Main | Monday, July 18, 2005

The Speaker Daddy Of Lazy Bear Weekend, Pt.2

Continued from Part 1 ....

"Fabulous? I hope you don't think that I would dance naked!" I said, realizing for the first time that there was a chance that I was going to go through with this.

"Oh, no! We wouldn't be able to have naked dancers, which is a shame," the promoter said. "It's just that no underwear means, floppage, shall we say?"

Floppage. I think when he said that, my cock shrank 30%, on the spot.

A few minutes later, the other dancer showed up. The other dancer. Just typing that still feels weird. The other dancer was a familiar face from around the Castro. A big furry, sorta muscle-y, but not entirely buff guy, which was reassuring to me. At least of the two of us, I was in much better shape.

At this point, I decided that there was no backing out. It's for AIDS, dude, I told myself. But I was also thinking about Leif's bus. I wandered around the club for awhile, I'd been there before of course, but now I had to reassess the space from the standpoint of a Performer, you understand. This nightclub, Fab, like many nightclubs, used to be a regular stage theatre and I was hoping that wherever I was to dance, would be well out of the reach of the patrons.

The DJ that night, Michael Mangiaforte, is an old friend of mine from way back in when we both haunted South Beach, and I was hanging over the edge of the DJ booth when he got a call that I was needed backstage to have a meeting with the stage manager. Other Dancer and I had hardly walked up to the stage manager when he began barking out his orders.

"OK, so you've got 3 sets to do tonight. Got that? Twenty minutes each. Got that? They begin precisely at 11pm, 1230am and 2am,. Got that? And I want both of you guys right here ready to hit your marks at least 5 minutes early for each set. Got that? Your cues are as follows: Stage dark means go hit your marks. Stage red means climb onto your boxes. Stage dark again means your set is over. Got that?"

I laughed nervously, "Sets? Marks? Cues? Does this count towards our Equity cards?"

The stage manager snapped, "In your dreams." Then he marched us out onto the stage and showed us the boxes we were to climb up on. I was elated, because in addition to being on a stage above a submerged dance floor, we were to perform on 3-foot high wooden boxes, meaning the audience could not reach up and fuck with us. Of course, it also meant that we'd be continuously visible to every single person in the club. There'd be no missing us.

It was about this time that I realized that my "two hour shift" actually ran for the 3 1/2 hours that would doubtlessly be the peak of the party.

Although I didn't have anything to do until 11pm, I hung around the club and watched the staff and listened to music while the patrons began to wander in. Everytime I saw somebody I knew, I rushed up to them with this explanation: "First of all, it's for AIDS. And secondly, if you, at any time, refer to me as a "go-go boy", I will cut you. I am a Speaker Daddy." I liked the sound of Speaker Daddy so much better. It's sexier, don't you agree? Even if I wasn't technically going to be dancing on the speakers.

At 10:45pm, I was in the wings. There weren't many people dancing yet, maybe 30 or 40 guys. But the club was filling up rather fast, with most of the arrivals hanging out on the main level above the dance floor. I peeked out and watched the stage manager enter the DJ booth and speak to the lighting man. The stage went dark. I looked at Other Dancer, "Are we supposed to go out now? It's not 11:00 yet!" He shrugged. Then the stage manager waved wildly at us. I guess Mr. "Got That?" didn't wear a watch.

Other Dancer and I walked out and climbed up on our boxes. A moment later we were bathed in a red light and we began dancing. Now, I'm not a bad dancer, not bad at all. But I'm certainly not an erotic dancer and I had told myself to just do what I normally do on a dance floor. Not a robotic Chelsea two-step, but certainly not anything dramatic. Hands in the air. Smiling. Head nodding. That sort of thing. Dignified, ya dig?

The lights were in my face, but I could see the guys on the dance floor looking up at me and nodding appreciatively. Encouraged, I kicked up my energy a few notches. It was starting to get hot. Really hot. Africa hot. Surface of the sun hot. I could have made nachos out there hot. Then I noticed that the audience had their attention on Other Dancer. I glanced over at him and almost fell off my box.

Other Dancer was squatting and bouncing, and from what I could tell, was performing his interpretive recreation of sitting on a really large cock. His head was thrown back, his eyes squinting, his mouth open in one long silent groan as he bounced up and down on that invisible cock. Or maybe it was an invisible dildo. I've never been very good at understanding the metaphors of modern dance.

We'd received absolutely no instruction on how to dance, and I suppose Other Dancer decided that the Lazy Bear crowd was post-go go. Which I'm not sure they were, because I could see them grabbing each other and pointing at Other Dancer with incredulous looks on their face. Somebody tapped my boot and I looked down to see one of the stage crew darting back off the stage, leaving me a small terry cloth towel to wipe my face, which I was very glad to have. I put my back to the audience for a moment to use the towel and stole looks over at Other Dancer, who was then on all fours, ass towards the audience, as he presented his dance move called This Is How I Get Fisted.

The 20 minutes passed amazingly quickly. I was nervous the entire time, but I was confident that I wasn't showing it. When the stage went dark, I sprang down off my box and ran into the wings, where a couple of friends were waiting for me with cold beer. Precious delicious cold beer.

I waited for them to say something about my dancing, but instead of complimenting my sexy sophisticated styling, I got this: "What the FUCK is that other guy DOING? Everybody is freaking about it!"

Before I could answer, Other Dancer walked up to shake my hand, "Nice sharing the stage with you. My name is Other Dancer."

I said, "Um, yeah I know. We met a couple of hours ago, remember?" I shot a look to my friends and they pulled me away.

The next few minutes were quite surreal as I walked through the packed club and felt the patrons recognize me as I walked by. I went up to the DJ and said, "Michael, what did you think? Was I OK?"

He laughed and said, "Honey, don't be so nervous up there! The record was going 130 beats per minute, but your gum chewing was going 10,000!"


My other friends, and I had many there, were all very sweet and supportive, once they got past "Was that YOU up there? Why were you up there? We were all freaked out to see you up there. " And of course, "Can WE get up there?" Sorry, Speaker Daddies only.

One of the promoters came up and said, "You looked great up there, Joe. Everybody is saying so. Please tell me you have something more revealing to change into!"

My camouflage pants were soaked with sweat and weighed about 20 pounds, so I said, "Well....I do have some shorts in the room. I could go get those, I guess. "

"Go get them!" he nodded. I turned to leave and he grabbed my arm, "And NO underwear, please." I zipped back to the Triple R and changed into my baggy, silver metallic shorts, that I'd gotten at L.A. Sport in West Hollywood. ( I know, I know.)

Walking back to Fab, the baking heat of the club was evidenced by a pillar of steam billowing out the front door, rising into the cool mountain air. There were a few guys standing outside smoking cigarettes , and as I went in, one of them said, "Costume change!" They all snickered a bit, those bitches.

I was in the wings at 12:15am. The stage manager walked up with Other Dancer and I could hear him saying something like "Just regular dancing. Stay on your feet!" That made me laugh. I noticed that Other Dancer had changed too, into a leather harness and daisy dukes. Then, stage dark, red lights, back on the boxes.

The dance floor beneath me was mobbed. The lighting man was really going to town and this time I could barely make out the faces of those beneath me because of the strobes and lasers and spinning lights. Immediately, my shorts were soaked and I became aware that my now-patented, dignified Speaker Daddy routine, however muted, nevertheless caused the previously hoped for floppage. In fact, it was causing embarrassingly spectacular floppage. As I fixated on it more and more and tried to adjust my dancing to reduce it, it seemed to only get worse.

Several songs went by, there was a tap on my boot and there again was a towel for me, accompanied by a bottle of water. Goddess bless you, stage boy. Again, I paused with my back to the audience to have a drink and mop my face. And again, I took this opportunity to look over at Other Dancer. His shorts were unsnapped and his zipper was down. He was dropping the shorts down to show his ass crack. Then his entire ass. Then his ASSHOLE. I'm totally not kidding. He turned around and bent over and PULLED his ass open to show everybody his ASSHOLE.

Stage dark. Hmm, five minutes early.

I jumped down and headed for the wings. Well, so much for people noticing ME, I thought. Which was strange, considering that a few hours earlier I wouldn't have dreamt that later I'd be dancing in boots and flimsy wet shorts for a crowd of several hundred sweaty bears. I would have bet against it. Big money.

The general manager of the club pulled me aside, "Hi, I'm General Manager. I just want to let you know that you will be performing the 2AM set by yourself." I laughed, "Gee, I wonder why?" He did not laugh with me. I headed back to find my friends in the club, passing Other Dancer who was in a throng of admirers. I think I said, "WhatEVER", when I passed him.

I stayed in my "costume" and danced in the crowd with my friends, replicating my lewd floppage-generating moves to their great amusement. The club began to become overcrowded and shortly before 2am, one of the promoters found me and said, "Listen, we're gonna let the customers dance up on the stage now, it's getting too packed. So you're done for the night, we're not doing a last set." Would you believe that I was just a little disappointed by that?

Towards the end of the night, when the dance floor had cleared considerably, my friends and I were dancing near a seating area on the dance floor level. One of the guys sitting there waved me over to his group, tucked a $5 bill into my sock, and said "We wanted to do this while you were up there but we couldn't reach you."

Sweet, huh? Speaker Daddy banked!


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