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 hot...in 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 bayareacub2010@att.net)

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.

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