Logging on to get off

Posted on September 15, 2016 by Basement

Our blogger Jonty had a chat to Legacy Project founder Bruce Brown on his new show Hook Up Boys, opening in the Studio on the 20th of September.

Were there any particular experiences that inspired the show?

Loads. With any hook-up experience, you never know exactly what to expect and what you’re going to get when you invite someone into your bed (or vice versa). Everyone has their own baggage that they carry around with them, so I’ve always been super curious about the individual whys behind that urge to login to get off with a stranger. But it’s obviously not an easy question to ask straight away to someone who you just met and who’s getting naked in front of you…

How much has technology changed the gay experience?

Nowadays it seems like everyone is swiping right and using various geolocation dating apps to hook-up, but gays have been using (and abusing) this technology forever. Grindr has been around since 2009 and we’re been online arranging sexual meetings long before that! When you’re in the closet, Grindr is an easy way to connect with other gays whist also remaining discreet and anonymous. It’s low risk because you can hide behind a torso pic, but these hollow, deceitful encounters are now the norm and have played a key role in how our community has become hypersexualised. Onscreen your self-worth is based entirely on the attention you get, which is generally tied to your age, body type and race. Your sexuality is defined more by your dick pic, than who you are as an actual person.

How much real life experience is captured in the show?

As a writer, I believe firmly that you have to write from the heart, which some take to mean that everything I write is deeply autobiographical and happened exactly as written to me personally. That might be the case behind some of these encounters but it’s more complicated than that. I’m certainly inspired by my own experiences and misadventures, but I’m also curious about exploring the road not taken. Those missed opportunities if they went another way and when experienced by slightly more flawed versions of me.

What has been the most difficult part of the production?

Casting is both the most exciting time and the most stressful. Searching for the right actors who aren’t nervous about the content, who are open to pushing themselves and who are ultimately perfect for the roles takes loads of energy and is a massive time investment. I guess I’m slightly fussy when it comes down to casting. I’d rather have a coffee and pick an actor’s thoughts and feelings on a particular script, what TV shows they watch, and find out all about them to know if they are the right fit for a role.

Hook Up Boys is on from the 20 – 24 September at 6.30pm in the Studio. More of Jonty’s writing can be found on his blog