I had a great time as an extra in a movie called Bear City. Filmed at the legendary New York leather bar The Eagle, this movie is described by its makers as a bear version of Sex and the City.
When the casting director asked me to bring a few different outfits, she specified that I should avoid red, white or black because those colors do not read well under the lights. She said that earth tones would be preferable. Earth tones? No black? This girl has obviously never been to The Eagle, I thought, but I managed to throw together an appropriate combination of grey, navy and olive. At one point in the filming, the director yelled for a pause and fetched a dark leather baseball cap to hide my radiantly silver hair that was casting some blinding light of its own.
During my three day stint, I was interviewed by some documentarians about the definition of bear. That is actually a tricky question to answer, but basically, a bear is a hairy masculine gay guy who is most often stocky. There are variations labeled cub, otter, panda, polar, etc.
I am still thinking through the matter of obesity as it relates to the bear culture. More on that soon.
The fabulous Michael Musto, and the rather well preserved Randy Jones of The Village People, both had cameos. I chatted with Mr. Musto who was not at all pleased at having to wait quite some time for his brief "nipple clamp" scene/cameo on the dance floor.
The weirdest part of this experience involved dancing with no music. We'd be given a couple of bars, and then it would cut to silence so that the dialogue would record correctly. Oddly liberating.
The best part of the experience was the camaraderie that develops among the extras during the long hours of waiting for the next scene in which we might be needed. And there was the exceptionally fine catering....
You can just about see my leather cap in the photo on page four of this Advocate piece about the filming of Bear City.
I learned a new phrase. When the director shouts "And back to one", everyone moves back to the exact positions they had at the beginning of the take. We all agreed that this would be a fine phrase utilized during sex.