Meet Performing/Recording Artist Mike MRF Flanagan

Modern Bear discovers there more to musician Mike Flanagan than fur and beefcake…

Musician Mike MRF Flanagan
Photo by Brian Doherty

Hi Mike,
When did you first know you were musically inclined?

“From the time I started on saxophone when I was 10, it felt pretty natural. Music always moved me and creating it myself just felt right.”

How many instruments do you play?

“Saxophone and piano, saxophone being my principle, are my main instruments and the only instruments I perform on professionally. I also play flute, clarinet, a little trumpet, a little bass, and a little percussion.”

Mike MRF Flanagan

Was your family supportive of you performing?

“Absolutely! My grandfather was my original inspiration/teacher. He started teaching me piano when I was 14 and he would help me practice saxophone before that. He played trumpet and sang and played great chords on piano so I got a ton of it from him.”

Tell us about MRF Mob Music?

“MRF is my initials and it just feels right with that representing me as my artist name. Mob Music is slightly more complex to explain. Mob Music started as a night in Boston at LGBT cornerstone, Club Cafe/Napoleon Room with myself and Lisa Bello. We took Thursday nights and made them our own and Mob Music, which started as a joke because we are both Italian, almost became our band name and really the power involved in our music and stage presence. Justin Waithe came in one night and started harmonizing with us and immediately Mob Music was complete. He was the piece that completed the vision. Sheree Dunwell also came in and everything became stacked with beautiful 3-part harmony. Mob Music is really our band name, but the album being my sophomore project, we decided to name the album that.”

MRF Mob Music

What’s next for your career?

“We will be releasing my next Music Video for my song “Trying”. Trying is the radio single from the Mob Music album and it’s on over 60 radio stations both nationally and internationally. I’m super excited about this Music Video as it features myself and another bear in a love and loss narrative. So excited about this one! I also just started working on my next project. We are at the very beginning stages but it will be out sometime in 2015.”

Musician Mike MRF Flanagan
Photo by Patrick Lentz

What does the term “Bear” mean to you?

“A community within a community that celebrates, desires, and finds immense beauty in physical features that the mainstream eye (and most of the straight world) happens to deem unattractive.”

What’s your idea of a perfect date?: “Scrabble and a Pixar movie.”

Musician Mike MRF Flanagan

How would you describe your personal interior design style?:

“I’m a little OCD, so everything is typically neat and organized, but inadvertently accented with Boxer and man fur.”

What kind of music do you listen to?: “Very tough question for a musician, but if it sounds good and has integrity, I dig it!”

Mike MRF Flanagan

Location: “Boston but moving to Los Angeles.”

Height: 6′

Hair: Dark Brown/Balding

Eyes: Brown

Sign: Libra

Fitness Routine: “4-5 days in the gym, 1 day of yoga and 2 days volleyball. Gym is a combination of different kinds of training I’ve done over the last 15 years. Lots of focus on proportion typically something like this – Day 1: Back (starting with deadlifts every other week) and bis, Day 2: Chest, Tris, Abs, Day 3: Legs – Day 4: Shoulders, traps, Day 5 – Arms, Abs. Sometimes I’ll break legs up to hit them twice a week.”

Musician Mike MRF Flanagan
Photo by Patrick Lentz

Occupation: Music: “Out Musician/Performing-Recording Artist/Educator.”

Hobbies: “Writing music/songs, dog park or beach with my boxer, volleyball, concerts, ASL-Meetups, eating.”

Guilty Pleasure Snack: “I will never stop eating banana bread. Ever!”

TV Faves: “Real Time with Bill Maher, Orange is the New Black, Modern Family, The Voice, Friends, Noah’s Ark, L Word, Big Bang Theory.”

Musician Mike MRF Flanagan

Last good movie you saw: “X-Men – just see it!”

Currently Reading: “Articles, articles, articles all the day.”

Turn Ons: “Confidence, self-love, humility, kindness, music fan, naturally big/thick/burly build, body hair, back hair!”

Turn Offs: “Shaving back hair, arrogance, lack of self-awareness, drugs, smoking, nose hair, ear hair.”

Musician Mike MRF Flanagan

Personal Statement: “My mission is to spread my music/sound as far as I can! Would love for everyone to check it out. Any and all sharing of videos, the album, Spotify page etc. is huge! All proceeds from downloads of my song ‘Be Strong (LGBT Youth)’ are donated to GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Educator, Network).

iTunes – MRF

Mike Flanagan Music on YouTube.

Follow Mike on Twitter

Follow Mike on Instagram

Follow MRF on Spotify

See more about Mike in this “bio reel” video!

Bearnamic Duo ~ George & Scott of Spathose

Meet our Bearnamic Duo, George and Scott! These two talented designers have melded a successful career and relationship together. We get the scoop from them on how they make it all work…

How did you guys meet?

“It was actually quite romantic, a bit like some sappy, romantic comedy movie… A frosty New England night, as snow drifted deeply with the strong December winds; It glistened like scattered diamonds amid the winter moon’s glow…George’s car was stuck in a snow bank, Scott happened by with his truck and the rest is history!”

How long have you been together?

“We are in our 25th year together! Most of that time (at least 20 years, has been spent working side by side ,day & night, 24/7, 365…well you get the idea!) We are the design team that make up the brand Spathose. Our work transcends the realm of ordinary style by forging fine art with fashion, thus conceiving more than an accessory; we have given rise to organic wearable sculpture with an industrial edge.”

Wearable Sculpture by Spathose

Wearable Sculpture by Spathose

Wearable Sculpture by Spathose

Was it love at first sight or did it take a few dates?

“There was definitely an immediate connection, but we both were a bit cautious in the beginning. After our third date though, we were inseparable!”

George & Scott, circa 1997
George & Scott, circa 1997.

If you are cohabiting, how long did you date before you lived together?

“It didn’t take long at all, within a month and we knew that we wanted to spend as much time with each other as possible. Since that time, we have not spent more than a few days apart! In the beginning, we both had regular jobs but soon realized that we wanted to work together at our own business.”

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What is it about your mate that attracted you so much?

George: “For me the eyes are truly that window into the soul, I looked deeply into his intense eyes and I immediately felt this attachment, I felt safe. Of course, it didn’t hurt that he was brutally good looking with an amazing body!”

George & Scott of Spathose

Scott: “The first time we met, I felt as though time stood still, I was captured in a moment that I never wanted to end. My heart started to race and felt as though it was being gripped by a vice on the verge of exploding… He captivated me is so many ways, his charming smile, adorable rosy cheeks that glistened from the snow, the bluest eyes that melted my heart, but what really clenched it all for me was beyond that physical attraction, it was his wit and ability to make me laugh…”

Do you have common interests?

“Our passion has always centered on the arts in some manner. Our first business together was faux finishing, back when we lived in the Philadelphia area. We also enjoyed home renovations and that quickly turned that into a business. Upon our move to Saint Petersburg FL 11 years ago, we decided to focus entirely on purchasing run down properties in blighted areas to remodel and turn them into income properties. Since the real estate crash, being ever resilient, we had to re-invent ourselves once again. That is how we started our present business and brand, Spathose.

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Do you each have an interest that the other has none in?

“That’s the dilemma of being business and life partners, it’s tricky to be able to have separate lives! This was a struggle early on as our identities were merged into one. We were never thought of as individuals, but as a single entity. Both having strong personalities, we found that challenging to be reduced to this homogenized, collective version of ourselves. Understandably, being part of a brand, it’s essential to promote as a team and since have found that delicate balance to insure our own distinctive personae are not swallowed by the whole!”

What’s the secret to your successful relationship?

“In this internet fueled, new, next, now, built for planned obsolescence era of today, it seems that relationships have become disposable. The famous quote “For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice” might have very well been written specifically about human interactions. Not to say that every day has to be a struggle, but be prepared to truly live the word compromise! Something as wonderful and rewarding as a long term relationship is worth the hard work that goes with it! Communication is key! Also Laugh, laugh everyday…there is always love when there is laughter!”

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Any advice for a dating couple?

“Never define your relationship on someone else’s views, values, or morals; it can be destructive.
You are the only one that knows your true feelings.
Create a friendship bond that grows beyond the physicality and the bedroom.
Never try to stagnate the other person from their journey in life.
MOST OF ALL, TRY YOUR BEST TO LISTEN!”

Scott & George, circa 1990
Scott & George, circa 1990.

Links:
Spathose Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Photo credits:
BWL Photography
Thee Photo Ninja
Rossie Newson Photography
Downtown Carol Photography
Brentwood Photography
Creative Loafing

Bearnamic Duo: Meet Ryan & John from Palm Springs!

Ryan and John are one of the most handsome and charming couples in Palm Springs. They also have their own successful real estate business. We caught up with them recently to ask them what makes their relationship so successful…

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How did you guys originally meet?

“We were both in the process of ending a relationship when we met. Neither of us were looking to find love. We were introduced by a mutual friend in San Diego. John was wearing a wife beater with his hat on sideways and he looked at me and said with his charming Southern drawl, “Damn, boy! Will you marry me?” Totally turned on I accepted with hesitation, “Yeah, but let me break up with my boyfriend first.” Two days later I was single again and ready to see what this tough boy was about.”

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How long have you been together?

“We met August 4, 2007. We got married legally July 1, 2013.”

Was it love at first sight or did it take a few dates?

“I really do think it was love at first sight. The moment I met him I had butterflies in my stomach and that was something that I rarely if ever felt with anyone else. With my friends I even referred to him as my future husband the weekend we met.”

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How long did you date before you lived together?

“After many weekend visits to Palm Springs I fell in love with the community out there. About six months after we began dating I made a move to live in Palm Springs full time. The real estate market was in the toilet at this time so I started managing properties with luxury vacation rentals here in the desert. No homes were selling in San Diego so the perfect time for me to make a switch.”

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What is it about your mate that attracted you so much?

“First and foremost I was attracted to John’s morals and values. He was wild at heart but yet also had a good balance between crazy and realistic. He didn’t put up with any bullshit from anyone and still doesn’t. Not even me. He’s good for me.”

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Do you have common interests?

“We have some common interests which is good but were also very very different people. I enjoy the circuit party scene and he absolutely hates it. He loves musicals and I despise them. It really comes down to is that he loves to talk and be heard and he can’t talk with loud music. We both love softball, going to the gym, traveling, home projects and entertaining.”

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What’s the secret to your successful relationship?

“Compromise, patience and honesty. Understanding that no one is perfect, being able to let your ego not get in the way, and putting the person that you’re with above everyone else.”

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Any advice for a dating couple?

If you’re not confident in your relationship don’t try a three-way. If guys are hitting on your man take it as a compliment; don’t be jealous. That’s not attractive. Try to avoid group vacations and travel with your partner alone.”

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John and Ryan can reached through their website at www.JohnAndRyanSell.com

Modern Bear Q&A with Brian Sims!

Modern Bear interviews Representative Brian Sims during Bear Week in Provincetown, and asks him the hard hitting “political” question:
“What kind of Bear are you?”

A big thanks to David Goodman at Bear World Magazine for coordinating this interview!

Provincetown Bear Week 2014!

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It was our best Bear Week ever! Highlights included interviewing the charming Representative Brian Sims, visiting with Authors, Blake Little and Armistead Maupin, and eating lobster rolls every day! We hosted three Modern Bear events this year, including two at the Bear Market, and our annual Meet-&-Greet at Joe Coffee.
The best part of these events is meeting so many wonderful facebook friends in person. We also got to tour a 1966 modern beach house, a rarity in the Cape, and see some of our fave performers including Tom Goss and Dina Martina!
Provincetown continues to be one of the most charming tourist destinations on the East coast, and this Bear Week was estimated to draw over 10,000 Bears from all over the world! We can’t wait for next year!

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Brian Sims playing poster child for Modern Bears everywhere, showing our book, Guide for the Modern Bear!

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Brian Sims chats with attendees of our annual Meet-&-Greet at Joe Coffee.

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Absolutely awesome meeting one of our favorite authors, Armistead Maupin!

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Modern Bear Travis Smith greets visitors to the Modern Bear booth at the Bear Market.

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A BIG thanks to Provincetown Magazine for this wonderful article on Modern Bear, calling us “Martha Stewart with a hairy chest and beard.”

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At Blake Little’s signing for his latest book, Manifest.

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Hamming it up with the Grizz Riley Boys at their popular Lumberjack party.

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Homemade strawberry shortcake

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With one of our fab hosts of the charming “Meet Market” party, Jocko Fajardo.

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More scenes from the “Meet Market” Party.

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Bears just wanna have fun: at the Grizz Riley Happy Hour

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Cocktails served at the Grizz Riley Happy Hour.

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Wolf Pack: Clint, Design Wolf Chris Bale, Dave Dudar

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Scenes from PTown.

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With “Sugar Artist” Chef, R. Bear Karito and Bryan.

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Saying goodbye to our Shankpainter Pond housemates, Michael Ottoway and Jose Nanin ~ until next year, Boys!

Hot Fuzz!

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London’s favourite electro-dance party for beardy boys, their friends and admirers, HOT FUZZ has a fun and friendly atmosphere and boasts some of the hottest beats and hottest boys around courtesy of DJ/ Promoter SILVERHOOK (OUT OF ORDER, AUDACITY) and Host / Promoter SETH STROMBOLI (SONGS OF PRAISE, OUT OF ORDER). Completing our team is second resident DJ, CACTUSHEAD and a support team at the door as well as a great photographer and a designer helping us with posters and flyers. All our poster models are selected from our loyal crowd. In addition, we aim to bring you the best guest DJs in London and internationally. In the year and a half we’ve been running, we have enjoyed a very swift increase in popularity and have been invited to take part in festivals like London Bearfest and Summer Rites. Unlike some of the bear scene nights, Hot Fuzz is open-armed and welcomes everyone – big, small, hairy or smooth. Put simply, if you’re attitude free and up for some fun, you’re in.

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Meet Hot Otter Musician Alan Clark!

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Hi Alan!
What does the term “Bear” mean to you?

“A big, furry and huggable guy.”

What’s your idea of a perfect date?

“Hiking up a mountain and pitching a tent to watch the sunset over the water.”

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How would you describe your personal interior design style?

“I love a modern style. I feel it’s the easiest to clean. I love a nice antique dresser though.”

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What kind of music do you listen to?

“Anything with a good beat or melody. I’ve been stuck on Dub-step and Metal for the last year.”

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Location: Seattle

Height: 6’3″

Hair: Brown

Eyes: Green

Sign: Cancer

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Fitness Routine: “I’m not a gym guy. Perfect push-ups and a 10 mile hike is good for me.”

Occupation: “Musician. Bassist in The Classic Crime.”

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Hobbies: “Photography, disc golf, snowboarding and video games.”

Guilty Pleasure Snack: “Gummy bears.”

TV Faves: “South Park, Family Guy and Modern Family.”

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Last good movie you saw: “Defiance.”

Currently Reading: “Books on Photography.”

Turn Ons: “Downturned eyes, Furry round bellies, fuzzy face and thickness.”

Turn Offs: “Awkward pick up lines, unable to hold a conversation and coming on too fast. I usually don’t like to be smothered until I’m in bed.”

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Personal Statement:
“Love is when the other person’s happiness is more important than your own.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr

Happy Birthday, Modern Bear!

4 years ago today, we launched our facebook page devoted to our love of Modern Design, Bears, & Beefcake. We remember how excited we were when we hit 100 followers (we are now going on 72,000)! A BIG Thanks to all of YOU for your support ~ stay tuned for more exciting endeavors from Modern Bear!
Big Furry Hugs,
Travis & Chris


Design Wolf, Chris Bale


“Modern Bear” Travis Smith


Photos by John Paschal

Meet “Accidental Bear” Mike Enders

Photo by Dusti Cunningham
Photo by Dusti Cunningham

Ok, we cheated by starting our interview off with this photo of the sexy Mike Enders first. But we got your attention, right? You may have heard of this wholesomely handsome looking ginger popping up on social media sites everywhere. Mike’s commercial moniker, Accidental Bear is a popular website and facebook page devoted to “Art, Music, News, & Fringe Culture.” Mike’s bathtub interviews with artists, performers, and celebrities have created a cult following on his Accidental Bear channel on YouTube. Modern Bear had the pleasure of being interviewed by Mike last year in a hot tub!


Mike’s bathtub interview with Bearracuda Producer, Matt Bearracuda.

MB: Mike, you are becoming known as a multimedia personality, what some industry peeps refer to as a social “Influencer.” Is this something you always had in mind to do?

M.E.: No not at all. It just kind of happened accidentally. When I started Accidental Bear I was in a place in my life where I had a lot of free time and my partner, (now husband) introduced me to online blogs. I hadn’t paid much attention to them in the past. I thought to myself… I can do this, and not to sound arrogant, but better! So, I taught myself WordPress, html coding, web design, graphic design, and on and on. Up until that point I could barely turn a computer on and off.

I started posting what I loved and people started taking notice and sending me messages saying that I was filling a spot in the queer community that is missing. One of my first goals was to post features of hairy men in a community that is dominated by smooth, chiseled, hairless creatures. To my surprise this was the same moment beards and hairy men exploded in popularity and everyone and their moms grew beards!

"Beauty and the Bear"
“Beauty and the Bear”

Secondly I wanted to create a space or platform to feature queer, up and coming artists and musicians who live their lives in the underground or on the fringe. Most gay sites won’t touch unknown artists and are just covered in pop/mainstream/pretty boys and drag queens. Don’t get me wrong I love all that shit too, but I wanted to include the stuff in life that I live for, and a much under represented culture of underground artists. The queer community has become somewhat watered down and polished. I want to put the spotlight on “my people,” freaks, artists, and the underbelly of society where I like to dwell.

Lastly, the Internet is so divided. If I want to look at porn I’ll go to one site, if I want art I’ll go to another site, music another site, drag queens another site, so on and so on. On Accidental Bear I like to fill it up with content that draws attention to everyone from butch queens to drag queens, jocks to fashionistas, bears to twinks, and lately I’ve been saying straight guys who are comfortable with their sexuality love Accidental Bear.

Oh, ANOTHER side note: August 22- 24 I am going to be at and covering the Luscious Queer Music Festival in the beautiful valley in Northern California’s Saratoga Springs. And Sept 12-14th I am going to be in Austin Texas at and covering the Stargayzer Queer Music Festival, which and I am stoked about! This will be my first time to Austin and I have heard nothing but great stuff about it! Ok, that was a mouth full.. next question lol.


Photo from Mike’s modeling stint for Blade + Blue apparel.

MB: What are some of the jobs you have had in the past?

M.E.: I was working since beginning of high school. Ice Cream scooper, coffee shops, landscaping, 15 years of clothing retail in San Francisco, Licensed Massage Therapist, you name it.

MB: Did you do anything special to prepare yourself for the kind of career you have now?

M.E.: I really have to say no. I tend to throw myself into careers I know nothing about. I don’t suggest this for anybody else, but the way I learn best, is throwing myself into the fire and finding my way out.

Mike Enders for Blade + Blue

MB: Mike, what is happening in your career now that excites you most?

M.E.: There are so many amazing things going on I could burst with excitement! That’s why it makes no sense that I have never been more broke in my life (Calling all who want to invest in Accidental Bear… Holla!) I am currently trying to get the attention of a TV network to help sponsor my Travel Show. I recently posted my pilot episode from my trip to the Big Island of Hawaii.

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Scenes from Mike’s gay travel show pilot.

M.E.: Here are some teases that I haven’t announced yet. This coming November I am doing an Accidental Bear Mayan Cruise with Al and Chuck Travel, details coming soon! Also I am in the works of putting together a stage show of an all-male cast of Best Little Whore House in Texas, more details soon!

Just this past month I picked up the camera again for the first time in MANY years and started shooting original editorials for The Men of A/B and beyond. The response to my photographs has been incredible and I have a full schedule of upcoming shoots including photographing some fashion designer’s lookbook! I’m fucking thrilled about that. Wait, can I swear? I say fuck every other word in real life

Kyle Photographed by Mike Enders
Photo of Kyle by Mike Enders.

In the meantime, I started a branch of Accidental Bear, AB PR Management & Casting, which is getting much traction. Through this side project I have started representing a few male models and helping with model casting for local San Francisco projects. Have I mentioned yet, that I am doing this all myself with no funding! Holla at me any of you rich gays out there that want to invest in something really special and growing exponentially!

Accidental Bear Mike Enders
Mike in a recent appearance on the cult hit web series Where the Bears Are.

MB: Do you have a game plan for Accidental Bear?

M.E.: I have a direction I am plowing forward toward. I’d love to see my bank account out of the negative LOL It seems that what I love doesn’t pay that much but that will never stop me! But seriously, I will continue doing exactly what I’m doing, but will need to bring in a team soon to help in the growth of the website and PR company. Things will get bigger and better, turning up the notch and increasing the quality of site. But I will always highlight and root for the underdog.

MB: Where would you like to see yourself 10 years from now?

M.E.: Doing the exact same thing with a huge Accidental Bear team of writers, editors, photographers etc etc! Right now I am working from home and just the other day I was telling a friend how badly I want a cute office to meet clients at and a big comfy couch to nap on. Hey, I’m a simple guy! Did I mention there is an Accidental Bear clothing line in the works? I’ll have to save that for later.

Blade + Blue Apparel
Blade + Blue Apparel

MB: Any professional advice for your fans?

M.E.: Do what you love no mater what anyone else says. The more visible you become the louder the critics get. Thick skin is required in this business.
Namaste bitches (that’s what the kids are saying!)

Accidental Bear Mike Enders

Follow Mike on…
facebook
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