Shockingly enough, prior to this live experience, I have never even seen the original 1975 Rocky Picture Horror Show movie. The only glimpses I received into the dark sexual tale were through references in other movies. Understanding the workings of Hollywood, I always figured that those scenes were extreme exaggerations. Let me tell you, I was wrong.
While in line prior to entering, anyone who has never been to a Rocky show is marked with "V" for virgin on their forehead. I gave in and laughed at the gimmick. Marked for sacrifice with dark red lipstick, I ascend up the dark stairs leading up to the red-lit stage. She's, he's, and they's, stand before me in heels, fishnets, corsets, and frills. I gasped.
Despite not being one to shy away from the topic of sex, I felt slight discomfort. With all of the performers rocking lace teddys and revealing lingerie, I thought I was intruding. Like I was peeking behind a curtain I shouldn't have looked behind and was about to get in trouble at any minute. We all know what a butt looks like, but when a stranger is shaking theirs in your face, despite the enjoyment, it feels lowkey wrong.
Before the show can even begin, the sacrifice of virgins has to take place. With nowhere to hide, I find myself on stage surrounded by other wide-eyed spectators, anxious about the events to follow. For my sacrifice, the actors had an oatmeal pie eaten from my crotch area. Embracing the awkwardness, I can testify that the encounter was not unpleasurable.
It is important to note that audience participation significantly adds to the overall vibe of the show. Those who love Rocky make it known by attending the show in similar garb to the actors. Additionally, the audience is not expected to remain quiet throughout the running of the show. Like being a part of an inside joke, when certain lines are spoken, the audience responds to them.
Similar to Janet, "SLUT," and Brad, "ASSHOLE," once I gave in to the discomfort, I began to feel invigorated. The actors on the stage did a phenomenal job during their opening night on Thursday, October 23 at The Union in Athens, Ohio. There is an aura of confidence and power that sweats off of the actors as they lip-synch to the classic, chilling tale. Turning the potential vulnerability that comes with showcasing your form and sexual prowess into a magnetic expression of fucking the government binary, all performers deserve a standing ovation. If you have never had the opportunity to attend a live performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, this is your sign to finally give in to the lips and purchase tickets.