I first got involved in the Rocky Horror Picture Show community 20 years ago yesterday, when a group of classmates and I went to see the Midnight Showing on Halloween. We were preparing to start a production of it on our college campus and very few of us had ever seen it, let alone knew what it was. I spent much of that night trying to participate in the experience while contemplating throwing my roll of toilet paper at my friend for recommending this absolutely horrible movie. it would be after the movie was over and I had given it time to sink in that I came to enjoy the entire experience itself.
Fast forward 5 years and I’m living in the San Francisco Bay Area and joining The Bawdy Caste, one of the casts in the area that performs the show on a constant basis. I was active with them for about 3 and a half years, performing a number of roles, and eventually working my way up to being a co-director of the cast.
One night, our normal Emcee called out and we couldn’t find a replacement in time. It was decided that I would perform those duties for the night. I figured it was simple enough. I could get get the crowd fired up, introduce the cast, make the necessary announcements, and then finish getting into costume for my role. Sounds easy, right?
We didn’t have a stage in this particular theatre. We had to use the floor at the base of the projector and then would often use risers and other props to make us visible to the audience. What better place to be to fire up the audience than running around and jumping up onto the arms of the chairs, right? I KNOW!!!! I thought so too!!!
So there I am, standing on the arms of a chair in the front row, screaming into a microphone, when it came time for the announcements. And it goes a little something like this (Hit it!)
Me: And now for the announcements! (Jumping off of the arms and onto the hard, cement floor)
Audience: F*CK THE ANNOUNCEMENTS!
The Big Toe On My Right Foot: SNAPCRACKLEPOPKAHRUNCH!!!!!!
Me: Announcement #1!!! I just broke my toe. Kenny, please take over (Handing the mic over to Kenny, one of our actors.)
Kenny: Ummm… O…K…
I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but I’m guessing the toe of the sandals I was wearing went one direction and all of my weight went down on my big toe. It was curved back in a very not so pretty way.
I limped backstage and tried to assess the situation. I will say that if there’s anything I know how to do well, it’s setting a broken bone. I took a few deep breaths, grabbed a hold of my toe and pulled on it until it popped. Then I did it again and again until it stopped popping. I called out to our Head of Tech and used his Gaffer Tape with my credit card to create a makeshift splint. I then finished getting into my Criminologist Costume so that I could finish the show.
After all, “The Show Must Go On.”
The hardest part of the night was getting through the Time Warp. I was wishing I could warp back in time and NOT jump off of that chair.