Bev & Kasey Gerrish
Bev & Kasey Gerrish are the original "mom and daughter Rocky Horror team". Bev started interest in the RH scene back when the stage play was around, and Kasey was indoctrinated into the "Rocky Horror Family" almost from birth. They've both performed in casts, attended conventions, and have been quite vocal in the Rocky Horror scene... whoo whee, has Bev been vocal, but that's one of her charms and why we love her. :)
Bev & Kasey have contributed a lot to the Colorado RH scene, and are hard-core fans for life, so it's my pleasure to add them to the ever-growing list of fan profiles.
And now ladies and gentlemen, madam and monsoiurs, mien herein and daman, let's hear form Bev herself...
"I first experienced the stage play in London in whatever year it was. 1973? I know it was about two weeks into the initial run at the Sloane Square Theater. I was there with two friends, Dave and Maureen, who got tickets while I was in England visiting my dear old mum. That bitch. I remember going in and climbing the stairs and being seated, but it's a blur after that since we had dropped acid! Dave always maintained we were invited backstage and met the cast, but I have no recollection of that. After that, I went to the Waverly in the summer of (whatever year that was, no idea), with my friends Matt and Tim. Tim looked a very great deal like Tim Curry, and I remember him being asked if he was TC, which we thought was hilarious, since we had also been to the Andy Warhol Factory not long before and Andy made a big deal of of Tim's resemblance to 'that English boy who stars in that midnight movie.'
After that summer, when we attended the Waverly show twice, I didn't go again till I was living in New Paltz, NY, which would be the winter of 1978, when I was pregnant with Kasey. I used to show up almost every Saturday night getting progressively bigger and bigger and hang out. No one dressed in RHPS costumes there, rather they came in all manner of assorted vampire outfits. I just came in ever larger versions of a tent! So Kasey was actually exposed to RHPS before birth!
There ensued a very lengthy hiatus from 1979 to 1990, during which time I was living in the mountains of Colorado trying to be a normal human, married, raising kids and living in a boring hell of incestuous small townishness... until one momentous night when there appeared on TV a commercial for the soon-to-be-released VHS of RHPS. I was stunned! That thing was STILL around? Where had I been? Oh yeah, stuck in monotony. Forgot about that small detail. Immediately, I raced to my local video rental store. 'Do you have a copy I can buy? It's HOW MUCH? Whatever, get me a copy, I have to have it!'
So I got my copy and went home clutching my prize. My family had no idea what this was that I made them sit down and watch that night. I think that was the night my kids realised their mother truely was insane. Brion and Deon walked out after realising it was a musical. Bloody crap was close to what they muttered. Kasey, being younger, was a bit more intrigued, by the costumes mostly. She thought Columbia was cool. But it was Eddie that really caught her. She developed an obsession with Meatloaf. And I made her a very bad, rudimentary Columbia costume that she wore around the house when we watched the movie, which turned into a daily thing. I made a Magenta costume for myself, and a Riff for Deon who thought I was nuts if I actually thought he would ever put it on. He did the very next Halloween, when I staged my first Halloween open house, which later became famous for being an Addams Family fund raiser for the town's local charity. But that first Halloween was a RHPS open house, and we had as much as we could put together. A cardboard coffin was front and center. The picture from that first Halloween is in the book 'Creatures of the Night 2', with Deon and Kasey in costume standing by the coffin.
I discovered that there was to be an actual convention, so I trotted off to Las Vegas to attend, where I first met Gene and Fred and Sal and had a blast. That was when Absolute Pleasure T-Shirts was born. I hatched the business in the car driving home from Vegas. Kasey's first con was the second Vegas con in 93, when she was 15. She had the time of her life and was hooked! I had to get her a better costume, so I had the coat professionally made and began work on many many variations of the other bits till, years later, I finally got it all right.
We attended the cons in Boston; Madison, WI; Las Vegas; Long Beach; the 20th Anniversary; Milwaukee; Tucson; New York; Albany; Allentown; Orlando, and threw one of our own in Denver in 1999.
Kasey won best Columbia in Tucson, was interviewed on VH1 at the 25th, made the Columbia costume contest finals at the 25th, and was singled out by Nell for having an awesome costume while walking round the Hard Rock Cafe in Vegas at the 25th. Nell had a photograph taken by her personal photographer of her and Kasey together for her own collection. I met Nell at the Allentown con and thanks to Bill Brennan, was able to spend a bit of time chatting with her in a hotel room. We also have met Richard on a couple of occasions, notably the Disgracefully Yours show in NYC, where he spent time talking to us. I also got drunk with Bill Brennan and Christopher Malcolm at the same show.
Years ago, back in the '60s, I was at art college with Peter Hinwood, and had one less than stellar conversation with him when I was trying to find somewhere to sit in the school cafeteria, and he rudely told me to piss off. I sat anyway and was rewarded with being glared at for the duration of my lunch.
In 1995, we joined the Denver cast, a cast that was being given 6 months to improve or get out. This was at the Esquire Theater, a Landmark theater, a lovely little place with a large staging area. I saw the need to make something out of this show, and began to make changes, even though I was not in charge of the cast. I spent the first week after joining making the Frank costumes, and the audience noticed an improvement right away. Things started getting better, and with Gene's advice and help, eventually I was put in charge of the show. We started getting better performers and with the addition of the wonderful Jeff Cook as Frank, the show came together. The audience size almost filled the 375-seat house, and it was fun. Really fun.
Sadly in 2000, our cast, Denver's Dynamic Tension, or DDT as it was fondly called, was overthrown in a coup that remains a low point for mudslinging nastiness, and our cast disbanded acrimoniously. Since then, Kasey and I staged a very successful charity show in our old town in the Colorado mountains, Salida, in a wonderful turn-of-the-century theater called the Unique, complete with a huge stage, and local live radio feeds. Gene Chiovari and Fred Olderr travelled from Chicago to help and it remains one of my best memories ever of RHPS. It sort of completed the circle, since it was there that I first bought the video and Kasey got hooked. It also provided a wonderful opportunity to totally scandalise that staid Christian bastion of redneckness, and for Gene and Fred, provided a release of sorts, since they had visited us there in '93, and helped us create the First Annual Transylvanian Convention, held at my Victorian mansion. It was also the only annual Transylvanian Convention, but never mind, it was definitely an experience! I have the whole thing on videotape.
Currently, I am hoping to continue to stage the occasional charity show in Denver, since there is no longer a regular show of RHPS in this city."