Tom Schaefer, 31, first saw Rocky Horror in 1979. A few friends and himself were out on the town one Saturday night and got bored. There were 2 midnight films showing. They tossed a coin, and it was Rocky that won. From that day Tom loved RHPS.
But it wasn't until 1985 when Tom started seeing RHPS on a regular basis, at the Oriental Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that the HARD CORE RHPS fan in him came out. Tom started going every weekend. The performing cast was "The Celluloid Jam" and soon he was part of the cast as a lighting and props trannie (yes, back then the rule was that all lighting and props people MUST be dressed as Trannies). In less than a year he was performing. Tom did Rocky for a short time, Brad fill-in when needed and did Frank for 1/2 year when they had no other Frank. But he did get his dream role as Riff. Tom also has a laser gun he made out of steel!
Tom was in the cast for 6 years, until the demise of "The Celluloid Jam", and he is also an honorary member of the Madison, WI cast at the Majestic Theater.
Highlights of his performing days include... Having Sal Piro attend a show in Milwaukee and Guest MC in 1989, on Halloween night 1988 he guest performed at Chicago's hottest nightclub "The Excalibur". If you know of this club, you know why they loved it soooooo much! In 1990 Tom attended the 15th Anniversary Party for RHPS at the 20th Century Fox Studios in LA. There was a costume contest judged by Tim Curry, Little Nell, Barry Bostwick, Pat Quinn and RICHARD O'BRIEN. Tom entered the contest as Space Riff - AND WON! But unfortunately, his picture with his Royal Highness Mr. O'Brien did not come out. (So if anyone has a picture of Tom with ROB please e-mail him!)
Tom has also published his own RHPS fanzine, "The Master's Affair", from 1987 to 1990. He even got a postcard from Richard himself giving Tom his seal of approval! "The Master's Affair" was semi-popular, and at its peak had a subscription of over 500 in 6 countries. Unfortunately, with 2 jobs and other obligations, he had no time to continue it. But it lives on in the RHPS world, being mentioned and shown in the "Creatures of the Night" book by Sal Piro.
Being a RHPS fan, collecting RHPS memorabilia is a HUGE part of Tom's obsession with this film. He has been a hard core collector for more than 10 years now and has an extensive collection of over 2,000 items from around the world. Some of his prized pieces are...
4 handwritten postcards from Richard O'Brien, The Rocky Horror Show LP from NEW ZEALAND starring Gary Glitter, The RHPS Cardboard Theater Standee (I only know of 3 of these that still exist), A RHPS show T-shirt from ISRAEL (yes, it is in Israeli!), a test pressing of the RHPS soundtrack autographed by Lou Adler, AND TONS OF OTHER STUFF!
Tom presently works for a national electrical supply company and does Web development on the side. He enjoys comedy and science fiction films, stage productions, Fairuza Balk, Molly Ringwald or any redhead in a black teddy!! He also likes meeting celebs collecting their autographs. Some of the stars he has met... Richard O'Brien, Tim Curry, Barry Bostwick, Little Nell, Pat Quinn, Meat Loaf, Jeff Foxworthy, Weird Al, John Astin, Adam West, Julie Newmar, Jonathan Harris, Todd Bridges, John Delance, Louie Anderson, Claudia Christensen, Corey Feldman... And lots more.
On a major station here in Chicago (AM 100), Tom was a regular daily guest on "The Steve Cochran Show". He did a segment called "Riff's Web Site of the Day" where he would talk about weird, unusual or interesting sites on the Web. Sadly, when the station was sold recently, that ended. But when Steve is back on the air, Tom will be as well.
Check out his collection on his webpage at listen.to/riff, especially if you are interested in trading. Or E-mail to Riffffffff@aol.com.