Party Monster
I already wrote a little bit about my Rocky jitters, but there's a little bit more (not much - even recapping will exhaust me to no end).

My cake collapsed on the way over to the theater, and on top of that, I forgot my coat. Our pre-pre-show notes were outdoors, in the rainy cold weather, outside the bar across the street from the theatre. But at least I got to drop my cake off inside before I had to head back out (we weren't technically allowed in the theatre til 11pm). Not five minutes inside the theater, while everyone dressed and got props ready, did I get down on my knees, inches from one of the Frank'n'Furter's asses, to help buckle garter straps. Ah, memories.

For anyone who doesn't know about the experience of going to a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, it is a night of crazy debauchery and yelling callbacks to the screen, while the shadow-cast performs the whole show, in costume, up in the front of the theatre. There are regular callbacks every cast uses, and some callbacks unique to each cast (with the occasional inside joke). Think "Mystery Science Theater 3000" but more loud and obscene.

The pre-show was a mixed bag - great gags, great dedications to fallen cast members, great little mini history... but then singing happened, "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," but they played the karaoke version. Karaoke version without microphones makes for a sub-par performance. I don't know what they were thinking there. Oh, and then the "virgins" had to be "deflowered," by way of the usual "easy way or the hard way," involving stripping down to underpants, orgasm choir, getting auctioned off, and other sundries. Then we had the rules ("fuck the rules!" "fuck my rule, it's longer, harder, and more fun"), which I always enjoy. The rules are standard serious, but even they have ridiculous callbacks (no smoking, "unless you're having sex with a cast member, and if you're smoking during sex with a cast member, you're going way too fast, and probably using kitty-litter-condoms!"), and then finally, we started the movie.

Much to my surprise, the first part of the film was in black & white! I had no idea this was the original intention of the theatrical release. The movie was black & white til The Time Warp. Never knew. I mean... the lips is prolifically red, right? Right.

I'd watched my dvd copy earlier that night just to situate myself with my scenes, and the callbacks just came flooding out my mouth, even after ten years, after I'd long forgotten, and most surprisingly, I was able to get dressed, not even watching and still callback the visual cues (like during the credits, or finding Magenta's eyes - stuff that doesn't make sense unless you're watching the film). And at the performance, the callbacks came back even more, and I remembered ones I hadn't earlier, and even heard a bunch of new ones, and a bunch that were older than any cast I've been in!

One of the Criminologists dropped out of the show, but still showed up to help with crew. He was actually my favourite Crim, and he was the only one I didn't mind being with during the Crim-Orgy (where all the Crims shared a scene). The others I didn't know at all, and one of them hit on me relentlessly, more than is acceptable at Rocky Horror (the same guy who had once denounced Rocky and the cast when he decided to try being a born-again Christian). So weird.

Josh (who directed when I first attended Rocky) and I had equal enthusiasm, where we waded listlessly through the crowd, shouting our callbacks with gusto, but also feeling old and drained just being there. It's weird how exhausted I felt, but still went through all the motions without thought. More so than ever, the callback for "Let's Do The Time Warp Again" rings true: "Let's do the same shit again!"

I saw so many old friends (neither of my Rocky exes showed up, which I felt split down the middle about, 100% because I like the first ex, and the second ex is a horrible person who did horrible things to me). Many old friends decided not to perform or be in the crew, and just enjoyed the show as audience members. We completely packed and sold out the show, and so many people got turned away. To be honest, we could have kept it a private show for just cast members, because almost half the people in the audience had performed at one time or another.

Afterwards, I found a broom, and got to sweeping the aisles (Rocky Horror is a messy affair). Spent about an hour cleaning and chatting with folks after the show, and then we all headed to Jay's, but didn't stay long. Signed a lot of programmes like they were yearbooks. I wish I thought of doing that, but arriving late and leaving early didn't give me much time for that. It was 4am by the time we even got there.

What a night.

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(photo by Andrea E. Leahey-Carella)

Last Week, Part II: Dates and Balloons

La Mecanique du Coeur
10171678_859991907364673_3785499041664051479_nPJ, my first and favourite director of Rocky Horror (who has gone on to be a director, lighting tech, and DP in LA), arrived early last week, and asked me out on Tuesday. We went to Jay's, our favourite 24-hour diner, and just chatted idly for a long time. Holy damn, I miss him. If he could work and thrive here, he might have actually stayed. But he did tell me he is going to try to move to Pittsburgh. I'm hoping. Visiting will be so much easier, both ways.

We saw each other again on Wednesday early evening, when he dropped by to borrow a CD holder, for his DJ gig at Vertex. On Sunday, he dropped by again to give it back, full of the CDs he brought to the club (as a gift, because I couldn't make it that night). We snuggled on the couch for a little bit before he had to go. He has been going non-stop since arriving, and I wanted to give him a nice, sweet, relaxing few moments.

He left on Monday. But me? Glowingly happy for the time we had.




I had a date with Ron on Friday. Rochester Museum and Science Center has quarterly "After Dark" events, so I asked him out to it. Bought tickets ahead of time, but apparently didn't need to, as it wasn't packed like the last event (people were turned away an hour into the event last time). This quarter's theme was "The Science of Sound."

Coincidentally, Charles got a gig to play there when I offered that he come too (you could come, or you could play, I guess, haha). He used the opportunity to mark this event as part of his thesis, which he would have messed up without my help (had to record it, and had the camera on HIM instead of the VISUAL aspect of his project instead, which I corrected).

Ron and I wandered around the standard museum displays, while enjoying the extra sounds and music strewn about. We ran into a couple of friends and spent a while at the balloon stand, which accidentally became wildly inappropriate. The balloon stand had empty containers, balloons, scissors, spoons, jingle bells, etc, and was meant for instrument-making. We grabbed some long balloons in hopes of making balloon animals, but found the damn things extremely hard to inflate. When I finally managed to inflate my pink one, we saw there was a kink right at the top of it... which made it look just like a giant dick... which I had in my mouth... Feeble attempts to further inflate it in hopes it would lose that shape were completely lost, as I couldn't stop thinking of what this looked like, and neither could our friends. "DON'T MAKE EYE CONTACT! STOP LOOKING! OH GOD." And then another long balloon inflated and hooked right under my dress. That's it. Onto the Tesla coils show, then onto the last part of our date.

149354_860426543987876_5918675311464308788_nBefore the museum, Ron took me out to dinner at a tex-mex place called Selena's (where I've only ever been to meet up with one of the waiters). It was my first time having Mexican food outside a Taco Bell. Very tasty, and thankfully not gut-wrenching. After the museum, he took me to a free concert of Dueling Pianos NYC (who have the least annoying and least geocities site I've come across looking for the correct Dueling Pianos page). We sat all the way in the back of the concert hall, unaware that this would be a massive event. It took a while for them to get started, but they really got fun as the show went on. Lots of Billy Joel.

I wore my corset under my dress, to prepare for the Rocky show the next night, and I had to ask Ron to assist me in standing after I'd sit or crouch in a lower-than-usual position. My corset has a bent bone that sticks me in the back, but oddly enough, my feet gave out before my organs. I also wore my pretty dress that I bought as a bridesmaid dress (but didn't make it to the wedding). Ron took a photo of me in the ball-pit. I had a wonderful night.



I had many wonderful nights :)

Last Week, Part I: Cake

Science
THE CAKE: 90% less stressful when broken up into days.

Day one (Monday): Buy supplies & groceries. Set back $60. Ingredients for 3 cakes don't cost $60, but it still costs a lot more than you'd think, if you're not buying at the Dollar Store. I also had to buy new food dyes, cake boards, an extra 8" pan, and forks/plates/napkins.

Day two (Tuesday): Marshmallows, powdered sugar, Crisco, food dyes. Step one: eat a handful of marshmallows from each batch (three total). Step two: make fondant. Step three: manage to scrape out the very very last of the brown dye to offset the pink into a nice flesh colour. Step four: Wrap up and put aside to set.

Day three (Wednesday): Baking the cakes. pudding mix, eggs, oil, sour cream, water, red velvet (three boxes of red-velvet, with one spare I had lying around, in order to bring the measurements up two ounces each). ALL HAIL THE KITCHEN AID. Make room in the fridge for two 10", two 8", and two 6" round cakes.

Day four (Thursday): Fill and frost cakes (strawberry jam and chocolate frosting). Wrap middle tier in wax paper due to filling-eruption (hope for the best).

Day five (Friday): Date night!

Day six (Saturday): Rocky night. Four hours of covering cake in fondant, painting details on/around fondant, and stacking the tiers. Lessons learned: When placing pieced-together fondant, make sure it actually connects on the top of hidden layers; when placing stability dowels, don't be stingy, especially on the bottom layer (cake-collapse)!!

Results:
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Rocky Horror Nerves

Party Monster
roc On the 18th, I'll be performing in the Rochester Rocky Horror Reunion Show at The Cinema. I'm excited, of course, but also nervous, not because I'll have to go back up on stage for the first time in over 10 years, but because I have to bake/decorate a cake. I'm happy to do it, of course, but it takes a LOT out of me. That, and there's not going to be any rehearsal, and we'll be winging it as far as blocking goes.

This photo is me, by the way, back when I had orange hair, and also performed in Buffalo with The First Church of Rocky Horror. This is X-Mess 2003 at The German House, my final performance in A Rather Tasteless Joke, as Rocky himself. I wish there were photos of me when I played Rocky in a bikini (I used to be that thin), when I first started.

I've played many roles. The list of who I HAVEN'T played is actually shorter (Frank, Riff, Brad, Eddie). I started, after a little while of being Crew, as Trixie. My official role was Part-Time Rocky, otherwise Trixie/Crew. I even played Francine/Frankie in Shock Treatment in a Shocky Horror Double Feature! My favourite role was Columbia, but probably because I played opposite my favourite director PJ as Eddie, and he lifted me high above his head three times during Hot Patootie :)

That's who's organizing this big ol' reunion. PJ was my first RHPS director. The reunion show is not just a reunion of A Rather Tasteless Joke and others he'd been a part of, but for all casts of Rochester Rocky Horror, and there's been a lot! We're going to split/share each role in this massive performance, 5 Franks, 3 Eddies, 6 Janets/Brads, etc (those numbers aren't accurate, by the way - I'd have to go check the official cast list to see how many of each role we have). I'm going to be one of 4 Criminologists. My scenes are "Life is an Illusion" just before the Bedroom scenes, "Forbidden Fruit/No Picnic" (that's for ALL of us, because it's going to be an orgy or a picnic (and you know, the line ends: "no picnic"), and the ending "lost and time, and lost in space, and (what is this movie lacking?) meaning."

Stuff (tm)

Lexx - Zev
I've had very little to report, but now that I've built up a bunch of that very little, I can make a substantial post.

Kicked off my Only-Horror October (see my last post) fine, but haven't had a guest over yet, which is kinda lonely, but then again, I'm an introvert, so it's okay. Posted a lot of quick reviews to all of them on my Letterboxd. Have watched two 5-star films. The Gate, which I don't watch every year, but is my all-time favourite horror movie, and oh my shit, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is AWESOME. Never saw it til last night :)
I have skipped a couple of scheduled films, which I will get to at a later date. Right now, I'm caught up, except for The Dead Inside (a favourite, which I'm waiting on Charles to watch), Slugs, which I probably won't watch, but who knows, and the original Funny Games, and Evil, which are both foreign, and I wasn't in the mood for subtitles last night (after trudging through The Nameless, which was just awful).

This conversation happened:

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Sunday, I lugged two extremely heavy and full trunks (as well as a bunch of other stuff) down my stairs, into the car, up the stairs at Vertex (the goth club), and set up shop for the night at the Gothic Garage Sale flea-market event. I stole the space next to mine when no one claimed it, because I had a LOT of stuff. I made $90, but after paying Charles back for last week's music lesson, and buying a couple of drinks, my total profit came to about $40. Still good though!

I don't know if every city has a First Friday event, but Rochester's art galleries and such have a public art crawl called First Friday. I've been to one, but I didn't count it because it was also the opening of a gallery exhibit I had some art in. I hadn't remembered til it was too late since.
Ron invited me out this time, picked me up (he finally remembered how to get to my house), and we had a really nice time (I'm also pretty happy, because I thought he was starting to forget I exist, because our usual Tuesdays are no longer since working nights. So having him ask me was a nice turn).
We went to the Village Gate for a gallery event for one of his friends, who had her art all hanging in a doctor's office! We meandered a bit, explored dark crevices on the third floor (where we actually found a hidden event, which Ron ended up going to on Sunday). Then we scooted next door to Anderson Alley, which I haven't been to since it was a fabric factory. Hung out in a printing press for a long time, then went off to a sweltering embossing room, where Ron, inventor and engineer, chatted up with one of the guys, while I ran into Brendan, Casey, and a couple other friends. Then Ron took me up to Nosferatu Studios where I fell in love instantly.
We ended the evening at Starry Night cafe, just chewin' the fat out at a table. It's been such a long time since I got to really sit and talk to Ron, just us, so I don't get drowned out in the cluster of people talking over me, and it was so nice, and I'm really happy he invited me out. I needed that.

And everyone and their brother has been posting to my FB wall, or texting me about the return of Twin Peaks. I only needed to hear it once, guys ;)

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Only Horror October

Dead Inside
Here are all the images I've created to promote my Only Horror October.

It was pretty easy to compile with all the suggestions I got, plus going through my to-watch list on my Letterboxd. I even added an extra segment for TV shows and Short Films! I had a terrible time not filling the whole list with Travis Betz's stuff (one of my all-time favourite directors). His are the only films on my list with repeat viewings.

My original promo piece:


The schedule:


Extras (the "maybe" list):


Shorts and Episodes:

October Horror Movie Marathon

Dead Inside
Last year, one of my favourite directors, Travis Betz held a home event where he had compiled a set of scary movies for every day of October. Since October is my favourite month for such obvious reasons, I've decided to do the same. I opened up the ol' suggestion box on Facebook a couple hours ago and have already gotten a TONNE of suggestions!

I'm also scouring my "to watch" list. I want this list to mostly be comprised of films I haven't seen yet (or haven't seen in a very long time).

I'm open to suggestions from you guys too! Comedy horror, goofy horror, light horror, spooky, eerie, creepy, true tales, ghost stories... anything you can think of (but no, Showgirls isn't a horror movie, unless you count the part where someone actually licked a stripper pole).

I want about 3 movies a night, at least, and I'm going to categorize them, too! I've begun compiling now in a private post. I'll give you guys a peek at what's been suggested already.

  • Every Takashi Miike movie (so much that I've decided to dedicate a whole category/day to the man).
  • Tucker and Dale vs. Evil
  • Suspiria
  • C.H.U.D.
  • Trick r' Treat
  • The Woman in Black
  • Phantasm
  • Strange Circus
  • Phantasm
  • Funny Games
  • The Bay
  • Pontypool
  • Maniac
  • House Hunting
  • The Collection
  • Nightwatch & Daywatch
  • Evil Dead (originals and new)
  • Evidence
  • The Perfect Host
  • House of the Devil

    That's not everything, and those are only off the Suggested list. I still have a list of my own.

    So... got any suggestions?

Fringe Festival (Part I)

Kaylie
Over last weekend through this coming weekend is Rochester Fringe Festival. Now, our little Fringe festival has not been as good as others, and but this is only our third. The first was awful, the second had its moments. This year seems to be pretty good, but like all Fringe festivals so far, there seems to be a certain guarantee you'll pick something awful to attend. The first year, I didn't pay for any events, but did sneak in to a number of paid events (there were very few free events the first year). All the ones I snuck into were terrible with the exception of one which was okay. They were all overpriced as hell for what they offered, too. Last year, I went to a couple of free shows, and they were great, and then went to one paid event, which I only went to because I had friends in it, and it was based on Lovecraft, or Poe or something equally weird. It was okay but barely. Definitely overpaid.

So this year, I promised no paid gigs unless I knew they'd be good!!!

I attended two paid gigs, one I chose, because my violin tutor gave me a discount code, and I know she's really great- and come on, any show featuring violin is going to be cool. The other Charles chose, and I warned him... but he paid for us both, so I let him make his mistake. And I hope he learned from it.

The first event I attended was Sisters of Murphy - a free Irish rock show led by my friend Mark, in the pit at Manhattan Square Park. They were great as usual, but they mostly played from their second album, which I admit, I really don't like as much as the first. But they did play a couple of really great songs. "Katie Dear" and a cover of Flogging Molly's "Salty Dog" closed the show, and people immediately flocked to the next act, found elsewhere in the park.

som


Elsewhere in the park: fire, brimstone, French, and Steampunk. I'd dubbed it the Giant Fiery Steampunk Deathtrap, but they call it Circus Orange's Tricycle. We got up to where they started the show, right outside the concert pit, and we stood right by the speakers. Very loud metal-clashing sounds boomed in harmony from the speakers, making the whole park sound like a gigantic steam-powered musical factory. Fire shot out of the pipe jutting from the back of the trike, steam billowed from the sides of the front, Firelee, trapped inside the front wheel began to walk, and the giant slowly began weaving around the ocean of people. The crowds followed the trike around the whole park. From where I stood, it looked like people had crowded right up against it, but they did have in-costume security to keep people at a safe distance.

Two figures stood atop the 18-foot machine - a clown named Foo, speaking a combination of French, Gibberish, and a bit of English, stood up front leading the way with his companion, a mad scientist figure running the pyrotechnics.

Sound like a spectacle without a story? Artistic director Rebecca Carney will tell you otherwise.
The experimental performance approach emerged out of improv, but the current storyline is scripted around the talents of the Circus Orange actors, Carney says.
She created Tricycle's story and characters from imagination — and her dreams. The characters, including Foo, who rides the 18-foot-high tricycle, have been commissioned by Flammee, the queen of the southern region, to bring light back to the people. Firelee is the character who plays the light.
"The play begins where we find the light. There are stops along the way — different worlds. There is the fire world and the sentinels — soldiers who belong to the queen. We encourage the audience not to stay seated because they become a procession to the introduction of light," says Carney, who plays Filier, the keeper of the tricycle.


cot


While Foo fought fire demons, I spent a great deal of the play fighting my way through the hordes. Whenever fire shot out of some apparatus, it lit the sea of heads in front of me, showing me how far back I really stood - much further than I thought. I looked back, and saw it was just as densely packed
behind me. I wasn't sure I'd ever get to a clearing. I squeezed through people, tripping on abandoned lawn chairs, and when the show neared its end, I finally made my way to the exit stairs!

But then I realized, it's almost over, and I've enjoyed what I've seen so far, even though I couldn't make out the storyline or see most of the other characters, and oh look! There's a spot against the gate, right toward where the trike is headed! I crammed myself up against the gate to see an army of soldiers and stilted animals leading the trike to its endgame. They then set up dancers on a stage, twirling fire parasols as parts of the stage and surrounding areas lit on fire, or shot fireworks into the sky. The giant wheel dislodged from the rest of the trike and attached to a wire, which shot the wheel, with Firelee still inside, about 50-feet in the air! She spun and danced inside the wheel as it lit with fireworks around the outside, turning it into a giant areal pinwheel. This performance mesmerized the audience, and intensified rapidly, until it exploded into one grand finale! I love fireworks, and this completely blew me away! It's also the second-closest I've been to exploding fireworks. Glossing over that ;)

I managed to take a bunch of videos and got a few photos. The best one I'll post here, but if you want to see the compilation of all the videos, you can check [this link].




The next day, I got up early to see my violin tutor Lauren's performance with Sticks, Strings, and Paint. The "and paint" part of the show was boring, but I really enjoyed the rest. She performed with half of Quartet 442 (violin and cello) and two percussionists.

ssp




Afterwards, Charles wanted to stay for the "Laptop Orchestra," which was anything but. This is the lesson every Fringe-goer learns: some events you pay for are shit. I knew right away it'd be shit, and I tried to warn Charles. I almost decided to walk back to the East End to catch other festivities on my list, but he insisted I stay, and he bought my ticket. We sat down and he immediately regretted the decision, as we came face-to-face with a little kid choir, a school mascot, and only two laptops in sight. Turned out to be just a bunch of half-fancy-dressed students failing at their noise experiments. It's like they didn't do a test run at all. Nothing delivered with success. And oh, NO ORCHESTRA, laptop or otherwise, was really involved. I wasn't expecting a symphony. I was expecting a finished performance. We left halfway through.

I put Charles under Onus for that one, and made him take me out to breakfast.

I saw a play called "Simple Question" that had promise, but the acting wasn't that great (except from the female lead). I later overheard that it was their first performance, so that's forgivable. The story of this play goes: guy meets girl at bus stop; guy hits on girl, which is not well received; guy continues to bother girl, and even grasps at her arm, which she deflects; guy picks up a business card girl dropped by accident on the bus and proceeds to stalk her with a guitar; girl chases guy off with a knife; both get arrested; guy continues to convince girl to go on a date with him; girl roundhouse kicks him in the face; (this is where it should have ended, but the police officer who arrested them concludes the story in a monologue) guy and girl drop charges against each other and get fucking married.

I was happy the play delivered swift justice to the side of the stalker's face, and then PISSED that the story continued into rewarding harassing behaviour by having the guy get the girl after all. A friend pointed out that this actually happened to a much more horrifying extent back in the day, and that blew my mind. Still, though...

I ended my first Fringe weekend at Java's where a band called GRR! played some really good covers in a lounge-y jazz-y way (I don't know if Cake originally sang "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps," but that was my favourite cover).

And that's all for the first weekend. Not sure what (if) I'll go see anything today or tomorrow, but Thursday, I plan to see a free Cello Show at Java's. Hopefully Ron or Meagan or someone can come with.

Soylent (day 2)

Science
Today's my third day of trying out Soylent (just downed some breakfast - so this post is about days 1 and 2, and the product itself).



After TWO YEARS, I finally got my shipment of Soylent, of which I was an original backer. My 1-Week supply cost $65 (although now that it's on the market, it's $85 a week, with a deal for monthly subscriptions).

The nutrition it packs is AWESOME, but it's got A LOT of carbs, and 2000 calories!!!! But it offers 100% RDA of every nutrient people need to live well, doesn't taste awful, and lasts in the fridge for a couple days (so I can split those calories, and have actually TWO weeks of the stuff). I would sign up for a subscription if it didn't cost half a month's pay (for me).



I'm really liking the energy I've got with this Soylent. I had so much energy yesterday! I had half the pitcher leftover from Sunday (when I started - Soylent for breakfast, lunch, snack, and then ate a regular food dinner), so I had a tall glass for breakfast, one for lunch, and one for dinner - straight-up replaced all my meals without hunger pangs. My exercise routine kicked my ass as usual, but I didn't nap afterwards! I couldn't! I was restless. I got A LOT of cleaning done (were it not so cold yesterday, I would have gone for a walk too). I'm hoping for the same kind of energy today - I made a pitcher late last night, so I wouldn't have to pour my breakfast over ice today.

I'm really surprised at how full it leaves me. I mean, I don't feel stuffed, but I feel satiated. I do miss food sometimes, so last night, as a snack, I had some radishes and popcorn. But honestly, I wasn't actually hungry for it. I was just bored. The one downside of this Soylent thing is how boring it is.

(Edit: The other downside is it makes your poots smell really bad, but the gassiness is just your guts getting used to a new diet. And it gives me kinda bad breath, though I haven't confirmed that my breath smells with anyone else, but I notice it).

As for the taste; yes, it does taste like cake batter, and also has that grainy taste to it, too. But that graininess is not overpowering. I also get a good mini-workout every single time I drink the stuff, because I have to shake the pitcher (it's sealed) before pouring, because of separation. I have to shake it for a full 30 seconds before I feel like it's mixed enough. My very first glass was over ice, and I tried to make it last (I thought I had to). That was almost as big a mistake as eating gluten-free bread. The bottom of the glass collected sediment, but I was able to see that before I made the mistake of drinking it. I let a little of the ice melt, and gave it a good mix before quickly downing the rest.

Soylent's not meant to replace food forever, but I guess it could. It definitely gives you a deeper appreciatioin for real food though.

Aaaand Soylent Green was not people in the book. In fact, it was a vegan substance. 7 billion people on the planet, no real food, global warming, food riots, welfare state, birth control, physical defects... It's like Harry Harrison predicted the future.