Air Bear: hugging children while pushing the limits in an animal costume
Being Air Bear, the official mascot for US Air Guitar definitely has it's ups and downs. Air Bear is this out of control character that is the epitome of disaster. He falls down stair cases, falls off the stage, stage dives into nothing, gets crowd surfed then dropped, and gets really wasted. This all sounds really great, but the next morning I am black and blue and limping. When I got asked to be Air Bear, the USAG committee explained to me that this character has wild antics along with the package. I honestly didn't realize what I was getting myself into. In 1999 I was the 3rd best mouse in the state of Texas for Chuck E. Cheese. I was use to hugging children, playing peek-a-boo with babies, and the occasional flip or handstand while the children were well supervised and at least ten feet away from me. Now I am this drunk mess that needs a beer every ten minutes to keep the hype up.
If it weren't for that bear outfit that I dawn on my body I would easily have gotten my ass beaten long before now. It's actually surprising how far you can push your limits in an animal outfit. I didn't realize this till I was performing with the Flaming Lips as an elephant. I was groping this woman's body and could feel every curve of her body including some side boob action. Hell, we were dancing! Her boyfriend was taking pictures saying, "This is way too rad! My girl and an elephant...my girl and an elephant!" Did he forget that there was a dude in that elephant suit feeling every curve on his girlfriend's body? As Air Bear, guys want their girls to bend over while I "do" them from behind, girls grab my crotch while they take photos, and they put my hands on their chest. Now if I didn't have the suit on none of this would ever happen! Girls would never want to have me "do" them from behind as Jacob Calle, but they sure as hell do when I put on the bear outfit. They are completely okay with me playing the role as a wolf in sheep's skin. Other than all the sexual encounters jumping off of balconys and throwing myself down staircases would not be tolerated by anyone, but for some reasons the security and club bouncers find it perfectly okay for a guy in a bear outfit to act like a crazed lunatic.
My body has paid it's toll as well. In 2010 in NYC at The Bowery Room I managed myself to throw my body into the audience for no one to catch me. With the stage at about four feet high I decided it'd be good to dive and land on my back to protect my face and knees. As I felt the air underneath me I soared a good ten foot till my body connected with the slick concrete floor. My right knee buckled and smacked the ground. I looked at Hot Lixx for approval and he gave me this look that could only be described as a look that could easily be found in the audience of a Jim Rose show. I got up and took my first step and knew that I was going to be in a world of hurt. I limped to the upstairs backstage area and immediately put ice on it. I already felt the blood rushing to my knee. I hadn't even reached the room and my knee was already busted. I iced it and stayed up there will the US Finals were over. I lied there on my back watching the tv of the stage. Lynard Skynard's "Free Bird" still had 7 minutes left. I couldn't bend my leg. I knew that I was fucked and needed medical attention, but all I received was a joint to relieve the pain. I'm not an advocate of marijuana, but hell, I didn't see any doctors around and the closest form of pain medication was some dude's weed. I got high.
Air Bear's character is best described in Alan Roger Wade's song "If You're Gonna Be Dumb, You Gotta Be Tough". I caused all of these misadventures. I am why I ache. I am why I own so many broken bones and concussions. This isn't just Air Bear's lifestyle, but also my own. I've caught my body on fire, staple gunned my mouth shut with a live poisonous scorpion inside, and have been lifting up off the air by my hair. I am now thirty and have learned that nothing can lasts forever, especially a girlfriend if I continue this form of behavior. I've toned down my ways, but when US Air Guitar Finals comes around I take my bear outfit off the shelf, down five shots of anything and party like as if my body were made of fucking rubber!