so lucky to be doing what I’m doing. I think waking up every day with gratitude keeps me grounded.

We’ve been seeing buzz about you two starting a band together. What kind of music are you making? Can we expect an album any time soon?

Emily: Yes! And we are open to band name suggestions! For now, we are just Vicci and Emily. We just bought some equipment to record on our own. We wanna do it ourselves and go from there. So yes, we are making an album literally starting this week!

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Keep your eye on the TomboyX social channels this Thursday for tons of great behind the scenes action from Fashion Week!