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The Rocky Horror Show Highlights

The Rocky Horror Show.

♫ It’s just a jump to the left, ♪ and then a step to the right. ♫ Put your hands on your hips. ♪ You bring your knees in tight. ♫ But it’s the pelvic thrust that really drives you insane. Let’s do the Time Warp again…♫ ♪ ♫ ♫ ♪”

I hope you’re singing! Because if you are, you’ve seen the show!!

But if you aren’t, here’s a really quick synopsis: Brad and Janet accidentally leave their innocent world and enter into the strange, alien world of transvestite Dr. Frank-N-Furter, who initiates them into a world of absolute pleasure, and where Frank introduces his Frankenstein-ish (albeit beautiful and strong) creation, Rocky. In the end, Frank-N-Furter and Rocky are killed (spoiler alert! haha, too late but it doesn’t matter, really) and Brad and Janet are released back into the real world with a deeper understanding of life while the rest of the transvestites (aliens) return home to their planet Transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania. (A more detailed plot summary can be found on IMDB.)

It is pure camp. And psychological thriller, but that’s just my opinion, apparently, since no other review sees it like that. I can’t help but see the psychological process it portrays, which will be another post for another day.

Anyway, I just want to share some of my favorite photos I took while I worked on this production. Keep in mind that I worked stage right, so all my photos are from stage right, which limited my view. On the other hand, I was able to capture perspectives not available to the audience. I felt like a voyeur, peeking in from the right when no one is looking.

Frank-N-Furter wouldn’t care. Not at all.

Rocky

Rocky steps out of his pod. We used a pod to represent the place Frank-N-Furter created Rocky. I watched the audience when Rocky was revealed and there were audible gasps that even I could hear above Rocky’s soaring voice as he steps out of the pod.

Indiscretion

We had a sheet set up between the actors and the audience so the audience doesn’t see them. Frank, Janet, and Brad played out their indiscretions behind the sheet as silhouettes. I have stage right photos of them in-focus (something the audience can’t see), but this really captures what the scene is all about. It’s all left up to the imagination….

This is my favorite photo of the whole show. Only stage right can see it because of the lighting. At this point there are only four of us on stage right, and out of all four of us, I’m the only one aware this is even happening. Shannon, who plays Frank, readies himself to go onstage for the floor show. When Shannon saw this photo, he called it his “Judy moment.”

End of "I'm Going Home"

The song “I’m Going Home” is my absolute favorite song. For me, it explains Frank’s motives for his egotistic debauchery. I can almost feel his need to return home, and the sadness knowing that he doesn’t get to.

Here are other photos I liked:

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Note: The Rocky Horror Show was first staged on June 19, 1973 in London. Then they made it into a movie they called The Rocky Horror PICTURE Show, which became a cult classic. I’m sure you remember seeing midnight showings of the movie over the years. What I really like is how it became interactive, with devoted followers yelling out lines that can both shock and delight. It’s a cultural phenomenon that needs to be experienced to truly…um…understand it? (I about wrote “appreciate” but I’m sure there are those who will not appreciate it.)

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Crossing the Threshold. Hello, Footlite Musicals!

When I was in my twenties, I took a long walk with a friend. We shared stories and ideas and disclosed some of our desires and fears.

I said, “You know, I’m actually really shy.”

She burst into laughter that quickly got sucked into giggles. “No you’re not!”

Startled and confused because it was so apparent to me that I was shy, I didn’t understand why she laughed. Then I reviewed my life in that split second we all have, and I started laughing with her.

I didn’t ACT shy! I acted gregarious and fun, and I drew a lot of attention to myself, especially back in my twenties. I let our conversation drop, but inside the truth remained, I’m shy. Reserved is the better word.

Since my twenties and especially in the last decade, I’ve re-evaluated my approach to life. I’m more true to myself. I’m the “shy” person I claimed to be in my twenties. Only I now recognize it as being reserved, and I’m quite comfortable being reserved.

That’s why when Zach asked if I’d get involved with The Rocky Horror Show, my response had to be quick before my reserve kicked in and made me say no.

It took a lot of willpower for me to drive downtown to Footlite Musicals by myself, park my car, and walk into the building.

Hedback Community Arts Center

Hedback Community Arts Center is home to Footlite Musical and Epilogue.

I parked out back and stared at the place. A handful of men stood around the back door, hanging out like gang members. They slouched against the door, stood in the doorway, smoked, laughed. I had to walk between them in order to enter the building. I was not amused. I almost left.

Back of Footlite

Back Entrance for Cast, Crew, and Staff

In spite of the irrational fear that one of them would grab my arm and say, “You don’t belong here. Leave,” and shove me away, I stepped out of my car.

They watched me as I approached. I’m sure they were curious about me. They’d been working together for weeks, and I’m a new face, but in my mind, they glared at me. However, I had a strategy to get past them. It has worked in the past, and I knew it would work this time.

I smiled.

Some of them smiled back. Some looked away. One waved. I walked through the door. I made it in. Worst part over.

Crossing unknown thresholds like that unnerves me. Even back in my twenties when I was my most gregarious I had difficulty crossing unknown thresholds. That’s why I thought I was shy, but I crossed them anyway.

I found Zach. He introduced me to the stage manager, and now I’m part of the crew. I belong there.

Now, when I pass by those men hanging out by the door, I smile, say something ingenious like “hi” (I’m so creative), and sashay on inside.

The following are photos I took that first day I was there. It was tech rehearsal and ended being a long day:

Off stage work area

What you see as you enter through the back door.

Graffiti Wall

All the backstage walls are painted and numerous names have been scribbled on them. I suspect actors and crew who have worked at Footlite autograph the walls.

Stage Set for Rocky

Stage Set for Rocky

Rails

The stage manager asked if I would feel comfortable working the rails. Rails?? I said, “Sure, if you tell me what they are.” I was such a newb. The rails fly curtains, lights, and sets in and out (or up and down, but theater lingo uses in and out).

Sonic Oscillator

The “Sonic Oscillator” still in creation mode. In the play, the sonic oscillator helps bring Rocky to life.

…and that’s how I joined the tech crew for The Rocky Horror Show

Moon as Voyeur

Night peeked through the screened-in patio as I sat with my friends, Zach, Mitch, and Mary Kay, drinking wine and just chillin’ out. We told stories of our lives since we last met a year ago.

A bottle of wine spiked with St. Germaine passed through my glass by the time Zach said, “Dezra, you should get involved with Rocky. We’re always looking for tech.” Zach is, well, I’m not exactly sure of everything that he does, but I do know he is producing The Rocky Horror Show at Footlite Musicals. And he’s really good.

“Sure!” I said with conviction.

The best decisions are made instantly when you don’t give the judgment part of your brain a chance to jump you and toss you to the ground with its foot planted firmly on your chest in order to keep you from stepping out of your comfort zone. Wine helps, also.

Night smiled as it overheard me, because it was Night who whispered that suggestion into Zach’s ears. A month earlier it eavesdropped when I mentioned that I wanted to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show because I had never seen it before. And although I’m involved in The Rocky Horror Show and not The Rocky Horror Picture Show it’s still Rocky Horror and it’s still campy and fun. (Note: The stage play came first. When they took it to the movie theaters, they added the word Picture to the title to differentiate it from the stage play.)

Be expecting photos as I work my way through the show. I already have some really cool shots taken from stage right (where I’m stationed) and plan on taking more as the show progresses.

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