A talk with Brock, one of the responsible organisers of the Mr Puppy UK 2017 election.
MasterMarc: Hi Brock, you have to be quite busy now as the 2nd edition of the Mr Puppy UK election will happen in 3 weeks (September 24, 2016) during Pup Social in Birmingham. How is the preparation going on?
Brock: It’s coming along well! Many people enjoy the fun of the contest, and it is in some ways a light-hearted celebration of being pup, but a great deal of work goes into making it happen. The team and I, for example, have been working on this directly and significantly for months, and have been planning it since last year’s contest, so nearly a full year of work goes into making each contest happen. We’ve been speaking to sponsors to offer some really good prizes, as well as hosts and judges to come down and offer their time and support to make the event bigger and more meaningful. You’d be surprised just how much work goes into making a successful contest!
Everyone involved in the contest is a volunteer, and all of us contribute our own time and energy to this because we all believe in pups and we’d love for the pup community to have a fabulous annual election and a well-supported title-holder throughout the year.
MasterMarc: Can you tell us why it is important to make such an election? Isn’t it a little bit old school?
Brock: We don’t follow old school versus new school – we do what works and what’s meaningful and fun! Having a contest is a great way to encourage people to join or engage with the scene, because it encourages people to step forward and present themselves in an open and uplifting way. It’s an opportunity for contestants to show their talents, their qualities, what makes them special. And even though it is a competitive environment, ours is a very friendly competition in which all are welcome and everyone is honoured for the contributions they make. We also do our best to make it light-hearted and fun, so that both contestants and spectators can enjoy a really good show. There’s a reason that title contests are very popular and also widely used by clubs and organisations!
As for why we hold an election this way, Mr Puppy UK isn’t merely a show dog on a podium, and the title isn’t merely a show prize. It’s a commitment. The title holder joins the worldwide fraternity of Misters, the title holders from around the world, in common pursuit of contributing to the kink and fetish community. It’s a commitment to offer oneself for a year, to work for others, to create new opportunities and expand existing ones, and to bring together not only pups and handlers, but also kinksters and fetishists of all types. He also represents the UK and carries our flag at kink and fetish events and contests overseas. There’s a lot of work behind holding a title, and it’s indeed meaningful and important work. The annual election, and especially the invitation of other Mister title holders to judge and preside over the presentation of each title, is one of the ways we show support to the man who will accept the title: it’s our way of showing that he’s got not only the team behind him, not only the pups and handlers community behind him, but also the broader kink and fetish communities such as Leathermen and Rubbermen behind him.
That’s why it’s important to hold such an election, and why we’re so excited about it!
MasterMarc: How would you explain to an interested pup, who hasn’t seen such a competition yet, what he has to expect if he is on stage?
Brock: First of all, it’s a structured contest, so he’d want to familiarise himself with the judged components of it. He’ll be competing individually most of the time, in front of an audience, which he can expect to be welcoming and friendly because that’s the kind of community we believe in and encourage. He can expect an opportunity to stand up and address the audience and share with them about himself and why he’s competing or what he hopes to do with the title during a title year. He can expect an opportunity to gear up and play as a pup, both in a structured dog agility run and in an unstructured free mosh session. He can expect to be interviewed by all of the judges who will ask him questions about him and his aspirations and vision for the title. And he can expect an opportunity to stand up and show whatever he likes to the audience, be it a pup play scene or a talent or special skill, with or without a pup handler.
More broadly, he can expect a friendly and supportive audience to watch him and cheer him on and encourage him to do his best. He can expect the freedom to use the opportunities given to him to express who he is and what’s pawsome (means “puppy awesome”!) about him. He can expect a friendly competition, with encouragement throughout, and a warm reception. He can expect to be judged fairly and transparently, and to be acknowledged and respected for his contribution to the contest regardless of how he places in terms of its results and prizes. And he can expect to be cheered on sincerely, because everyone who competes deserves recognition.
Just step forward, be open and be yourself, compete enthusiastically and do the best you can, treat everyone in the room with kindness and care, and have a great time of it. We’re behind each and every one of you.
MasterMarc: Are the candidates fixed or is it still possible to register as a candidate?
Brock: Registration is still open! We will keep the registration open until the day of the contest. Registering online is highly recommended, and you can do it at http://mrpuppy.org.uk/register/
There is a limit to the number of contestants we can accommodate, so it’s important if you’re interested to compete that you do two things. First, register online, so that we can arrange a place for you in the contest. Second, report in person and on time on the day of the contest. We’ll do our best to give everyone a place who wants one. However, we can’t guarantee that we can accommodate you if you’ve registered in advance but arrive late for the contest, or if you don’t register in advance.
MasterMarc: Now you have also to tell what the audience can expect from the event and if there is also a party?
Brock: The audience can expect an interactive contest. The puppy mosh, which is one of the judged components, is open to everyone, contestants and spectators alike. We encourage everybody to play freely, as they like. For the parts of the contest which are performance-based, such as the personal presentations and the freestyle performance, the contestants will be doing their best to win over the audience and the judges, so we think it’ll be a lot of fun to watch! And at other times, the pup area is open to normal Pup Social activities, so everyone who attends is free to play, mingle, socialise, and enjoy themselves as they would at any social.
Towards the end, we’ll have a public prize presentation involving everybody, and we’ll even be inviting pup handlers on stage to join in the fun in the contest as well. Our aim is to give something for everybody.
After the contest, it’s Pup Social After Dark, with the entire club opened up for everyone to play and have fun and be naughty if they wish! This is the late evening party. Rules are more relaxed, the contest will be over and people will be excited and in good spirits. This is when the bad puppies might come out to play, and it’s the part everyone always looks forward to at Pup Socials.
MasterMarc: Sounds really like an interesting event for pups, handlers and interested people. We wish you all the best for the contest and I hope it will be a great success. Will we get a report about the event and who has won the contest?
Brock: Thank you so much. And of course! We’ll be absolutely thrilled to announce the next Mr Puppy UK, and our friends at sadOsam will be among the first to know!