Photo by Oliver Steinke via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Few things are as liberating for the mind and spirit as a “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Sitting in the stands, watching the cast members dance erotically across the stage, singing along to the iconic ‘70s tunes, all the while getting to chuck pieces of crispy toast and grains of rice and screaming responses back to the actors as they performed, really lends itself to a lot of thoughts.
As someone who was a complete “Rocky virgin” up until this past Sunday, when I attended the West Chester University production of the classic musical at the E.O. Bull Center, I can safely say that attending the show opened my eyes to some wild life lessons.
Without further ado, let’s do the timewarp and reflect on some of the best advice to take from a “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
There is no recipe for perfection:
Dr. Frank-N-Furter thought he had the right idea for the perfect man, but in reality, Rocky was not all that he was cracked up to be. Sure he had the looks and the figure, but really, that was it. Lacking depth and character, the man literally created to be the image of excellence fell pretty short.
While Frank’s feelings for Rocky remained fairly strong, which makes sense as Rocky is the product of Frank’s scientific endeavors, he’s undoubtedly lackluster and one dimensional. He has the body, however, that’s really all he is for the entirety of the performance: a body. His only real contribution was the physical intimacy all of the other characters sought from him and nothing more, which arguably was the intended purpose behind his creation.
Frank obviously put a great deal of thought and effort into bringing this model of “perfection” to life. From this we can take away the realization that we can think we know exactly what we want, but try as we might to plan it all out and manifest the images in our brain, those ideas might not actually be what is good for us.
It could do us all some good to just cut loose and not try to force good things, because in reality, we probably have no real clue what is perfect for us.
Gender norms are so boring:
Since we just discussed the flattest character in the entire show, let’s now talk about the most dynamic character: Dr. Frank-N-Furter himself. The poster child for “I do what I want,” Frank is beyond a shadow of a doubt the most captivating, with his killer dance moves, makeup and fashion moments, not to mention his scientific abilities.
Throughout the duration of the production, Frank breaks countless gender and sexuality rules, never pausing to be apologetic or uncomfortable with the way in which he presents himself. In fact, he outright addressed it, stating, “I’m not much of a man by the light of day, but at night I’m one hell of a luv-ah.”
If we haven’t learned it yet, maybe Frank can help us all realize that gender is completely made up.
There is nothing stopping someone from identifying with one gender, all genders or maybe even neither; it all has to do with what makes you feel good about yourself.
So if wearing pearls, corsets and heels makes you feel like your best self in the same way that it did for Frank-N-Furter, then by all means, go off. If anything is standing in your way from rocking a killer pair of fishnets, please, don’t let it be the drag that is societally imposed gender norms. We don’t all have to be Brads.
Don’t dream it, be it:
This one is a little more abstract, but nonetheless just as important.
Dreams are wonderful things, and the true basis for all good things in our lives. However, we can’t just sit back and let our dreams stay dreams; we have to work to manifest them. We have so much control over so many of the things in our lives, we just have to believe that we do.
There’s no reason we can’t shoot for those pie in the sky dreams we all secretly have, no matter how unattainable they may seem. Take a note from the book of “Rocky Horror.” Frank wanted to invent a man of his own creation, so he did. Janet wanted to lose her virginity, and instead of waiting around for old Brad, she went and did it, twice.
No matter how big or small, our dreams are totally worth pursuing, and no one should tell you otherwise.
So the next time you have a wild fantasy about the way you want to live your life, let your desires drive you to be it, instead of just dreaming about it. And if you’re having trouble, feel free to have yourself a nice little musical sequence, floating around your nearest pool in a life raft.
Ali Kochik is a second-year student majoring in English writings track with a minor in journalism . AK908461@wcupa.edu.