I WOULD LIKE, IF I MAY, TO TAKE YOU ON A STRANGE JOURNEY…
(How could I NOT start this with that line!?)
We all know the story by now, Brad Majors (Asshole!) and Janet Weiss (Slut!), a couple of recently engaged white suburbanites break down on route to visit the teacher that introduced them, finding themselves at The Frankenstein Place, a mysterious castle belonging to Frank’n’Furter, a sciencetist who just so happens to also be a transsexual alien. Obviously. Meet Riff-Raff; a handyman, his sister Magenta; a domestic, Columbia; a groupie and a whole host of strange characters and you have THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW. It’s a tale of science fiction double features, sexual awakening, Rock’n’Roll and above all, letting loose and having one helluva good time!
IT WAS GREAT WHEN IT ALL BEGAN…
When I was about 13 years old, for my Birthday, on my insistence, my Mum took me to The Burswood Dome in Western Australian a on Saturday night to see Jason Donovan, Peter Rowsthorn, Alyssa-Jane Cook and Ally Fowler from The Chantoozies in THE NEW ROCKY HORROR SHOW. This thing was freakin amazing, the songs, the characters, the debauchery! After that night I was hooked. I had never seen the film, I had never heard the music before that night (other than maybe The Time Warp on Hey Hey It’s Saturday), but I knew that somehow, some day I had to be a part of this. The first DVD I ever bought (of MANY) was the 25th Anniversary edition of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (replacing my by then slightly worn VHS copy) and I have since watched it more times than I can count.
Flash forward from that first night at The Burswood Dome about 16 years on and I find myself, an actor, in Winnipeg, on tour and I hear about a production of ROCKY happening in Montreal. I’m not in town for the auditions but as luck would have it, the producer contacts me and asks me send in a video audition for Brad Majors, a hero. I get the gig and find myself a few weeks later, back in Montreal in a creepy old church (that really did look like a Hunting Lodge for rich weirdos) fumbling my way through “Dammit Janet” at the first musical rehearsal. I thought to myself “Whoa, I get to sing THAT song! My job is to sing THAT song!”
Shit just got effing real.
SOME PEOPLE WOULD GIVE THEIR RIGHT ARM…
Without getting to emotional or philosophical about it, the last two months have been a freakin’ privilege. It’s been a lot of hard work over the years and lot of strange circumstances that ended with me moving to Montreal and so, to be part of such an incredible production has already made it so worthwhile. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. To be able to work on not only, such a legendary, incredible show, but to get to work with such a ridiculously talented cast and crew has been an honour. There’s not much more you can ask for as actor, to not only step into the (high-heel) shoes of these well-known and obsessively well-loved characters, but to work with people who just as in love with the show and excited to be part of it.
Those that know me know that I’ve spent the last few years mostly doing solo work, so to work with an ensemble again after so long, and on something that I had not written/produced myself, was both exciting and super scary. But having a Production team and especially a Director with such a clear and great vision of where the show was going was very reassuring. I loved working with Philippe Gobeille (Director) whose sense of humour was very close to my own and made some great artistic choices and also allowed me to play within the role and find “MY Brad” and make him my own, I was never interesting in doing a Barry Bostwick impression. I think we found all something special in our characters and our songs and took the audience so much further beyond just “acting out the movie” on stage and you should all be really proud.
YOU’VE ARRIVED ON A RATHER SPECIAL NIGHT…
It’s pretty rarely that a production EXCOURAGES an audience to yell stuff at the cast, and I must admit, I was nervous about it at first, but it very quickly became such a great part of the show, like the audience was an extra (albeit occasionally disruptive) cast member. Of course the audience became a huge part of our show too, we all got be part of an EXPERIENCE.
LET THE SUN AND LIGHT COME STREAMING INTO MY LIFE…
To the cast and crew. Thank you. Holy kites, thank you! You all absolutely kicked this show in balls and OWNED each and every one of your roles. People are going to remember our Rocky Horror and again, I feel fucking honoured to have been part of it. Each and every one of you has touched my life (in some cases, my butt) in a way I cannot begin to explain (not my butt) and I will miss you all terribly. Please let’s do this again.
HEY JANET…I’VE GOT SOMETHING TO SAY
And to the lovely Stevie, thank you for being such a great partner in crime through all this. You never forget your first Janet, so thanks for being mine.
LOST IN TIME AND LOST IN SPACE…AND MEANING.
To conclude: I love this show, I loved being IN it, everyone involved and I especially LOVED our production of it. Over-sold houses, great reviews, standing ovations, the crowd dancing along, the memories…what more could we ask for?
See you all again soon at the late night (Rocky Horror) picture show…
DO LANG DO LAAAAAANNNNGGGGGGGG.