My name is Sara Whitney, and I'm the cast manager for Colorado's Elusive Ingredient (CEI). I've been a cast manager off and on almost my entire Rocky career, and I'm the only founding member of cast left who's been on cast since its creation.
I first saw Rocky Horror on tape at a friend's house and fell asleep halfway through because I didn't understand what the hell was supposed to be going on. My first live showing of Rocky Horror was just a few months later on Saturday Jan. 15, 2000, at the Esquire Theater with Denver's Dynamic Tension. I promise you I was wide awake for that one - and I've been hooked ever since! I was on DDT two weeks later, and my first role was Trixie the week after.
I've played every character at least ten times, but my usual roles (and my favorites) are Trixie, Columbia and Frank. I've been a cast manager for CEI several times, but this last time seems to have stuck. If you would have asked me when I first saw Rocky Horror what I thought about bossing people around in my underwear in front of a theater full of total strangers, I'd have laughed in your face and run away screaming. Rocky just brings out the best in some people, I suppose.
Sara in Clue
One of my favorite Rocky memories was the show we put on at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO on July 10, 2001. Red Rocks is a spectacular concert venue and we filled with toilet paper and profanities, and nearly broke the Guinness record for largest RHPS audience. We had Steve and Bill Ung from Midnight Insanity join us as Frank and Brad, respectively, and I got my very first tattoo that day of Trixie on my left hip, hence my nickname Trip-Lip ("the chick with three sets of lips"). Other standout memories include our brief run of shadow-casting "Clue" in 2003 where I played Miss Scarlet, our indoor and outdoor performances in Boulder, CO, our road trips to perform in Fort Collins and Gunnison, CO, and more recently my first Rocky conventions, in 2007 and 2010.
I very nearly left Rocky entirely in 2009 - almost 10 years of doing the same thing can do that to you, especially when you have to lead the hunt for a new theater almost every year and herd an ever feral-growing bunch of cats. But I stuck with it, and at a point where CEI was really at its lowest, we had an influx of really wonderful people, two from different casts, and having their energy and fresh outlooks has really made a difference. Rocky's always better if the people are really into it - especially the cast. (It didn't hurt, either, that one of them talked to the theater we're with today, especially when we'd been looking for a new home for awhile; for that, Mitten has my eternal thanks.)
Sara as Columbia
My interest in Rocky Horror has been completely revitalized since I've come back from the 35th anniversary convention, hosted by Sins O' The Flesh in L.A. Being surrounded by the Rocky family and community like that, in its purest form, reinvigorated and inspired me in a way I can hardly contain. I want to spread that joy and passion and family love to the central and midwestern US, those who don't think they can hit coastal cons - those folks deserve Rocky love, too - so I'm heading up the committee for a Denver Rocky con in 2013, the first convention in Denver since 1999, hosted by Denver's Dynamic Tension, the Denver cast at the time. We are working with the former cast leader for DDT, Bev Gerrish, to bring it together, hopefully healing the rift in Denver Rocky Horror that spawned CEI.
Rocky Horror has given me a sprained wrist, sprained ankle, concussion and stitches, as well as battered pride, bruised ego and heartache. But it's also given me euphoric energy highs, a strengthening of my own character, a somewhat twisted sense of humor, several lasting friendships and now a wonderful husband. Rocky is a core part of who I am, and I won't have it any other way.