Claire Man Mike
Rocky Horror Meets Belfast Pride
I have my mother to blame for getting me involved with Rocky Horror. She introduced me to the music at an early age, which led to me getting hold of a video copy of it and was hooked with the music, the characters, the amazing storyline and just had to see more about it. When it came to Belfast, we went for the first time to see if I would like the stage show as much as the video and was totally enthralled with it, still makes me smile today, the usher telling my mum on the way in, "you know this is kind of risqué for someone her age", which led my mum having to admit I'd already seen the video several times over!
I loved going to the live shows, hearing the call backs, seeing the fabulous costumes and meeting all the interesting people that you do meet at any Rocky event, I then heard about Lips Inc, the Belfast shadow-cast. I went to see the cast several times. I met some very good friends along the way and had a LOT of fun
I then joined the Time Warp Fan Club, where I learned about the picnic that happens every year at Oakley Court. (The castle where Rocky was filmed.) After seeing the castle and the famous staircase in person, Rocky had me hooked for life. Once you have been introduced to Rocky, you never want to lose those roots, they are too important, for all the memories that comes with them.
Claire in Floorshow Gear
The first Rocky Horror convention I went to was The Denton Affair in Manchester 2006. I got my first taste of what the Rocky cons are like. Seeing all the costume making classes with the greats, all the fab collectibles and meeting all the wonderful people along the way, that just whet my appetite for more Rocky cons. I managed to persuade a friend to go with me to our first international con, Sins Con in 2010 which was out of this world in Rockyness! I had so much fun and met so many great people who have become great friends to me since then. Friends who encouraged me to go the next con in Atlantic City the following year which had so many untitled pictures and a kit of stories to write home about!
Norma, Madman Mike and Claire
I had heard from mutual friends that there was going to be another Denton Affair con in London this time round, in Jul 2011. After a lot of mad thinking, as I had just come back from another US convention, decided to go to the next Denton Affair. I plucked up the courage to shadowcast as Space Magenta and was delighted to discover that I would be paired up with Mad Man Mike again. He very kindly talked me through any worries I had about doing the part, as he had done this for many years with the New York cast and believe it or not I didn't kill anyone in the process of performing which I was stunned at!
Magenta and the Ghostbusters
Mike and I got to know each other better over the weekend and we were taken on a surprise trip to Oakley Court. I hijacked his camera so he would have to follow me and we could talk more and get to know each other better. As we talked, we seemed to have a spark for each other. That was in July 2011. After a whirlwind, international romance, we were married in Feb 2012 in Belfast. We didn't do a Rocky wedding, I think that may have scarred some off the guests a little too much!
What made me go to Rocky is the understanding that everyone is different and no one has to conform to a certain stereotype. In the Rocky community people can be themselves and not worry what anyone else thinks of them or their interests. They can have fun and enjoy themselves.
I come back to Rocky because Rocky is like a family to me. People I have seen perform, met at cons, picnics and along the way have become so close as friends and family. The Rocky glue is so important to me now and more people need introduced to this as it is such a good feeling to get the younger generation involved.
My next con is the RKO Con this August. I cannot wait to see more of my friends, from across the country and to meet new people along the way which is what Rocky is all about!