Monday, January 18, 2010

To "Drag" or not to "Drag"?

busy busy busy bearcub.
The Talent Search is beginning to show a life of it's own. My contestants are enthusiastic high energy men who are perfectly suited to this project. I like happy people. They make me happy and all four of these men are very good-natured bears. We have the stylish, handsome Evan Kaminsky, the high energy, adorable Marco Middlesex, the easy going, good looking Paul Brown and the affable, knock out Bo Hoshaw.  I am doing last minute prep and imagine that Saturday will be a fairly long day. The event coordinator for The Edge and I have been playing phone tag but since all my contestants don't require a Karaoke machine, I am skipping the whole tv monitor karaoke set up because the stage is too small and the contestants all know their lyrics. The theme is rock because of intent to have the Bearlesque show in April be all leather and denim manly man music.

At least -that was the intent. Ideas for the impending April Bearlesque show  are beginning to flow in my head. The Bear Community seems to celebrate all things masculine and quite own masculine moments are few and far between. When I discuss this with other bears and cubs it appears to be that the more enlightened scoff at the idea that the Bears are totally butch 24/7. They may find the aesthetic of a big thick bearded truck driving man who chops his own wood and pisses where ever he wants appealing -but they also enjoy a broadway musical and pretty sparkly things.

I have met men who are the physical personification of your woofiest butchest fantasies and the minute they opened their mouths a purse fell out. I was often delighted when this happened by the way. I love contradiction. At any rate -you can see my dilemma. I am making a show developed for Bears, but what will they find entertaining? Do I go all Bruce Springsteen and construction hats and chains? Or is there room for some Cage aux Folles?  Recently I was voted "Bear Performer of the Year" through a poll done here on The Complete Bear. I was very excited and honored that I was chosen considering that my competition was a group of well established musicians within the Bear Community. Some have even released a CD or two. I figured that -since I DID win this contest and I made my fame by performing all those smart alecky queens in local SF theater, that it might be just fine to throw in a drag queen or two in the show.  I might even consider showing off a few of my own diva super queen snaps in some of my favorite past comedy sketches. I don't think I have ever witnessed a big burly hunk utter a witty turn of phrase quite the way a queen can. What I have seen is a BUNCH of big furry burly hunks laugh their asses off WATCHING Drag queens perform. Case in point: The 4 girls who perform the Golden Girls episodes here in SF. The Bears flock to their shows. Wait..Bears don't flock they...lumber..roam? oh well you know what I mean. At any rate - my goal is to create a good time on stage with Sexy dancers AND a few laughs.

As I begin the development of my show and think of songs and sketch comedy scripts, I certainly can tell you what I DON'T want it to be. Last September I went up North to see Lando and he took me to a Christmas review being recorded for out troops in the Middle East. A gal by the name of Linda Regan Botts was the woman who spear-headed this project and was also the star and host. She called it "Martinis with Santa" and the WHOLE town of Redding got involved. Linda used to sing with a group in the early 70s that called themselves "The Gold Diggers." They sang with Dean Martin. So of course I was eager to see how she did HER show. The similarities between us were too numerous to mention. We are both attractive middle-aged performers who cling to our youth and past by wearing clothes that are simply too young for us to wear and we are both living legends about 10 people. She had some cute ideas, and she was an ok singer but everything seemed hopelessly last minute and pasted together badly. Interminable scene changes and disastrous lighting cues had Lando and I running out of the theater at intermission. So can be a big influence in you community and still create a crappy show.  I have been there and put on a variety show with the best of intentions only to create an evening that the audience politely tolerated because they were there to support my cause. It is my intent -along with Director Jon Wai-Keung Lowe that my show run seamlessly and be one of the BEST Bear evenings ever. It takes a village to create a decent show and if you want to to be a towns person -PLEASE let me know.

In the meantime -take a look at these handsome four contestants. They are truly great guys and I -along with The Lemonade Fund  ( thank them for their participation.  See you Jan 23 at The Edge here in San Francisco.


  1. My experience with bears and live entertainment is that they appreciate a very wide variety of entertainment. Keep things moving and you'll do well...

  2. When we performed for the New England Bears at their Winter Hibernation in P'town many Februarys ago (yes, P'town in February - you know you've hit it big!), we were a bit nervous. Would they like drag queens. Oh, yes. Until after Margaurite sang Liza's infamous "Sara Lee" and I made the comment, "You know, Maggie, Sara DOES carry a Lite Line." The growls were fast and menacing...
    Hugs, P.A. - see you soon!
    Amber LeMay
    Motherfounder, House of LeMay
    Beaver Pond, Vermont