Saying Goodbye to Rocky Horror

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During my last ten days as a cast member of DownHome Decadence and The Tri-State Transylvanians, I decided to share memories of my nine years with the casts.

Submitted: August 07, 2016

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Submitted: August 07, 2016

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Okay, so I have 10 days until I take the stage for the final time with DownHome Decadence and The Tri-State Transylvanians. Naturally this has been weighing on my mind, but rather than let it bring me down, I've decided that I'd rather spend this time celebrating the memories that I've built over the past 9 years. So I'm going to do a bit of a countdown. On each of the 10 days until the show, I'm going to post a story from my time with the cast. Naturally, there are some stories that I cannot openly post for a variety of reasons, but trust me when I say that it was still tough choosing which ones to include, and which ones to exclude. Anyway, here we go.

Let's start at the beginning.

I've been a fan of The Rocky Horror Picture Show since I saw it back in high school. Not everyone gets the appeal, and that's fine. It's not for everyone. Anyway, I knew there was a local cast that performed with the movie on Friday nights in Huntington, and being from the Ashland area, I had considered going. But for some reason, I didn't get around to it. That is, until a woman I went to college with asked if I wanted to tag along with her and a few friends. I didn't have anything else going on, so I said yes. I am so glad I did. I bought my ticket ($3 at the time), received the customary "V" on my forehead to mark my first time, and settled into my seat. I actually still have that ticket.

I honestly didn't know what to expect, but nothing could have prepared me for the cast coming out into the audience rounding up people marked with the "V". Crap, I had that mark. Although reluctant at first, I went up and stood with the other show virgins who looked just as nervous as I felt. Luckily, all we had to do was play a quick game of telephone. I believe the line that was whispered in my ear was, "I like my frankenfurter with mustard and sauce" or something equally silly and apt. At the time, I had no clue how lucky I had been to get off that easily. Some of the virgin sacrifices I would later witness, and have a hand in administering, would not be so pleasant by comparison (Bobbing for Tampons comes to mind).

Anyway, I went back to my seat, and waited for the lips. What I did not expect was a woman to come out dancing along with the opening song, interacting with the crowd to get them pumped for what was coming. It was the night the movie 300 came out, so there were people that came in dressed as Spartans. Little did I know that that type of thing would become somewhat normal in my life. But I'm getting off topic. The movie gets going, and the audience is really getting into it. For that matter, the cast is really getting into it, as well. For the next 100 minutes, I didn't know if I should watch the screen, watch the cast, or lose myself in the things the audience was saying in response to the movie. It became a blur of movement, laughter, and flying toilet paper.

When I left the theater, I had a smile on my face, and I knew I had to come back to this wonderful event. At that time, I had no designs on ever joining the cast. It didn't even cross my mind to try. I knew myself well enough to know that I seriously lacked the self-confidence that it surely required to get up in front of a theater full of people in various stages of undress to perform. It's not that I couldn't get up in front of crowds, but that I didn't think I would fit in on stage due to lack of talent, costuming, and/or personality. But I did go back the next week, and I let myself get pulled into the atmosphere of the show, even going so far as to yell a few of the callbacks that I remembered from the previous week.

It's crazy what we can remember from a single night from nine years ago. Eventually, I would gain the confidence to offer to act as a fill-in for one of the characters, but that's a different story.

At times I think about where I would be if I had declined that offer to go to the show, but even with some of the heartbreak that I've experienced with this cast, I would not change my decision for the world. For every moment of bad, there has easily been a dozen moments of good. And it all started with me standing with my friends in a hallway outside of a movie theater waiting to be let in for the show.

9 days until I take the stage for the last time with DownHome Decadence and The Tri-State Transylvanians.

Today I'll talk about the night I played Frank.

You read that right. I played Frank one night. No, there are no pictures. There's a reason for both of those things.

It was the dead of winter and show night saw a blizzard. No joke. Highways were shut down and people not out for emergency business were warned to stay off the roads. It just so happened that I was in Huntington that night, so no highway travel was required. The vast majority of cast was not so lucky. So showtime rolls around and there are roughly 16 people in the theater. There was no emcee, no props, no spotlights, and no cast. Those of us that had been on stage and were comfortable doing so decided to break out and try different roles. We had some audience members (non-cast) jump up to help fill in, and it was an absolute blast. When it came time for Frank to come strutting down the aisle, I was nudged by a fellow cast member, and told to go for it.

I did. I unbuttoned my shirt and let it be my cape. When the time was right, I threw it off in true Frank fashion and gave the role my all.

It was truly liberating, but also, a one-time-only deal. That was not the last time I would step outside of my growing comfort zone with the cast, but those are stories for another time.

When the globe was lit at the end of the movie, I believe the 6 or 7 people that we performed for had a good time, and it was honestly some of the most fun times I had had on stage. There are times when I think back on that night and a big smile spreads across my face. Those few people that were there know exactly what I mean when I say there was quite a bit going on that night that would never happen again. And I don't mean anything naughty. I mean people on stage that wouldn't otherwise be on our stage, and cast members in roles that they had never considered before.

Although I'm glad I was part of that night, I'm glad there are no pictures because... well... even with this quick description, it still feels like a private event, and you really had to be there.

Hopefully I'll see you all at the Ro-Na to help me make some more memories with this cast.

As we reach number 8 on the memory countdown, let me remind you that this is 1 week until the cast anniversary show at the Ro-Na. Come see DownHome Decadence and The Tri-State Transylvanians be the characters that we are.

Speaking of characters, remember when I said that some of the other characters that I've played would be a story for another time? Well, this is another time.

I came into the cast as a fill-in for Dr. Scott (filling in for an amazing Dr. Scott that i was honored to step in for), and I played the character for quite a while before I was able to build up the confidence to branch out. The next character that I was asked to play was Eddie (also stepping into the character to fill in for another amazing cast member). Eddie got much less screen-time, but was a much more active overall character. Playing him would push me physically, as well as mentally. After all, with Eddie, you're not just sitting in a chair with verbal interactions with the other characters the way that Dr. Scott is; you're actually getting up, getting in people's faces, and flinging Columbia around in many cases. Trust me when I say that that last part requires some interpersonal understanding. I'll leave it at that.

Anyway, Eddie would not be the only other character I would play. If you've been keeping up, I told you about my one night as Frank. I've also played Riff Raff on an occasion or two, and that character has his charms, as well. Then there was the night that I knew this cast had a LONG memory...

A bit of background. One cast New Year's party, I made a promise to another cast member that if he were to play Frank again, I'd play Rocky. I'll not go into the exact details that went into making that statement. A year and a half later, I get a message that the cast member is playing Frank, and I was being called upon to fulfill my promise. Crap.

I did it. I got the goldies and the blonde surfer wig, and played Rocky. I'm honestly not sure who was more terrified: me or the audience. Close call. Anyway, it helps that Rocky pretty well bumbles around for most of his screen time, but then you come to the floorshow. Better believe I put my all into his portion of the floorshow. Everything from his flailing about with the boa to what I refer to as his "water sprinkler movement" (if you watch his part, you'll know what I mean). Mind you, this had been the first, and only, time that I had had any part of the floorshow that was not in a wheelchair. I think I did a decent job, given the circumstances.

All in all, I've played 8 different characters for this cast. Dr. Scott, Eddie, Frank, Rocky, and Riff Raff in Rocky; Judge Oliver Wright in Shock Treatment; Johnny in Night of the Living Dead; and Nathan Wallace/Repo Man in Repo! The Genetic Opera. A couple of these I'll go into further detail with later in this countdown. It occurs to me that I have a tendency to play characters that end up dead. Hmmm... oh well.

For my final performance, I'll be going back to my roots, and ending my time with the cast in the way that I began it: back to the wheelchair. Not to say that that will be ALL I'll be doing that night, but you will need to come to the show in order to find out what else I have up my sleeve. I hope to see you all there. I'll need plenty of help putting all these characters to bed.

It's time for number 7 on the DownHome Decadence/Tri-State Transylvanians memory countdown. This one is going to be a little out there. I'm going to be talking about the first time I took on directing a show for the cast that wasn't Rocky.

That's right. It's time to talk about Shock Treatment.

For those that don't know, Shock Treatment was the follow up movie to Rocky Horror. It's not billed so much as a sequel as it is an equal. Anyway, we decided to try our hand at it and it needed a director. It was decided that I was it. But not only would I be directing, I would also play one of the support characters, Judge Oliver Wright.

That meant that not only would I have to learn my part and work on my own costuming, but I would have to learn everyone else's parts, too. As well as timing, interactions, blocking, and choreography. Thankfully I had some amazing support that I truly could not have accomplished these tasks without. Even with help, it was a difficult job, but I believe the finished product was worth it.

Did I mention that not all of our performers were local? Yeah, that made things interesting. When you can't walk people through their blocking in person, that means you're going to need to develop blocking packets. In case you don't know, blocking packets are a page by page/scene by scene breakdown of every character's movements throughout the movie. They are a decent way to make sure everyone is on the same page, pun possibly intended. When creating blocking packets, you have to watch each scene so many times from each character's perspective in order to make sure you catch every nuance. You also quickly become burnt out on the movie.

Finally the blocking packets were finished and sent out to all the performers, near and far, and rehearsals began. I had to trust that our out of town guests were also rehearsing their parts, but there was nothing I could do about that but have a bit of faith in them. The rehearsals went as well as one would expect, they started rough and eventually things started clicking into place. As the show got closer, and the rehearsals took the form of something I'd be proud to put on stage, the only question marks left were the out of town performers.

Showtime. At least, day of the show.

The entire cast was finally together. We ran through the movie with everyone finally plugged into their spots so I could see if anyone needed a crash course in their character. Halfway through the final rehearsal and it hits me: this show is going to be amazing. Everyone had been going over the blocking packets, working on their costuming, and developing their character's mannerisms.

Proud doesn't even begin to cover how I felt. The out of town guests worked seamlessly with the local performers so that it looked as though they had been rehearsing with them the entire time. Things had no right to be going this well. But now it was time to open the doors and let the audience in. This would be the true test.

House lights went down, audience loaded in, preshow went down without a hitch, and the movie began. To tell the truth, the next hundred or so minutes are a bit of a blur to me. I think I was just so happy to finally see it on stage in front of an audience (and to only have to focus on my part) that I just let the night happen as it would. After all, once the performance starts, there only so much I could do. I do remember how honored I felt to be able to work with these people. Each and every one of them volunteered their time and money to help put on a show that had dubious draw just because they wanted to be part of it. They also placed enough trust in me to go along with my vision for each of them. Yep, I felt honored.

Then the movie ended. The audience clapped, pictures were taken, props were collected, and the night drew to a close. Afterwards I realized just how much of a toll directing that show took on me. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. I needed a break. But there would be more shows to work on, however I would not be the director. So maybe half a break. Better than nothing, I suppose.

Anyone that thinks that getting up and running around in front of the movie is all we do is sorely mistaken. Loads of prep goes into each show, both for everything you see on stage and for everything going on behind the scenes. I am proud of each and every person that I've been fortunate enough to perform alongside, because they have taken the steps to become part of something more.

With that, I once again implore you to come to the Ro-Na on Friday, August 5th to help me celebrate my last show. Help me honor this cast by standing with them in front of an audience that truly gets it. I hope to see you there.

We've made it to number 6 in the countdown! Almost halfway there! Not that many days until my final show with DownHome Decadence and The Tri-State Transylvanians. Wow. Anyway, let's get on with it.

I have spoken a bit about characters, but let's expand on that a bit, shall we? The way we do that is to talk about theme nights. There are two types of theme nights: audience themes which are just for the audience, and cast themes which are for the cast and audience. The cast theme I'm about to talk about isn't the one that most people think of in reference to us (that one is coming up in a couple of days, though) but it is one of my favorites.

Pirate vs. Ninja Night.

I'm not sure I remember the origin of the night, but the cast had to decide for themselves which side they wanted to represent. With the majority of us going for pirate, I'm pretty sure we won. Anyway, I was still in college at the time, and my classes took me right up until I had to travel from Ashland to Huntington for the show. Instead of rushing right to the theater that night to get changed prior to the show, I decided to change into my pirate gear at the college.

My pirate gear consisted of fairly appropriate looking boots, black slacks that could be barely tucked in to the boots to give them a flaired out look, a sash around my waist, a white button-up shirt that was unbuttoned a bit lower than I'd typically like, but tucked in deep in the back to give a wide-neck look, with sleeves that were rolled up to show tattoo sleeves and wrist straps to cover the seams. Add to that a brown long vest, a gold clip-on earring, and a black wig complete with red bandana and beads for a full look. I must say, it was a good costume for something you were really only going to see from the waist up (I was playing Dr. Scott that night).

When I left the restroom where I changed, I ran into a few of my classmates, and they got a kick out of my costume, as well. More than a few pictures were taken, and at least one person expressed interest in coming to the show. When I was walking to my car, a security guard stopped me and asked for a picture, as well. No questions as to why there was a pirate on campus, just wanting a picture of my costume. What a world.

I finally get to the theater and walk in to see loads of pirate lords and wenches. The few ninjas were off on their own, plotting I'm sure. I wish we would have gotten a group picture. Oh well. Missed opportunities and such.

That night was amazing. A good number of our audience members dressed in costume, but I'm not sure if there were more pirates or ninjas in the audience. Either way, everyone seemed to have a blast, which was the overall goal.

For those of you that don't know, Dr. Scott has a song called Eddie's Teddy, where he pulls out a stuffed animal. Of course the stuffed animal I pull is a parrot, and it ends up clipped to the shoulder of my long vest. Yes, it spent the rest of the show there. I'm actually pretty sure I still have the parrot around here somewhere, along with most of the pirate costume.

I better cut this short before I drone on too long about the costume, or the night, or both. (I know, too late) Anyway, it was just a silly night that was designed to help us all, audience and cast, have some fun. I'm fairly certain that the goal was achieved.

Friday night is my last chance to be silly with this cast and you, the potential audience. I know I'll be there, and I hope you'll be there, too.

We've reached the halfway mark on the countdown with memory 5. This one is going to jump around a bit. I mean it. I'm not saying that it will be random and jumbled, well not just that, but rather I'll be going into all the locations where I've performed with DownHome Decadence and The Tri-State Transylvanians.

As is usually the best method, let's start at the beginning. When I first joined the cast, and for quite a while after, we had shows at the Discount Cinema in Huntington. First they were weekly, and then quarterly. There's a bit of a story about that, but I'll shorten it for the interest of... well, interest. We were weekly until out first run there was finished. Some time later, we were offered a chance to come back on a quarterly basis. During our first run, we had a single theater where we performed which regularly sold out. It was decided that being quarterly would be such a draw that we were given two theaters to perform in at the same time. Once that happened, we began regularly selling out both theaters. It was good times until the Cinema had to close it's doors for good.

Now we start jumping around a bit to other venues where I've performed. Now, this isn't going to list all the venues where the cast has performed, just the ones that I've personally performed at.

The historic State Theater in Point Pleasant. This was my first big show away from the Cinema, but it was not my first time being on stage at that venue. The week before I was offered a place on cast, I participated in a Rocky Horror costume contest as Dr. Scott there during a DownHome Decadence performance. Anyway, when I performed at the State Theater, I was Dr. Scott, as well. That show was interesting, as it gave some of us a chance to really branch out into a new venue, and try out our skills. Each venue has a different feel, between the setup of the seats, the positioning of the stage and screen(s), to the very energy of the place. The State Theater felt like no other place I've performed, and that's a good thing.

Next we have ARTS in Huntington. Our show there fell on my birthday, and it was an amazing party. ARTS use to be the old Huntington High School, but it is now a performing arts center and apartments. This makes for an interesting setup, especially given the nature of our show. Going into the day of the show, there was a bit of miscommunication and we ended up having to work around another set that was being built on stage. After the initial shock, we decided to do our best to work around it and even use it to pull off some gags on stage. If you were at that show, you know how you never knew where people were going to be popping out from, and trust me when I say that the cast was just as surprised as the audience was. But that added to the fun of the show.

We did show promos at the now-defuct Jackhammer club. But that would not be the only club we would perform at. We had multiple shows at Deception, also in Huntington. This venue offered a multi-tiered stage that we did our best to fully utilize during the shows. I think, for the most part, we succeeded.

Now we head away from West Virginia and into venues in Ohio. We have performed at the Wheelersburg Cinema multiple times, and each time was interesting. We learned more about each other, the community, and the venue with each show, which is how it should be. Between performing shows, and just hosting shows, I think the Wheelersburg shows really helped us grow as a group.

That brings us into our current venue. The Ro-Na. If you've yet to come see us in the Ro-Na, you are missing out. It is a venue that seems tailor-made for our brand of (barely) organized chaos. We've performed Rocky Horror there multiple times, as well as Repo!, and Night of the Living Dead. Suffice it to say that that venue has witnessed my characters die multiple times. And that begs the question: do I have one more death in me?

Come to the show and find out. One last show. One last curtain call. Nine years wrapped up in one night. Friday night at the Ro-Na will see my final bow. I hope you're there to see it, too.

It's time for number 4 on the DownHome Decadence/Tri-State Transylvanians memory countdown. I've found these to be a fun way to help me share the good times with you all, and writing them down has triggered so many more memories. Today's memory has to do with our most popular theme night to date.

My Bloody Valentine night.

This was to honor the remake that was released a few years back. We decided to make a cast theme for it. It was still Rocky Horror, but with a bloody twist. This theme was my baby since I was the Haunt freak of the cast, so I was given free reign to make it as bloody as possible. It was my pleasure. But I didn't work alone.

I spent days pouring over each scene to figure out what I was going to do for each character, until it finally clicked for me. We wanted a steady descent into madness for the cast and audience. This meant multiple costume layers and help from outside the cast. This was going to be fun.

A few characters just had minor alterations to their costumes and makeup, but nothing compared to the transformations that I had planned for Brad and Janet. Everything would start off normal for those two, right up to the strip-down. Then things got interesting.

Let me take a moment to backtrack here. There was an amazing amount of preparation that went into this show. We took one evening at the now-defunct Fusion center in Huntington, and bloodied up a wide assortment of costume pieces. These were not anyone's normal costume pieces because I had no interest in ruining them, but pieces purchased specifically for the theme night. Those that were there helping me bloody those pieces hold a very special place in my heart, and you know who you are. You saw my madness take shape, and helped me revel in it. Thank you.

After the pieces were bloodied to the designated degree, I took them home and hung them up on the shower rod so that they could properly dry. That's a hell of a sight, let me tell you. Anyway, back to the show.

When Brad and Janet were stripped, their typical white underclothes were there, save for a small amount of blood. Nothing to get too concerned over. However, under the layer of mostly clean underclothes, lay additional layers of clothes that became progressively bloodier. The people we had playing those parts were masterful at stripping off the overlayers at times when they wouldn't be noticed by the audience. That way, it would appear that Brad and Janet were all of a sudden covered in blood. It was amazing.

Columbia looked like she had received massive burns on half of her face and chest. Riff Raff took over while wearing a gas mask. Frank went through the show wearing a strap frame for a gas mask. And the floorshow... remember when I said we were going to need some outside help? We got it. We had a gentleman that had access to certain pieces of gear offer to allow us to use them. That is how the kickline ended up being five people wearing mining helmets with the head lamps turned on. It was eerie as hell, and I loved it. At least one person in the audience couldn't take it, and checked out.

As Dr. Scott, I wasn't about to let myself be left out of the fun. I had some fun with paint prior to the show. I had two pairs of the black knee-high stockings, and I placed them all on one leg, effectively blacking out the lower leg while leaving the knee exposed. With the paint, I did up the knee to appear as though the lower leg had been amputated in a rather grisly fashion. In my humble opinion, I believe the illusion paid off. During the song Eddie's Teddy, I flipped the lap blanket (a towel that had been covered in blood in the appropriate spots) to the side exposing what I hoped appeared to be an infected stump. My lower leg was tucked under the wheelchair, and with the stockings masking it, there was no worries there. But as soon as I exposed that knee, I heard quite a few people express surprise and a hearty level of disgust. Nailed it.

That night still lives on as an example of what this cast can do when properly motivated. Hard work on everyone's part, and help from friends, allowed us to make a theme night that set the bar high on the rest of our themes. I'd like to think that we've continued to raise that bar.

I'm rambling. But I just really enjoyed that theme. Anyway, if I keep on with it, this post will probably double in size, so I think I'll go ahead and end it. Leave something for the next few days.

Yep, three days until I take the stage one last time as part of DownHome Decadence and The Tri-State Transylvanians. Help me end my time in style and surrounded by people that I've helped entertain.

Number 3 in our countdown! Two left! That's it. The last memory will be posted on Friday, which is the day of the show. Wow, this is going by quite a bit faster than anticipated.

There are many things over the past nine years that I've been proud of, and I've mentioned quite a few of them over the past week. Of course, there are also things that I'm not so proud of, but that's life. But I'm focusing on the positive here. If you need a refresher, all of my memories are still posted on my page. Go forth and read. If you're all caught up, it's time to get into something that I've only mentioned in passing.

As Eddie in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, your main interaction is with Columbia. True you intimidate Rocky, you "Woo!" at Janet, and you fall to Frank, but Columbia gets Eddie's main attention. I've said that Eddie may get very little screen time, but what time he does get is intense.

I've performed Eddie in multiple venues, with multiple Columbias, and each one is a treat. I can remember performing with a male Columbia in one show, and he was taller than me. That was a blast. Anyway, not only is the Hot Patootie (Eddie's song and dance) intense for an Eddie, but it can be doubly so for a Columbia. Why is that? Because Eddie gets to keep his feet on the ground. Columbia doesn't always get to do that.

Yes, I'm talking about the lift.

There are damn near countless Eddie/Columbia pairings that do their versions of the lift at their shows. I say their versions, because you don't really see much of a lift in the movie, which leaves us to kind of work it out on our own. For the most part, we do alright. But sometimes unfortunate things happen.

Trust is key when you are part of the Eddie/Columbia pairing. You can't expect to reach the level of trust required for a full lift on your first show together, but with solid work and dedication from both parties, that trust might develop. I say might because you can't force trust. I'm getting a little off topic.

Over the years, I've worked with many different Columbias, and each one has a place in my heart. Even if we didn't attempt the full lift, they all had enough trust in me to help make the Hot Patootie fun (ask about the Candy Cane Codpiece sometime). However, over the past I don't remember how many years, I've been working with a Columbia that has been... well... amazing. That's too simple of a word, really, but I'm not sure I have one to describe the level of trust we have in one another. Even when I screw up on stage, her response is, "Let's go for it!"

And we do. When it comes to Rocky Horror, there are a few different moments that you want above all others. You want the audience to rise on their own when Frank is walking down the aisle for I'm Going Home. You want to see lit phones and glowsticks in the air during There's a Light. You want to see people dancing during The Time Warp. As an Eddie, you want to take your Columbia vertical. Well, as close as you can get without going over. That's a totally different experience.

We have managed it on a few different occasions, and it was intense each time. I can't even imagine what it must feel like for a Columbia being up in the air like that, but as an Eddie, it is pure concentration. Let that concentration lapse for a moment, and bad things can happen. I don't care how many times you've done it, you better be a little nervous each and every time. I know I am.

If you manage to pull off the lift, you have to then make sure Columbia's head doesn't hit the ground when you make that transition. If you're lucky, when you hop down to her, she won't put her knees up. (OUCH) And yes, I have experienced that before, too. The entire time this is going on, you've got to remember that there's a song and dance going on that you're part of. You can't allow yourself to be wrapped up in the moment, because the audience is watching, and absolutely everything has to look like part of some larger plan. Even when it's most definitely not. When that happens, roll with it and make it work. Continue on with the scene, because as we all know, the show must go on. Just make it up to the point where Frank slaughters you, and you'll have done your job.

I couldn't tell you how many times I've been slaughtered on stage, or just off stage. And each time is a chance to finally catch my breath. But each gasp of air is pulled in through a smile, I assure you.

That's it. That's all I have for today's memory. Playing Eddie for DownHome Decadence and The Tri-State Transylvanians has been an absolute honor for me. True it has taken its toll, but I wouldn't trade the time on stage over the past nine years for anything.

One last time. One last set of lips bringing up the movie. One last curtain call. One last set of bows. One last show. Who will be there Friday to help me celebrate my last show, as well as the 10th anniversary of DownHome Decadence?

TWO! We are at number two! Only one left! You know what that means? The show is tomorrow. My final show. It's also the 10th Anniversary Show for DownHome Decadence. On with the memory.

I've touched on this in a few other posts, but today I'm going to go a bit more in depth. I'm going to talk about being part of Repo! The Genetic Opera.

Aside from my one night as Frank, playing Nathan Wallace/Repo Man has been my only time in a leading role. That's fine with me. I like being in supporting roles, but the role of Nathan/Repo just kind of called to me. And, if I do say so, I think I do a decent job of it. At the very least, I have fun with it. The movie is dark, twisted, and quite enjoyable.

I remember my first time playing Nathan, I was actually a last minute replacement due to a conflict that came up for the person that had been in the role. It was a bit of a scramble to get my costume pieces together, but that just helped add to the excitement. The first time I played the part, it was actually split up where I would play the character of Nathan and Repo when he was not wearing the helmet. Another cast member would play Repo while wearing the helmet. The way we worked that out was fun, especially when he got knocked down with a shovel and I popped back up in his place.

I've played the part of Nathan/Repo multiple times now, for full shows and for promo events, and it has yet to get old for me. There's an intensity to the role that lets me really work things out. And yes, I die in that one too. I don't mind. It's a good death, and I get a song.

Honestly, I think performing in Repo is part of what has helped me get to nine years with the cast. It helped keep things fresh for me, which was important. And Repo in the Ro-Na just works. The venue has just the right feel for the movie. I'm going to miss it.

Today's memory is a bit short, but that's okay. Tomorrow is the big day. The show is in a little over 24 hours. And I'll be posting my number one cast memory. Wow. Where has the past nine years gone?

I hope to see you all at the Ro-Na tomorrow to help me celebrate my last show, and help the cast celebrate 10 years active, along with hopefully another 10 years (at least).

One. Memory number one. Today is my final show on cast, so I believe it to be fitting that today's memory be of my first show on cast.

I've touched on this a bit in a few memories, but here's the full story. I mentioned the costume contest that I think helped bring me on cast, but midway through the next week, I was contacted on MySpace (yes I go back that far) about filling in for that week's show. I was excited and terrified.

I didn't have long to wait, which was probably a good thing. Much longer and I probably would have talked myself out of it. It was the night of the show and I was... hell, I don't know what I was. I had the costume that I had put together, complete with binoculars and umbrella. I wanted to do it right the first time out.

It came time for me to roll down the aisle, and I quickly learned why Dr. Scott has his feet down in the movie. I attempted to use my hands to control the speed of the wheels on the wheelchair, and that move HURT! But I'm pretty sure I did a decent job of masking it.

If I have one regret about that first show, it was my lack of facial expressions. I know that you can only do so much on your first night, but still. Rode through until the end of the show, and took my bows. I had never felt anything so exhilarating. I had to come back to the stage, even if it was just filling in.

Not to say that there weren't some bad times, because there were, but you have to take those times along with the good times. I'm just glad that there were fewer bad times than awkward times. I'll just say that I got called in late one show night to fill in and was not wearing the appropriate underclothing. Oops. There were a few different moments that make me facepalm now, but under that palm, trust that I'm smiling.

I'll miss it. I truly will. As I write this, I'm sitting in the middle of the stage of the Ro-Na, just letting the feel of the venue inspire me.

That's it. The last memory on the last night. I hope to see you all when the doors open here in a few hours. Come help me say goodbye the right way.

Memory Zero. The show was a few days ago, and I'm still trying to wrap my head around no longer being part of a cast. I think I was more emotional saying my goodbyes online than I was in person. I'm not sure why that is, but there you go.

There were a few technical difficulties prior to the show, but it wouldn't have felt like one of our shows if we weren't all scrambling around to fix problems anyway. But, as always, we figured out the issues and the show was ready to start. Before I get into the show, let me tell you a bit about what happened prior to the show.

I managed to get some time chatting with former cast members about their time on cast , and what their lives are like now. Go to those with experience if you want advice. I also got to see a friend from the cast that I not not seen in months. That truly did my heart good. Especially when I realized that she wasn't mad at me for retiring. I had been worried. Anyway, on to the show.

When the audience arrived, I saw so many familiar faces from the past. It was an honor to get to perform for all of them again. The audience was just the right mix of old school and newbs. Throw in a couple of people that knew all the best call-backs and it was a night full of laughs.

The lips came up on screen and we were off. As Eddie, I don't start putting my costume on until the lips, so my timer was running. No rush because there's not too much that goes into an Eddie costume. I filled the time between getting suited up and going on stage running over my blocking a few times. I'm glad I did. It was time for me to hit the stage so I took a deep breath and headed for the lights.

Everything worked. My Columbia was spectacular, as always, and the lift went without a hitch. We got some impressive height, and the transition to the floor went smoothly. I could not have asked for it to go better.

After I was killed off stage, the next timer was going. I had to shed my Eddie costume and makeup in order to get into my Dr. Scott gear. That one is a little trickier. You have to get the "blood" off your forehead and take your "black eye" off before reapplying the foundation so you don't look washed out under the spotlight. Managed to make the transition in time.

Went out in the wheelchair and got more than a few laughs. Having a giant baby head pop out from under my lap blanket helped. You kind of had to have been there for that one. Anyway, the floorshow happened and I opted to transfer across stage behind the kickline both times, instead of in front once because I didn't want to cap off my final night be being kicked. It went well.

The show ended and the cast did their bows. A funny thing happened. The audience stayed where they were. There was no rush for the doors. It was like they wanted more. I only wish we would have had more to give them.

And just like that, the night was over and I officially retired. Nine years, done like that. I'm still wrapping my mind around it. I do know one thing for absolutely certain: I would not have changed any of it for the world. I have nothing but love in my heart for DownHome Decadence and The Tri-State Transylvanians and I'm looking forward to seeing where they go from here. I may not make the journey with them, but you can bet I'll be cheering them on from the sidelines.


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