As soon as I saw the guy in fishnets manning the spotlight, I knew we were in for a treat.
On Oct. 26, SLO Queerdos performed their version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at SLO Brew's The Rock, and I was privileged to be in attendance. We were all crammed into The Rock's outdoor area, with the movie projected onto a screen while actors and drag queens performed along with the songs.
Prior to this event, I had never been to a live Rocky Horror show, so I was beyond excited to finally remedy such a travesty. I wanted to dress up for the occasion, as is part of the experience, but since I don't own any lingerie-esque clothing, I settled for a leather jacket, my favorite and most obnoxious hat, and a T-shirt tie-dyed with the colors of the genderqueer flag. (Side note: This is as good of a way as any to come out to my editor, eh?)
I did not embark on this journey alone. My friend, Justin, and his girlfriend, Grace, picked me up beforehand and we went to Jaffa, where we met up with another one of their friends and had dinner. After that, we drove to the venue, where we met up with a couple more people.
Due to the massive amount of people waiting in line, the show did not start right away. While we waited, a few of the cast members wandered around, socializing with the audience or making last-minute preparations. I was immediately smitten by the guy playing Riff Raff, and pretty much swooned myself into cardiac arrest when he sauntered over to chat with me for a minute, gently caressing my face mid-conversation.
Right before the show began, the audience recited a pledge that ended with "Amen, a-women, a-nonbinaries, a-whatever you identify as!" Us nonbinaries aren't used to being acknowledged that often, so this gave me a thrill and a rush of gratitude.
The show itself was just as fantastic as everything leading up to it. All of the performers had been in Rocky Horror shows before, and their passion and dedication was clear. Ironically, what made them shine the most was accidental—toward the end of the movie, there were some technical difficulties, causing the sound to cut out a few times. I'm pretty sure the performers were only supposed to be lip synching, but whenever the sound cut out they would start singing to fill in the gaps. The day was saved in particular by Dr. Scott, who seemed to have every lyric memorized, and Frank-N-Furter, whose singing voice was absolutely phenomenal.
After the show, the cast walked around with baskets or gift bags in case anyone wanted to tip. After the incredible fun I'd just had, I felt like I couldn't not tip them, especially when I saw Riff Raff making his way toward our section. I didn't have any one-dollar bills on me, so I thought screw it and dropped a five into Riff Raff's bag as he passed by.
"That was, like, a religious experience," Justin said as we were walking back to the car afterward. "That was like church."
I understood exactly what he meant. Even though I knew very few of the cues for the audience participation parts, there was still that beautiful feeling of being a part of something wonderful and important. No words can describe the powerful, positive energy that was flowing that night, and I already can't wait until I can attend something like this again. Δ
Contributer Katrina Borges is filled with positive energy. Send comments to Arts Editor Ryah Cooley at firstname.lastname@example.org.