Where the bears are going
Photo courtesy: WTBA
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last year, chances are that you either seen or heard about the gay comedy mystery web series “Where the Bears Are”. Set in sunny SoCal (Southern California), WTBA follows the exploits of three motley bears as they seek to solve a murder of a young cub at a birthday party. The best way to describe the show is “Golden Girls” meets “Murder She Wrote” with hairy shirtless gay guys in lead roles.
I had the opportunity to chat with Rick Copp and Ian Parks, two of the stars of the laugh fest about their own travel and the upcoming second season.
GTH: First, I want to say thanks for taking time out your busy schedule to chat with Gay Travel Herald. Can you share some of your favorite Bear events you’ve been to recently? Are there any upcoming events that you are really looking forward to?
IAN PARKS: I’ve been to Bear week in Ptown a few times over the years; Lazy Bear and Folsom are always good wholesome, family friendly vacations (a-hem), and I’m especially excited to hit the Beach Bear Weekend in Ft Lauderdale in a few weeks! I haven’t been to TBRU yet, but I hear that’s a rootin’ tootin’ good time as well. I wish I could go to all of ‘em, but I’m only one man, and I need time to recover and heal.
Photo courtesy: WTBA
RICK COPP: I’ve gone to Lazy Bear a couple of times and once I went to MadBear in Madrid, but in terms of other bear events, that’s pretty much it. That’s all changing now, I’m happy to say, thanks to the show. We’ll be going to Europe this summer on a Cruise4Bears trip to Spain, Italy and France. We’re all incredibly excited. And for Labor Day, we’re going to Austin, Texas for the Brotherhood of the Bear weekend. It’s a chance for us to meet and hang out with the bear community who have been so supportive of us.
GTH: Bear events aside, where are your favorite spots to relax and unwind? Do you have an off-the-beaten path vacation spot that you would care to share with readers?
Ian Parks, photo courtesy: WTBA
IAN: Favorite spots to relax and unwind? As much as I love LA, I was born n raised in small town Pennsylvania, so “unwinding” goes hand in hand with nature, the outdoors, and good ole’ fashioned peace-n-quiet. Joshua Tree is great for that, provided you don’t mind cooking like a sausage in the heat. The Big Island of Hawaii holds a special place in my heart for sure, because, aside from the beauty and tranquility, I discovered I have a proclivity for jumping off cliffs into the ocean. And as far as woods and mountains? Skyline Drive in Virginia was a place I discovered entirely by accident and absolutely loved it. For me, I need to get out of the city to find my center and have some “zen” time…these places do the trick in spades.
RICK: I grew up in Bar Harbor, Maine. And, though I’m biased, I think it is one of the most beautiful spots in the world. I had no idea just how beautiful it was until I left. I love hiking in Acadia National Park and seeing friends I grew up with and just kicking back. I’m drawn to cities when it comes to vacations. My top destinations are London, Madrid, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Istanbul and of course New York City where I went to college. I’ve also been spending a lot of time in Denver, which is a terrific place to visit, because one of my closest buddies moved there. I’ve had incredible experiences visiting the Middle East in the last few years including Lebanon, Jordan and the UAE. And I’m excited to be going to Israel for the first time this summer. Basically I’m a travel whore. I’m happiest when at the airport boarding a plane for some far off destination.
Rick Copp, photo courtesy: WTBA
GTH: Season one of WTBA is set in Silver Lake and Palm Springs, two bear havens in Southern California. Can you Share some of your favorite hangouts (restaurants, bars, clubs, you name it) that visitors to these cities should definitely check out while in the area?
IAN: Well, the Eagle LA, Akbar, and the Faultline are a bear’s bread ‘n’ butter as far as the bar scene goes, if you ask me. I’m a bit of a science nerd, so the Griffith Observatory offers a great view and scratches my science itch. Venice Beach is an experience in and of itself, so if you’ve never been to LA, you gotta go there–it doesn’t get more “LA” than that. Aaaaand, ya know what? I’ve lived here 6 years and I’m still finding myself in parts of the city that are completely new and unexplored for me, so I encourage visitors to get lost and see where they end up!
RICK: Ian’s covered the LA scene pretty well in terms of the bar scene; I would add Club Nur at MJ’s on Thursdays, which can be exotic and fun with traditional Middle Eastern music and a hookah bar. I live half the time in Palm Springs so I’m pretty acquainted with the scene there. For bars, you can’t go wrong with Hunter’s especially “Fur Fridays” which is a very popular bear happy hour that is packed by 6:00 PM. I also love Spurline on Fridays and Saturdays. They play showtunes and even if you’re not into that kind of music, it’s loads of fun and the owners and bartenders couldn’t be a nicer bunch of guys. As for restaurants, I love Copley’s which is Cary Grant’s old house. My friend Stephen just visited from London and he had a blast taking the Palm Springs Tram up into the mountains and hiking along the trails. Palm Springs has dozens of amazing hiking trails.
Photo courtesy: WTBA
GTH: I know that the some of the cast of WTBA are joining a Mediterranean cruise this June, can the viewer’s expect to see some of this voyage in season two episodes?
RICK: The footage we shoot on the cruise will be on our Season 2 DVD. Our second season has already wrapped, but we are going to feature a Mediterranean travelogue with Nelson, Reggie, Wood and Todd abroad at various destinations in Spain, Italy and France for Wood’s webcam show.
GTH: I have to ask –are there any secrets about Season Two that you can share with GTH readers?
RICK: Well, I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I can tell you that there will be another murder and it’s a rising political figure with whom Reggie went to college with; it happens at a bear pool party fundraiser. As you already know if you watched the Christmas special on the DVD, someone who we thought we said goodbye to in season one is definitely back to shake things up again. Todd is moving in with Nelson and so we will be exploring their relationship as it begins at new phase. Wood is dating Detective Winters who he hooked up with at the Christmas party, but there will definitely be major complications. Reggie is still the whore he was last season but that is finally challenged by someone who takes an interest in him.
Photo courtesy: WTBA
We also have a lot of characters returning from last season including Susie the coroner, Hairy Potter and George Ridgemont, Wood’s obsessed fan. But we will also be introducing a bunch of fun new characters including Detective Winters’ equally hot partner whose entrance into the show will have jaws dropping. Todd’s ex-boyfriend comes back to drive Nelson crazy, and a sexy personal trainer named Turbo will also be heating things up. We’ve really stepped up the sexy quotient this season. You’ve got to give the fans what they want!
GTH: Season Two is almost upon us. Can you remind readers of where and when to catch the new episodes?
RICK: Season Two episodes can be found at our website at wherethebearsare.tv starting June 10th. We also have our own channel on YouTube and Vimeo. Just type Where the Bears Are in the search engine. Season One as well as the original Christmas special are available on iTunes and Amazon.com as a download and on DVD at our online store at wherethebearsare.tv.
Where to Learn More: