For several years, I've wanted to attend the famed late-night showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I can't tell you why exactly, but there was always something appealing about dressing up like a nutcase and throwing toast at a movie screen, with die-hard fans shouting and singing along to every campy line.
Well, I finally popped my "Rocky" cherry. Granted, it wasn't a midnight showing, but I dressed up, I threw things, I yelled the appropriate lines during the movie -- and I had one hell of a time. Decadent doesn't even begin to describe it.
In case you don't know the story, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a two-hour long, 1975 camp-fest starring Tim Curry as the transvestite scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter who hosts a stranded couple in his mansion one rainy night.
The events that happen, like creating a human being, killing Meat Loaf and putting on a short cabaret performance in drag, can only be seen to be believed.
The plot leaves something to be desired, but it's visually stimulating and has a lot of punchy one-liners and some pretty awesome songs (my favorite is "Hot Patootie").
But that's not why it has gained an overwhelming cult following for over 25 years. It's the overt sexuality, the decadence and the opportunity for viewers to surrender all inhibitions and let loose for a couple hours.
Which is exactly why I went.
Dressed as a mash-up of Amy Winehouse and Dr. Frank-n-Furter - basically in a beehive hairdo, black tank top, temporary tattoos, hot shorts and fishnets - and accompanied by a friend dressed as Batgirl, we trekked up Kirkwood in all our high-heeled glory about 20 minutes before the show was scheduled to start.
A $9 admission charge and a few goodie bags later, we found our seats quickly before taking part in the famed "devirginization" ceremony, where first-time viewers (like me) take part in suggestive activities to loosen up.
I wasn't one of the chosen few who had to fake an orgasm onstage, so my participation was tame in comparison.
There was a massive amount of energy from the minute my friend and I walked into the room. People were talking, laughing, cheering and just really getting into the mood.
The evening's emcees, of course, encouraged all interactions, and there was an overlying theme of decadence and sensuality, which comes all too cheaply these days. Hello, Britney's pantyless escapade? Exactly.
About 10 minutes before the show started, we were invited to stand up and say the Rocky Horror Pledge, with one hand on our hearts and the other on the crotch of the person next to us.
Good thing I went with someone I was comfortable with.
"I pledge allegiance to the lips," I said loudly and proudly, and five minutes later, the show started. That was when the goodie bags came in handy.
The bags were stuffed with squirt guns, toast, rice, toilet paper, a rubber glove and a sheet of newspaper, and each item coincided with a scene in the movie that we were to interact with.
The wedding scene? Throw the rice. The rain scene? Either squirt the water gun or cover your head with the newspaper. My friend and I got a little too wet during this part, thanks to some trigger-happy patrons behind us, but it's the nature of the beast.
And so went the showing of Rocky Horror. There was singing, plenty of Time Warping, and a few people who spouted comebacks to the dialogue like it was their destiny. The only one I knew was to yell "Slut!" whenever the character Janet Weiss was introduced.
Despite how little I knew of what to do or say during the show, I had a great time, and we left feeling energized and just plain happy to have been a part of it all.
The overall mood of the evening was very uniting, like we were all in it together, and we were all part of some big inside joke that you just had to be there to understand.
In the sea of fishnet stockings, high heels and sequins, it's easy to feel intimidated - especially when they're worn by members of both sexes. But in the words of the Doctor himself, "give yourself over to absolute pleasure."
Now let's do the Time Warp again!
Caitlin Brase can be reached at .