Monday, May 25, 2009
This past Memorial Day I was up in Guerneville CA, enjoying the scenery and getting the lay of the land for Lazy Bear with Orlando. For those of you not in the know, Lazy Bear is a big event in Guerneville where homosexual men of size and considerable fur literally take over all of Guerneville and many Russian River resorts. They cavort and drink and socialize and well... get a little bit closer. It's supposed to be fun and I anticipate that it will be.
I'd go on to talk about the Bear and Cub subset of the Gay culture, but I assure you I would butcher it. There is a lovely explanation of it in Wikipedia for those not in the know. But I will tell it from my point of view. Many Bears and Cubs take their labeling seriously. I just was pleased that I could find a bunch of guys to hang out with, who-just like me- didn't go to the gym and liked to drink. I dubbed myself Loverboycub for an online profile which apparently was wrong because I am 45 years old and no respectable cub is over 30. I thought it was a "size" thing. To me a Bear was a 45 waist and 6'2 with a carpet on his chest and back. I was not as generously structured so I decided I was a cub. I found more than one website that caters to gents like these and that's how I met Orlando, who is very much involved with the Lazy Bear Scene-at least he was LAST year. You see last year he was newly liberated from a 10 year relationship. Orlando did all that cavorting and ..getting a little bit closer to everyone. He made some new friends. On Memorial Day weekend, I met 2 of them them. Two lovely gents who are intelligent and thoughtful and entertaining men. They had just bought a new home and Orlando understood that there was some riverside Beach property that we could test his new tent equipment on. We arrived about an hour and a half after Orlando had picked me up from my first tech/dress rehearsal of "Some Men".
We met our hosts and it was quickly explained that there was a lovely guest room for us to use and that it wasn't necessary to take the tent on it's first test ride. My big brown eyed beauty looked down at me and said, " To hell with the tent. We're staying in the guest room. As I mentioned our hosts were very affable gregarious men and I quickly warmed up to them. They were throwing an open house and there were several guests there when we arrived. I chatted briefly with a woman who's mother coincidentally once resided in the Skilled Nursing Facility I work at now. I tried to emblazon everyone's names in my head and struggled a bit. Just as quickly as I had met this lady she and her partner left to travel back to the Bay Area. That reduced the guest list to a middle-aged GWM couple, both long time Guerneville residents, and a young pretty barbie-doll-esque lady and her urban hipster taciturn male companion.
I felt suddenly nervous. I had anticipated shaking a few hands goodnight and going down by the river to pitch a tent and pitch some woo with Lando. Now we were guests and I now I had to be appreciative and gracious. The girl and her strangely silent partner seemed to make me apprehensive. I was informed during the course of conversation that she was a Doctor of sorts. An Occupational Hazard Doctor which meant she dealt with -in some way diseases and disorders that were caused by environmental conditions. This explained her connection to one of our hosts because he was an Attorney that is quite good at suing. (Now you should understand that he helps the poor who normally couldn't afford a Lawyer. He's not the kind of lawyer that Jokes are made about- or is he?) The girl -let's call her Lee-brightly described an incident where she was working as an expert witness in a trial and the prosecutor was attempting to discredit it because of her youthful appearance and possible inexperience. I imagined her sitting in the witness box with a low cut blouse and a sexy irresponsible tousle of blonde hair tumbling about her shoulders..but she quickly rattled off some statistics and other bits of information as she told the tale that did indeed make her sound very educated -she did to me at least. I imagine the straight men and lesbians in the jury box watched her with rapt attention. She sprawled on her boyfriend's lap like a luxuriating blonde cat. Her eyes flashed excitement that didn't match her comfy position. It was getting dark and hard to see on the deck, but her boyfriend kept his sunglasses on regardless. He got up and left the deck for a bit.
The conversation took an abrupt turn to sex as the lawyer host decided to point out to us that "Lee" was more than just a little promiscuous. She confirmed it by shrugging and saying "Men, Women, dogs -animals...pretty much anything" Orlando calmly asked if she had ever done a Donkey and she admitted when she got the opportunity she would leap to the occasion . "Especially a Donkey!" she purred. She explained that she was going through a divorce right now, but she wrinkled her pretty nose like it was an inconvenience. Our Lawyer host seemed to delight in getting her to talk of her sexual adventures. His eyes began to sparkle too. I gripped Orlando's thigh and he gave me a look that said, " relax honey". Lee also had a young daughter-I think she said a 4 year old. I didn't ask where she was now. I later learned she also had a 12 year old as well. It rattled me to hear she was procreating for some reason I couldn't explain. She prattled on about the sex clubs that she and our host attended and that's when I urged Orlando to get me another drink. I also privately said a prayer that the bedroom we were to stay in could be locked from the inside. When he returned with a cocktail she was finishing a tale about how she had donned these giant grotesque paper mache masks and nothing else with two other girls and danced about a bunch of straight men seeming to create havoc with their erections. Our Lawyer host seemed to me particularly focused on the concept of the seduction of straight men. It ALWAYS mystifies me when Gay men are obsessed with bedding a heterosexual man. 9 times out of 10 they are terrible lovers anyway. Our host -the lawyer- leapt up to do some kitchen work and one of the men from the Gay couple discreetly followed him into the kitchen. I later learned that he was the Realtor who had helped facilitate the purchase of the home that we were all lounging in. I squeezed closer next to Orlando and hissed in his ear as Lee was making out with her boyfriend who had returned. " For God's sake -DON'T tell her that you and I have slept with women in our youth"
"Don't worry honey. I don't want to put any ideas in her head either"
I gulped my drink wondering what the hell was going to happen with the rest of the evening. Furthermore -WHEN did I become such a right wing Christian? I always felt that we should all go and do whatever makes us happy-as long as we didn't hurt anyone. I gulped more of the Skyy Cape Cod. I don't think it was even 9:00PM. My gaze shifted to the sliding doors of the kitchen, as I noted that the Realtor was making out with the Lawyer while they groped each other. They're partners chatted amiably outside with us about the man one of them had picked up and brought home the other night but it took forever for the trick to reach orgasm. Lee was hoping we could all go catch a drink at the triple R (Russian River Resort). A decision was made and I tried very hard to show my new boyfriend that I was up for anything, but I knew that when it came right down to it...that wasn't all that true. Orlando didn't seem remotely phased by any of the events this evening and that's when it hit me. We brought up out luggage to our bedrooms. "Honey?" I asked in as blase a tone as I could manage. "How well do you know Bob and Ted?" (our hosts) He informed me that he had met them last year at Lazy Bear and that they were a real fun couple. "How fun honey?" He told me just how fun they were.He wrapped his brawny arms around me and kissed me. Luckily I was significantly Vodka-ed by this point to keep from getting too freaked out about what I just learned. It was true though. We were spending the night at the house of a couple that Orlando had been "one of those guys" that had been brought home before. Orlando wasn't fooled by my manufactured breezy attitude. He knew very well that I wasn't interested (or should I even dare to say ready for?) in multiple partner experiences. Good Lord! It's only been 4 months! ( now 5) I was far from the point where my current boyfriend wasn't enough. Not only that, but Orlando is very attractive and as warm and lovely as our hosts were..I didn't think I could generate the same kind of excitement I had for them that I had for him. In fact the idea sent a shiver of repulsion down my spine. Hence the panic. He assured me as I inspected the bedroom door lock that nothing was going to happen and we had nothing to worry about. I was calmed a bit.
As we descended the stairs into the living room Lee was peeling down her pants and exposing her small pink bottom. She stuck it out and bent over. " Don't you guys think this looks like the ass of a twelve year old boy?" She wiggled it in an attempt to entice Orlando and I.Orlando shrugged and said, " Doesn't work for me" I resisted the temptation to say we weren't pedophiles because I was sure she could spin that on me. She whirled around and her lace thong panties were down around her ankles. She coyly and not too carefully hid her vagina while talking and moving her hands about. We noted that she had it carefully trimmed in a little stripe- oh? she WAS a real blonde. Her hands made little fanning motions around it as she declared, " Well I think it looks like the ass of a twelve year old boy!" Her boyfriend had donned some clingy sparkly fabric like chaps. When properly coaxed by our hosts he showed his butt. It did indeed look impressive for a white guy but he was so ...creepy to me that it failed to thrill.
So after the little show we all piled into our respective cars and headed to the famed Russian River Resort. The Lawyer came with us. He mentioned that he had done a couple of "bumps" and was feeling it. Orlando looked bewildered. "What's a bump? Bumps of what?" I informed him. "He's talking about cocaine honey. I think a bump is a line but I always thought it was a toot" Orlando looked alarmed and whispered. "I didn't know he did drugs!" I resisted the temptation to make a joke about Lawyers and cocaine going together like Christmas and ...snow. Sometimes my sweet baboo can be really naive. Orlando was very careful to avoid any situation that involved drugs, and when I later questioned him why he didn't notice during his first encounter with our hosts he said he hadn't seen any evidence of drug use that time. Did I mention he had more than a little Rum on that particular evening? That's probably why he never noticed them using.
When we arrived our host bought us a drink and disappeared. I cuddled with my honey on this big round bar seat. Some Lesbians were singing Summer Loving on Karoke. I pondered the night ahead. What would I say or do if I drifted off to sleep and one of our hosts crept into our bedroom and licked my ear. I honestly was not comfortable with that thought. I might be startled and injure one of these poor men! I had to solve this dilemma fast. Orlando and I snuggled and kissed and a cute Asian guy comes over to tell us how cute we look together. I tried not to say, " I know" and succeeded! I say "thank you" instead. I also pointed out what a hottie he was to Orlando after he walked away. He was muscled and clean cut. Orlando pointed out that I was a snob. I nearly grew indignant but was too alcohol sedated to show ire. His reasoning is that I was attracted to men who the general population found attractive. I looked at him -giving him my best Bea-Arthur-slow-burn. "It's kinda what started us out honey...you know? the fact that you are hot?" Of course I got the you-love-me-for-my-looks-grief. As he delivered the line -even he laughed at the ridiculousness of the accusation. I mean YES -we all know I went for him INITIALLY because he was/is so hot. It was all later that I learned that he was honest sincere and an all around good guy.
The Lawyer and his lover ( Bob and Ted for our purposes) wandered over to our corner and I felt now was the time to draw a line so there was no confusion at bed time. I was relieved to hear that Lee and her quiet lover had gone on to other activities. They told us of a man they had all met in a hot tub. Lee was particularly fascinated with the mans enormous testicles when he rose dripping and steaming in the night air. Bob ( the lawyer) reached over and had gripped the man's family jewels in such a way that the man would not have been able to move. Similarly to the way one milks a cow. I tried to hide my amazement. I took a deep breath and said,
"Look Bob,...Ted." I put my hands on their respective shoulders -not easy because my massive boyfriend was in between them. I tried to look meaningful in my Vodka haze. "I really think you guys are great and Orlando and I so appreciate you hosting us tonight." I leaned in and gave Ted a quick cheek kiss and tried to do the same to Bob but his head turned and he kissed me on the mouth. Luckily I pulled away before his tongue could intrude. "The thing is ...I'm not ready to share Orlando's and my bed with anyone yet. Our relationship is new and while ...I'm not exactly uptight about the whole idea...I just don't think now is the time. I hope you understand."
Lo and Behold THEY DID UNDERSTAND or I guess it's more appropriate to say they bought my lie. I felt pretty strongly that Bob and Ted will NEVER be in Bed with Orlando and I. We all chuckled and they told a few more stories of tales of the hot tub and then Orlando and I decided to check out what else was going on downtown.
As we walked down the street he hugged me close. " You handled that really well babycakes. They weren't even remotely offended. Although I'm not so sure it was wise to lead them to believe you WILL EVENTUALLY sleep with them." I was glad that it was dark enough that he didn't see my face redden. "Wow" I said, " You really ARE getting to know me well."
We arrived outside this large dance club where the bass from the music sent a reverberating incessant thud into the streets. It was an underwear party-or rather -you could get in for 5 bucks less if you just wore your underwear. Did I mention Orlando is a budget analyst? I was a little disappointed that I wasn't wearing my designer underwear but he and I danced the night away in our skivvies and I reflected on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As long as no one is hurting anyone ....I think America is a pretty cool place to be.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Show time is nearing and as some of you know I will be apprearing with a rather terrific ensemble of actors in Terrence McNalley's Some Men. It is being produced at the New Conservatory Theater here in San Francisco at 25 Van Ness.
In the last play I performed with the Eastenders in November of 07, I portrayed a brilliant, but slovenly unattractive playwright named Marvin who had some SERIOUS low self-esteem issues, not to mention he was hopelessly in love with his room mate. (T-Shirts by Robert Patrick) It had a nude scene. Yes -I donned my Birthday Suit for a mere $175 for something like 6 performances. My character felt ugly and unloved and was ANGRY at how Gay culture had no place for him. The ugly-fying that was done to me was simply a pair of large glasses. (My idea) Now how could a pair of glasses make a cutie like me plain? Supposedly that was the director's point. The Gay aesthetic is so warped that even a pleasantly attractive guy like me can't cut it. I admit whole heartedly that delving into Marvin's psyche left me feeling bereft at times. I was determined to make my next character "pretty"...Well as pretty as I can be at any rate.
One Month later, Artistic Director, Ed Decker asked me to audition for SOME MEN. It's a series of short scenes depicting pivotal events in Gay Male history with the common thread of love and marriage to bind it all together. The scenes go back and forth in time and may appear confusing to the linear thinking folk out there but if you look and listen you can see why 2007 precedes 1927 and so on and so on. (It wasn't apparent to me reading it but that explains why McNalley is a successful playwright. When you hear the show,it all makes sense.) BUT I DIGRESS!
In one scene we depict characters all on the internet looking for a hook up. My character's name is Buffed in Chelsea and is more like Bloated in Chelsea I am blatantly lying about my looks in order to snag some poor sap who takes a train to see me and will have a pity F#*k with me. One of the other Internet characters rats on me to another in the chat room and lets him know I am indeed FAT AND 50. I was disheartened to find myself cast yet again as the poor fat unattractive dope. I nearly consumed the head of the casting guy when he called me to say I had gotten that role! However! As I said, this is a COLLECTION of different scenes and that is ONE of the characters I play.
My two most prominent characters are a Military father attending his own son's funeral. His son had fought and been killed in the Iraq war. Another soldier shows up at the funeral and dramatic-Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell-surprises ensue. Buy a ticket because I sank almost everything I got into those two little pages and I won't reveal the surprises.
The second character is a Doctor -New Yawk Jewish Doctah. I play this character in three consecutive scenes. My character is Gay and has a lover that ends up being a lifetime romance. Sadly, my lover dies before I do but we detail our forty odd year Long Term Relationship to two young research students in an interview that has some lovely serio-comic moments. I also get to act with New Conservatory mega star Patrick Michael Dukeman. I saw Patrick decades ago in a hilarious send up of The Hardy Boys and he's done nothing but impress me since. Many of the theater subscribers have been asking is I was ever going to so something with him and bam here we are playing lovers! He's been a NCTC staple and long time collaborator with Artistic Director Ed Decker. The last time Ed and I worked together was in another McNalley show called "Love! Valor!Compassion!" quite a few years ago. Ed's directorial style is conducive to my acting style-in that it's a safe environment for me to explore what I have to do to make the scene work. He's not fond of the mind fuck power trip that so many directors who I have worked in the past with seem to rely on. Patrick is also a cinch to work with because of the wealth of research and ideas he has for the characters and scenes. Some of you who were dead sure that I was the bitch-Diva from hell to work with, would be surprised to know I let him take the reins in our scenes together. He's smart and perceptive so a Vegas show-girl like myself only has to show up and play my beats. There's been some speculation that our characters are strongly based on McNalley himself. Who knows? According to our cast mates the scene is a definite high light.
So it's costume week. We are all working with the costume designer to help define our characters. This is semi-professional non-profit theater folks. It's just one lady pulling items from a large stock of items and she has a budget of like 25 dollars. In the internet scene she had me in a very nice pair of slacks and a dress shirt and a lovely spacious CASHMERE sweater vest. It's actually something I would wear to work on any given cool day. It didn't compute..I am on the internet ...looking for sex. As I stated earlier ..my character is referred to as fat and 50 so...I consulted the director and the costume designer and opted for an ill fitting pair of swim trunks and black dress socks. -no shirt ..I NEVER WOULD HAVE DONE THAT 10 YEARS AGO. Times change...people change.. We learn to let go and care a little less about what people think. So when they are talking about my big fat belly -I will FIT the role...LOL