Monday, September 21, 2009

A Cub gets his leather on

So I recently got fitted for my new chaps at Off Ramp Leathers by Leather artist Paul Johnson. I didn't need to buy Chaps -I just WANTED them. I originally went there to get measured for my title vest which John Caldera had plunked down a deposit for.  Mr. Caldera submits the design and Paul makes it happen! When I had shopped for a new leather outfit for various functions, I was daunted by the price that some of our local leather vendors have. As a title holder it needs to fit like a second skin. There's also the issue of Jeans or without Jeans. I wore Jeans thinking I was going to wear them in places where I didn't want my lily white bootie hanging out. My butt is okay but to be frank, I'd like to put it through some serious squats and bun developers before I start showing it to the world. My boyfriend says it's delightful and he enjoys it immensely. However -until I can decipher whether those are dimples back there or cellulite -I will rely on photoshop to adjust it for general viewing. I wish I had "back" but there is no denying that I am a little white guy. My ass is small and compact and it's difficult to find a pair of jeans that make my buns look tantalizing.

Mr. Johnson was a gentleman. (Oh well)  He was thorough and nailed the correct amount of tightness. A comfortable firmness that wasn't restrictive. This was fitting number 2. There is one final one where he completes the length. It's all done there in the store with his sale's associate Dave entertaining the troupes. By that I mean my best gal pal and impromptu photographer, Auntie Drew! He managed to have Drew look like one of the Village People at one point. It was very fetching!  Dave was also very persuasive and managed to convince me to try on a pair of jeans/w leather on them that reminded me of my high school days. I used to lay down on my bed and squeeeeeeeze my 13 year old body into these Jordache Jeans that were like GOLD to me. Those with a pair of my Frye Boots made me the sexiest little tween you ever did see...from the waist down. From the neck up there was a chronic acne condition that was the BANE of my existence. Luckily there was this magical drug called Accutane that put that to rest. I used it dutifully until it had changed my physiology so dramatically that my nasal membranes gave way on a casual sneeze and gave me a bloody nose that horrified me and my friends. I stopped taking it immediately. Now the same drug is linked to seizures!!!

We shall see what design Mr. Caldera has devised for my vest-Stay tuned. I next will be shopping for jock straps and G- strings. Anyone know where I can score a football uniform? I'd be very grateful!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

On my last Kayak trip with Orlando -I nearly SANK!!! Okay so I exaggerate. Some how my little inflatable Kayak got a little soft. We couldn't find the leak anywhere but the vision of Orlando towing me to shore was ...pretty sexy. My boyfriend has some serious back muscles. I was moments from turning into a taco as the bow of my craft started to go upward..Quite comical. And yes ...I can swim. Hey -I had no choice! The thieves that broke into Lando's car stole the life jacket. We've tallied the cost of the break in to $700.00! Here I thought that my neighborhood was safe..think again.

I have noticed as Orlando and I become more of a couple we get fatter. No kidding ! He's slammed on a record 15 lbs in seven months and I have gained two inches -in my waist. I don't wanna know the pounds but it's getting harder and harder to hide my 7 month pregnancy. Lando is pretty hardcore about the exercise thing. He plays racket ball and sports a colorful array of contusions from being whacked by the ball. He also is a fan of the PX90 work out series. He has all the tapes and did them religiously until he started dating me. I'm a bad influence. I whine "nooooo don't gooooo -stay in bed just a few more minutes..." then nuzzling ensues totally throwing off his schedule. You'd think with all this amorous activity that it would count for some significant calorie burning but no -dammit. We both really enjoy eating. He's not a fan of certain fruits and vegetables that I consider important. He's all meat and potatoes. When I tease him about being the big burly manly man that he is, he translates that into thinking I am calling him an unsophisticated troglodyte. He amazed me recently, by making this simple but elegant Brie with sauteed shallots for my best friend's cocktail Birthday party. My best friend said it was so good it was like God coming in your mouth. He still
gets a little touchy with me when my eyes widen in surprise if he shows an interest in things like artichokes or Pomegranate vinaigrette. I figure one of these days I will surprise him by getting us tickets to the symphony or opera. It's more fun to think of him as a donut eating grease monkey though. I digress- Between the both of us, we have pretty healthy eating habits, but we'd also feel a little better if we were a little lighter. We both have some fitness goals. There are some pants that I paid a lot of money for that I'd like to wear again and he just wants to return to his size that he was 7 months ago.

Fitness is essential here. After all,I am going to dance in my new Bearlesque Show and it makes me nervous that I start to breathe hard after two flights of stairs. Something had to change. Orlando began to cool it on eating so much bread and I went BACK to Gold's Gym! They were offering a pretty good deal for returning members. I am striving for health here not creating a muscle cub. To be honest I don't have 4 hours a day to devote to working out. In order to get that muscle cub takes WORK!! So don't be surprised if you see me pumping iron or trying to figure out how to use the elliptical machine. In fact make a point of saying hi. I could use a friend or two in the environment.

So if you haven't heard- THERE IS GREAT NEWS! My contest-SO YOU THINK YOU'VE GOT FUR?- to be a performer in my troupe is happening Nov 12 at the Power House. YAY!! Scott has graciously agreed to join my event with his underwear night. Proceeds from the event will go to The Lemonade Fund as I had mentioned in my last blog. E-mail me for details on how to enter the contest at If you are a sexy bear or cub with all the moves and a great singing voice, this is the thing for you! If you have been struggling with what to do with your free time, I suggest you look no further. There's plenty of people already involved in chorus, rugby and softball. Tell your honey you have stripper rehearsal. There will be two shows definitely scheduled for late March and early June. All the money we raise from our shows will go to support ailing non-profit theaters.

ALWAYS looking for people for my production team too. We could use some tech sound design artistes! Hope all is well with you and yours...

Friday, September 4, 2009

An Actor remembers being Single

So I feel the inevitable sloughing of my former self as I evolve into my new self. Normally this happens every 7 years but life changes have accelerated the process. I am so comfortable in my partnered state that it appears I had forgotten what it was like to be single! I am ashamed and embarrassed to admit that- because trust me I was QUITE the playah in my day. Orlando and I have only been together 7 months and we have become this two-headed monster couple. The same kind of couple that I would lift my chin up and look down my nose at. Seven months is quite a big deal if you realized just how short lived every relationship I had ever had has been.

I vaguely recall the zeal and thrill of hunting for my boyfriend du soir. My heart would race and I felt a little livelier and intense as I approached my selection. I had a friend watch me in action as any dark and lovely fellow entered whatever waterhole we were at. He said it was like watching the Cheetah chase across the Serengeti plain and bring the gazelle down to the ground. Not nice! I had a phase when I turned 40 where I dated men significantly younger than myself to insure their brevity. Last Thursday night was quite the wake up call for me and a vivid reminder of my past transgressions.

I am searching for a SOMA venue where I may hold my singing stripper cub contest. If you haven't been following, I am holding a contest and the lucky winners will wind up being cast members of my Bearlesque Show that I will hold in the spring and early summer months at a needy theater. I don't anticipate that I will find all my cast but hoping that the contest will also bring in some revenue for The Lemonade Fund. This is an organization dedicated to aiding critically ill theater workers. It is VERY important to make sure that there aren't more than one fund raising event going on at the same time so I chose a Thursday Night somewhere within the first two weeks of November. I also wanted contestants to be comfortable shedding their garments so I picked an enclosed Bar. Until I get a thumbs up from the owner/manager I won't divulge the name of the establishment I am wooing, but luckily one of the bartenders is a friend of mine. We did a One-Act for the Eastenders 100 years of Queer Theater last November and performed in our birthday suits for the play. It was undoubtedly an experience I will never forget. My penis frequently got stage fright but his was quite comfortable on stage.... He's quite clever and God has blessed him with good looks. These are very handy tools to have as a Bartender. His shift didn't begin until 10PM which meant was going to be a long night for me. I often fall asleep at 11:00! Hey -I'm 45! You see -he was going to introduce me to his boss and hopefully all would go smoothly and his boss would say. "Sure! I'd love to do your singing stripper cub contest here." It didn't go exactly like that.

Mike (my friend the actor/bartender), mixed me a concoction that I feel is specifically designed for me, but that's my ego talking. He always mixes me a vodka fruity thingie that is refreshing and reminiscent of those Island Cocktails that you suck down because there is no discernible alcohol burn-and then you stand up and nearly hit the floor. It has no name and he doesn't do the same ingredients all the time. Mike informed me that his boss would be in in possibly...My stomach sank! My Friday work day was gonna be a real bitch because I like to get my 8 hours in. It didn't appear that I would get 8 hours tonight and I didn't want my sleep sacrifice to be all for naught. Well Mike's Birthday was tomorrow so I felt -even if I couldn't book this place for my contest, I could help him celebrate his Birthday eve. As I mentioned, Mike is charming and intelligent and more than just a little attractive. He is a hit at his job and his customers LOVE him. I watched him work the entire somewhat busy bar and appear to have fun doing it. It was kinda like watching a show. He decided he wanted all the people he knew to be at one end of the bar and moved me near the opposite end of the bar. This Bar is ...well kinda dirty -as in naughty dirty-and like a cross between some one's garage and an old saloon...painted black. There was vintage soft core porn playing on the screens and then a number of tv screens are actually installed on the ceiling! No lie. Look up and see large muscly furry men trying to insert their penises into each other. I thought the place was perfect for a singing stripper contest. I was hoping Mike's boss felt the same way. I sat patiently and watched the parade of men wishing Mike a Happy Birthday.

One of the fellows was a fast talking, Mohawk-wearing, scrawny urban hipster with flashing brown beady eyes. He sat down next to me and Mike did the introductions. He said hi and hit me with an unfortunate case of halitosis. I tried to lean back but of course the music was loud and my hearing is not so good. He called me something -can't really recall but it was something like "famous actor" or was it " show person" -sorry,as I said, the music was loud and there was no way I was going to lean in and ask him what he said. I think it was something based on my Bearlesque show that I eagerly told him all the details of. There was a moment where he paused and looked at me. I thought he was going to say something else but his look had something that I couldn't quite define. Then he squeezed my thigh and said something about going out for a smoke. What on earth was that pause about? I shook my head bewildered. Bad Breath is one of my biggest pet peeves. I am frequently teased by nearly all who know me well about my obsession with breath mints. They are my addiction.

Still Mike's boss didn't show and I was getting anxious. What if I couldn't book this contest here? Gol darn it - this was frustrating. I snapped out of my funk as Mike poured me another drink. The evening could get hazardous at this rate. I offered to buy Mike a shot and he said, -"only if I get to buy you one back!" We struggling actors stick together. Another fellow was standing in line waiting to get a drink and looked up at me. He seemed kind of scruffy and perhaps in his early 50s. He flashed a quick warm smile and he winked at me. He looked like someone's Uncle Jim who was out on the town unbeknown to loving Aunt Barb. I smiled politely and looked down. I thought this was a pretty clear subtext " Thank-you-but-I'm-unavailable at the moment." I never want to completely reject someone-after all -I AM a title holder. Well I guess he didn't see that because he plunked down next to me and started to discuss...the weather. Interesting -I mean - no not interesting at all! He offered to buy me a drink and I politely declined saying it was a school night. I nodded as he chatted about... nothing and I tried to appear distracted. I looked at Mike and he noticed that other patrons were buying him a Birthday shot. Make that shots! Turns out his birthday was good business for the bar! Then thanks and praise the heavens, Mikes boss showed up. I excused myself from the fellow and shook hands with Mike's boss and explained how I wanted to do a singing stripper contest at his bar. I completely forgot to say it was for plus-sized boys but judging from the smattering of bears and cubs frequenting this waterhole I doubted it would be an issue. Besides he knew I was The Bay Area Cub so I am sure he knew who I was going to invite. He looked interested but couldn't commit until he saw a calendar and right now there were so many patrons at the bar that he needed to help Mike out. I took this as a good sign and heaved a sigh of relief.I felt I was 50% there with securing the venue for the Contest. The other thing I HAD to be sure of was that I wasn't competing with another Bear event. That was a real "no-no" in our community. I had pretty much been assured at The Lone Star by the manager, that there was nothing going on with the two possible dates I had selected in November. The Lone Star was actually gonna be my first choice but I would need the stage and that is out doors...not an environment conducive to stripping -especially in November. I figured my cast would be well rehearsed by next Pride and we could do a Lone Star mini show on the stage in June. Most shows would take place in whatever theater we were doing the benefit for. I wouldn't need to worry about performance space rental because of that. Any theater that wanted to use my show for a fundraiser could. -Now rehearsal space was a different problem all together. Anyone have a heated garage?

Then Scooby showed up. His real name isn't Scooby, but I will call him that to protect him. Years ago -When I met Scooby I was trying to recover from a break up that definitely did a number on my heart. At the time I was going to marry a guy and even though we had only been together months -everyone thought we were perfect for each other. Long story short -we weren't ,but I didn't know that the night he broke up with me. I was angry and wanted to hurt him and Scooby assisted me by conveniently calling me while I was in the middle of being dumped. Scooby was an online flirtation that I had never been able to completely let go. I knew my ex and I were on the outs so I had slipped Scooby my number earlier that day. My ex said, "We had to talk." I knew what was up. I remember taking the call from Scooby as I gazed with a cold baleful glare at my soon-to-be-ex, and held the conversation with Scooby, stating loud enough for anyone within a 10 foot radius, that I was suddenly free that night to meet him. Scooby and I had great rebound sex that evening -which isn't surprising because I was in the mood to do anything to feel better. We awoke that next morning and he flipped out because he saw the time. He scrambled for his cell phone and called...his Mom to pick him up and drive him to wrestling practice!!!!! I nearly put my 42 year old heart on cardiac arrest but he assured me he was 18. Jesus ! Too Much- that's our Scooby Doo! And here he was at the bar -and looking as luscious and adorable as the first time I met him 3 years ago. He leaned in and informed me. " I am still in love with yo ass" ! It was tough to figure out if he actually meant my butt or me in the ebonic figurative use of 'ass'. The vibe felt it was me. It didn't matter because Scooby would say some derivation of that to 3 other guys later that evening. I had known waaaaay early on that he couldn't give me what I needed, but sometimes when he pulled his pants down and bent over and modeled his new red jock strap...I would temporarily forget that. I was strong and maintained -that is until Mike decided to play the devil and plunked another little dark and lovely in the empty seat next to me. Mike knows my proclivities for DARK and handsome and this sweet little South African fella was definitely that.

"Sami" as I will call him, was polite and eager to learn about me.I LOVED the accent. Tres sexy! He puckered his mouth in disgust as Scooby tried to rub all over me like a cat in heat.Sami's expression implied that he was definitely above that. He and I chatted about the singing stripper contest and we exchanged what we did for a living. Mike looked over at us and said, "I knew moving him next to you was a good choice." I glared at Mike. Mike knows my boyfriend and just was getting me in a little trouble. I didn't want to hurt Sami too much so I decided to clue him in as he offered to buy me a drink. Alas he looked crestfallen and said that Orlando was a lucky guy. (Oh..I think he knows that-but I think I'M the real lucky one) I hugged him and ran out onto Folsum to hunt down a cab to drive me home before it became one in the morning!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

P.A. Cooley -bares all to save art

So as many of you know , title winners go on to do good deeds in the community by raising funds for charity. In most situations you can do with your title what you want as long as you represent the community who bestowed the title on you in a good light. This point could be of course debated. Most of these titles represent areas of the Gay Community that celebrate sexual expression. Feel free to contradict me but I think the three big pageant holders are the Drag Community, the Leather Community and The Bear Community. I am not 100% sure but maybe the Leather Community has some title winners that may infrequently misbehave? I am meeting with a Leather Daddy title holder on Friday so maybe he'll spill to me some secrets. The Court system is rather high profile with many title holders continuing in philanthropy and Gay Rights. I am sure there are some fake nails scratched and wigs snatched, behind the scenes there...I mean come on! Drag queens in a pageant! THINK ABOUT IT! However there are some ladies out there who have kept their heads above all the drama. Look at all the good things and good press Ms Donna Sachet has accomplished through the years. Her reign as empress is long over but she continues to be a respected and in -demand fund raiser for many functions. She's virtually a SF media darling. She's someone to look up to in all this title holder stuff. When I become a full grown cub I want to be Donna Sachet! Well not exactly but I certainly wouldn't mind her philanthropic career. If I am on the "R" list (see previous blog) then she is definitely on the "L" list!

I have for sometime been trying to come up a gimmick for all this fund raising fun!. I need a brand that typifies who I am and want I want to do with my title. This could prove to be difficult because I actually have a public persona of a sort. I am not a complete stranger to the local press since I have performed at Theater Rhinoceros and New Conservatory Theater for nearly 20 years. I have -until recently -been playing the same droll haughty best friend bitch. It's varying degrees of Jack and sometimes varying degrees of Karen. I'm truly amazed that I can play someone with entitlement issues so well since basically I am a pretty thoughtful guy. I can't tell you why I find truly self-involved people very amusing but I do! Julia Louis-Dreyfuss is fabulous in The New Adventures of Old Christine. Patsy and Edina from Ab fab, Frasier! All very funny roles! Somehow I can proficiently display the characteristics if an-all-about-me human which is truly ironic given the fact that I am one of the most insecure people you will ever meet. The "self-involved P.A." has been a staple in my comedy stage work for years professionally and privately. This has been an issue for me and gotten me into more than a few misunderstandings. (Some of those misunderstandings have been catastrophic and life changing for me but more on that in a future blog.) There are naive people out there -heck there are people who are fucking stupid. Unfortunately it's a simple case of people not knowing me well. I have actually met people that are pretty sure that my own beliefs and practices are similar-if not identical to the characters I play. It amazes me when it happens and thoroughly galls me when it's another actor. Luckily a few directors see me getting bored with this character and have chosen to challenge me in other roles. I even get offers to play heterosexuals once in a while-which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. I do well with the sexually neuter straight but a womanizing cad is a touch beyond my abilities as an actor-or is it? At any rate I want to try something new. I think I am going to be a stripper...for Charity.

Before I go into that let me go back a bit. So it's 2009 and I am the Bay Area Cub 2010 busting open the glass ceiling of ageism and ready to do my duty as little cubby ambassador for the Bear community. It's great I won the title and all but what do I want to put out there? The Bear Community prefers to defy definition. What does the Bear Community represent to me? When I begun to learn about them...I didn't know I was one. I had been working in a play by Ronnie Larsen called "A Few Gay Men". I portrayed an orthodox Jew who had an obsession with water sports and scat-oh and he also was married and had 4 sons! I grew a full beard for the role, somehow ignorantly thinking it would make me seem more Jewish. I also tipped the scales at 220-I am less than 5 foot 8. I never felt so ...unlovable and unsexy as I did then. I had a drinking buddy in the cast who loved to buy me drinks. Every time I used the restroom I'd return and find a new drink waiting for me at the bar.The show was being produced at the now defunct Venue 9 on 9th near Folsom. We would both waddle over to the Lone Star and have a few after the show. Sometimes MORE than a few. We became very close at that time and it wasn't unusual that we would make friends there. It amazed me when ever I got hit on. The Bears were hot, the cubs were hot, the admirers were short -I learned that the way I looked definitely appealed to others-even turned them on! I was always making a "new friend" and it felt very good. Very good indeed. So what if I had a few extra pounds -sexy is a state of mind AND most importantly -there is someone for everyone out there!

So I wanted to show that said that so THIS little Bay Area Cub is gonna produce a BURLESQUE show! Everyone is sexy and I think that needs to be shown. I could simply throw a beer bust together with one of the local Bear bars (which by the way really isn't that simple) but I want to create MY brand and MY title's legacy. Voila P.A. Cooley's Bearlesque is born! In truth-it's not an original idea. There have been many "size inclusive" strippers out there. Check out The Dream Bears on You tube. They actually called themselves Bearlesque at one point but three cast members split off and became The Dream Bears -which proved to be a successful move. I am still figuring out all the particulars. What kind of guys? Can I find talented singers who don't mind taking off their clothes? Will I find a theater who will host us and then we can give them most of our proceeds? How difficult do I want the routines? What style of music? Where will we rehearse? How many shows will I actually do? Will I host the show or will I do The Full Monty for art's sake! Would you pay money to watch me take off my clothes? Would you? (E-mail The Complete Bear if the answer is yes-and e-mail me if you want to help with the show

I am having fun and yes -I would love talented singers singing contemporary rock and pop songs -I want sexy but fun costumes. I want this show to be a laugh riot while you are getting a hard on watching it! Because we are all sexy -in some way or another. That's what matters to me. That's what I want to get out there. You can be old and overweight and hair all white but there's a Santa Claus fetishist out there waiting to make you the love of his life! The Bear Community may be in vogue now but now-more than ever-I am preaching acceptance for all body types.This show will exemplify this. There's people to meet and places to be. Look for us - Cumming out of Hibernation this spring. I am speaking to directors and writers and PR people almost daily -This little cub will entertain you...with a little help from some new friends.

Oh I included some pics of my favorite Bear -My love -Lando when we went hiking up Whiskey Town Falls.