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February 2007 Fan

Tony Cooper

Tony Cooper The best advice that I could ever think of, would have to be "Don't Dream it, Be it", which was so wonderfully sung by Tim Curry and written by Richard O'Brien. And it's those words that have captivated my life and interest in Rocky Horror for more than 10 years. Why? First, I'll explain how it all started.

When I was around 8 years old I found a dusty old VHS tape in my grandmother's collection. This videotape was all black, and had nothing but red lips on it. To my surprise and excitement, I popped this in late at night, having no idea what I had just got myself into. Before I knew it, I was engaged in a world of transsexuals, Transylvanians, sex, and rock n' roll. Needless to say I was blown away. Even at such a young age, I was not confused, nor disgusted, in fact I was infatuated with what I just saw. When I first saw Tim Curry strut down the room, only to stop, turn, and reveal himself in fishnets and lingerie, there was something about this movie that just drew me in. Such freedom of expression, such decadence, and such amazing music.

More Tony Immediately I found myself connected with the characters. Tim Curry as Frank just made me such a fan of this movie. His ability to just take full control of his character, such command of his voice, and his ability to completely take over a scene when he entered, making it his. Some may call it overacting, I call it being professional. I had a little schoolboy crush on Little Nell's character Columbia when I first saw her. There was something about her charm, voice, and beauty that made me obsessed. I was just so attracted to her character, and I was a young boy, so that didn't help. Also, I loved the character of Eddie, his dramatic entrance, his great song, and his punk attitude. Also since he was once in love with Columbia, I could associate with him. It sounds so silly now, but then it made perfect sense to me. Each and every character would later earn appreciation from me as time grew on and I became older and developed a better understanding of the film itself.

Good times with good friends The music, probably had the biggest effect on me, and to explain it we'd have to fast forward to me at age 20. Well here I am at age 20, a little under a year ago I noticed the newspaper ad saying that The Rocky Horror Show was to be performed live professionally at the local theater in Everett, Washington. Ashamed that I've never been able to attend a live show, or any Rocky show before, I decided I had to go. Well I did, and it was here that I discovered my true calling, something I could call my own and still share with many others like me. From beginning to end, I was so engaged in the show. The music and singing of the performers was top notch, allowing me to develop a great appreciation for the song writing by Richard O'Brien. I'm hooked to this day, listening to the soundtrack at any possible moment. I'm an aspiring singer/musician, and immediately went home and looked for the music so I could learn to sing and play these songs. I practiced until I could sing every song, changing my voice with each character, imagining I was there. Always waiting for the moment I might be able to perform these songs, for anyone.

Self-portrait The Rocky Horror experience is something that isn't easily explained. I am so obsessed with it because it represents everything I believe in. For one freedom, the freedom to be anything you want, whatever you desire, and not worry about conforming to the norms that everyone wants you to be. Secondly music, music has always been a passion for me. I've performed with a band, and I've performed alone, in front of 1500 people and in front of 10. Richard O'Brien's songwriting has made me a better musician and opened me up to a whole new kind of musical taste. Lastly participation, this show encourages participation whether it is in the audience, or in the community. The freedom to sing, dance, yell, and cuss at the screen as if you are in the movie itself. You are there, you're part of it, that's what makes the experience so memorable, you get to take part in it and make it your own unique experience.

The best thing that The Rocky Horror Picture Show can do is appeal to all different kinds of people, and if you looked at me you probably wouldn't think I'm so into this kind of thing. I'm a jock, and have been an athlete all my life, imagine my friends and the "masculine" world of sports and bodybuilding, and imagine me trying to get them into Rocky Horror, but I don't care. This experience has changed my life, and I appreciate all of it. Maybe one day, I will be able to perform in The Rocky Horror Show, until then, I'll always remember to "Don't Dream it, Be it..."

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