A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of attending the beloved 1975 cult classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show at my local theater for the first time and I was dreadfully unprepared for what I was to experience. Although I enjoyed myself immensely, there were things that I wasn’t ready for. So, if you find yourself in the similar predicament, read on to help you on your way to your virginal time showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
The first word of caution is the time: they only show at midnight, or, I’m sorry, more specifically 11:59, so prepare for that however you will. Take a nap in the afternoon. Have an energy drink just prior to the showing. Don’t forget to bring a snack because no one wants to wait in line nor pay the overpriced popcorn they sell at the theaters when you get peckish. Better yet, if you go with friends (which will be my second point), make plans to have food afterward. Pop into an IHOP at three in the morning and bond over pancakes in your delirious states from exhaustion and even more so from having just gone through the unworldly experience that is called The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
My second tip, as mentioned prior, is to go with friends. If you want to just see the movie then, fine, cuddle up on your couch one afternoon in your pajamas and watch the movie. You could even sip a glass of wine if you’re feeling classy, but that’s not the point. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is about the experience, much less the content of the movie. You’ll enjoy yourself much more when surrounded by friends. It’s the company, if anything, that makes it fun.
Don’t have friends? Or at least not any friends to go with? You’ll make friends when you get there! The lines are detestably long, so take advantage of it. You will have to show up early, and even then, you’ll be waiting in line for a while. So whether you’re with a group of friends or you’re going solo, introduce yourself to people. This isn’t the time to revert to your shy middle school self but instead, you need to take inspiration from your unabashed kindergarten self when they asked questions and constantly looked for someone to play with on the monkey bars. Offer to take photos, ask how long they’ve seen the show. “Do you know all the words?” Even if you’re to shy to talk to those in line in a seemingly too public area, strike up a conversation in the theater under the protection of the dark. When the lights are dim, see if they’ll help you out with the words to sing along. Maybe they sneaked in some candy in a large top hat and would be more than willing to offer you some. You don’t know unless you talk to them.
I mentioned singing along. Did you catch that? Yes, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a musical, but hopefully, you already knew that before purchasing your tickets. The issue I noticed was not singing but that I couldn’t hear what they had to say. There were so many cues that the audience knew about and don’t even get me started on the dance moves. If you are genuinely curious about the songs or really the whole script of what the actors are saying, I’d say watch the movie first in the comfort of your own home, then go out to the grand showing at your local theater. It’s a different experience than you might believe when you go to the Marque and you sit in your little seats and when the movie is over you clap politely. No. Unlike the regular matinee showings, there’s audience participation involved. In fact, it is mandatory and if you don’t know what to say, guess what? It doesn’t matter! You’ll either pick it up and scream along with them or just enjoy the experience of being apart of a community that is welcoming you with open arms; granted they’ll be arms covered in glitter and black fishnet arm sleeves.
That reminds me. What are you going to wear? The biggest issue the girls will be worrying about, right? Wrong. If anything, the guys might be out-dressing the girls. The general agreed upon consensus is the sluttier, the better, and this is in the best possible way. Because “slut” is used in the most endearing way* and not at all in the traditional derogatory tone. Guys with open shirts unbuttoned too far to be decent in church girls in juxtaposed lacy bralettes and leather jackets. Whatever you wear, is what can make you comfortable and more importantly confident. “Slut” for so long has been used with a negative connotation, with slut you should feel shame, but in this context, attending The Rocky Horror Picture Picture Show allows all attendees to be proud of who they are. They don’t have to be promiscuous nor do they have to be hiding of their sexual desires. You could be at one end or the other, or in-between if it depends on the day. For attending the show is not just a place to enjoy yourself and have a good time, but to experience an awakening. Realize that you can be who you want to be, regardless of who that is, or if that is even attached to sex at all for one could be asexual and attend every show.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a chance to get out for a night. Enjoy the time with friends, have a late night or an early morning depending on how you look at it, dress in a way that you might’ve been too afraid to dress before and just have fun. For there is no amount of tips or cautions of warning to prepare you for the immense and transcendent experience that is The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
*except Janet, she really is a slut