When I was asked to write this, my first thoughts were that it was going to be a daunting task. After all, I have never really considered all the little steps in my life as a Rocky Horror Fan, and when I started to put them all down it seemed a never ending road. My name is Stephanie Freeman, and I also run the U.K. Fan Club 'TimeWarp'.
I had seen 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' on U.K. Television in the early eighties and after a relatively unsteady relationship ended, I got to see the Stage Show with a friend from work. It was like nothing I have ever seen before, sexy, vibrant, great fun! In the U.K. we are fortunate to have both a live and film version of 'Rocky' on a regular basis, and from our initial visit we were hooked. We had the standard basque and fishnets combination, but decided very quickly we wanted more definite costumes, and so began a long and interesting appreciation of 'different theatre'. In some respect we were late starters, as that tour was about to finish pending a return to the West End, but I found I could get no other information about the Show, actors or future plans. After some investigation, we discovered there was actually nothing in England to help Fans in a similar situation, and we sat down and seriously considered the option of starting in Information Service. I wrote to everyone who would be a helpful source, and asked about the possibility. We certainly had the commitment, and I wanted to ensure we would be recognized as an official source, and the way to do that was get permission. It was granted, 'TimeWarp' was born and we started to pass out fliers at the last Show. Amanda and I felt very despondent when it came to a close, no one at work could appreciate just how magical we found our shows, or how much we missed the comraderi, but we discovered another 'closet' fan at work who gave us a brief look at his book 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show Movie Book' - and it was he who pointed out the Film was screened every week in London. Amanda couldn't come with me to see the Film, but another friend could, so one Saturday night we ventured up to Baker Street.
It was here that I re-met a Stage Show Fan - David - who would later become my husband. We had never actually spoken before Baker Street, as our only recognition of each other was for the costume, and this confused me here because I was used to seeing him in Butler gear and he was suddenly in space suit and fishnets. However, after establishing he was the same guy I'd followed loosely round the Country with the Stage Show, I tracked down his phone number and gave him a call. I had been contacted by a Cinema near my home town, with a view to introducing the Film; very definitely a new angle for Kent film screenings. I wanted David to be with me, a familiar face in a crowd of unknown Fans, and it would be fun to do it with someone I knew. That was taken as our first date, and I started to go to Baker Street at the weekends regularly. Six weeks later we were engaged. We were part of the initial set up of 'Charming Underclothes' and David and I played Space Riff and Space Magenta. Paul was there, but Gia was out of the Country and for a few months I played Frank, but once she was back I was happy enough to move back to my Space Suit. 'TimeWarp' was also growing and we were anxious to have a major 'do' to unite all Rocky Fans in the U.K. Paul had been to a 'Denton Affair' Convention a few years before, but we wanted our idea to be bigger, with some unique prizes and events for the day. I looked into the idea of hosting a Convention at Oakley Court, (the Castle) but it is quite small and would have to continue as a regular hotel at the same time our Fans would be there, so numbers would be severely restricted. We wanted to have at least 500 attendees, so that was impossible for Oakley Court to host the whole event. In mid planning, the Film and 'Charming Underclothes' moved to the Prince Charles Cinema and David and I started to plan a Convention for both Stage and Film fans. We wanted to tie in a midnight screening, and the Charles would have been ideal, had they been able to seat 500 people, but when we counted the seats and allowed for the empty seats we would have to leave for the Spotlight and safety aspect, it couldn't be done. So, our Midnight Screening for our Conventions would have to be at a separate venue and in 1992, we went for the Odeon at Marble Arch.
'Transylvania '92' came and went, and 'Charming Underclothes' changed line up when Paul and Gia decided to move on. After some further change around, I was performing as Usherette and all of Magenta. David was doing the Virgins, Ralph, Eddie and Space Riff. We were having a ball. We also had more Stage Shows on hand, and were regularly up and down the Country for those and other Film Screenings. Our stage show costume is different to our Film costumes, so keep a look out for the purple-haired Silver-chested Magenta and the blond Nurse; please come and say 'hello' - we are very approachable and welcome new friends.
I wanted to host another Convention, and so we had 'Transylvania '94' with a bigger committee and more delegation of responsibilities, so hopefully we could enjoy it more ourselves. We changed venue for both the event and Screening, so everything was under one roof this time round. One major problem, David had a stage block fall on his foot during the Friday preparations and spent hours in casualty, and once the Day itself began things just got to be uncomfortable. We seem to be OK on the planning, but don't get to do much of the enjoying ourselves! However, the one venue for all worked well so it is a formula we will stick with, and one day we will get the balance right, but not for a while. In 1996 both myself and two more of our Committee, had babies and our plans are to put the next Convention on hold a little while whilst the boys grow up and can either appreciate 'Rocky Horror' themselves, or will be able to sleep through the event!
In 1995 I have finally realized a dream, and David and I visited Los Angeles for the 20th Anniversary Convention. I was unable to dress for the part, but I did get to meet Barry Bostwick, and that was all that I had gone to do. In the last six months, the Shows have been rested in the U.K., and we have also stopped performing as part of 'Charming Underclothes'. In fact, there are none of the original Cast left, so if you do go to the Prince Charles, there are all new faces. We are no longer in touch with any of the current 'Charming Underclothes' and will not be performing with them in the future. Of course, 'TimeWarp' continues, and when the Shows start again, I shall be able to get back into costume this time round. When we have plans for the next 'Transylvania' we shall let Sal and the Web page know details, but until then we are going to concentrate on the Fan Club and catch up on some of our other 'Rocky' friends.
Thank you for taking time out to read this, and I look forward to meeting more of you in the future.
If you would like information on the Club, the address is:
PO Box 4711
Please enclose an IRC. This is a postal address only so please do not visit, we are not there!