Losing your virginity . . . Rocky Horror style!
There have been many famous cults in our history, but none are quite as committed and serious about their religion as the cults of The Rocky Horror Show.
In this sense, a cult following is great because it means that this show has resonated with so many people that they would follow it off a cliff. But for an outsider, it can be a bit daunting to go and engage with this show when you know that there are a large portion of really passionate fans who know all the audience interaction parts and the actions to do at certain times in the performance.
At least that was what stopped me going last time it was in Melbourne! This fear of not fitting in with the rest of the audience due to still having my Rocky Horror virginity (apparently it is a real thing that is explained in some detail on their website). And when extra psychological costs are added onto the ticket price, it is very easy for potential audience members to chicken out from buying a ticket.
But the team at Rocky Horror have come up with a way to overcome these costs and make an audience feel that popping their Rocky Horror virginity isn’t a big deal – they will still fit in!
So what did they do? They made a ‘Virgin’s Guide’ – A very clever and fun guide that takes potential first-timers through the dos and don’ts of Rocky Horror audience etiquette.
It takes potential audiences through a number of areas. The history of audience participation at the theatre, the importance of allowing everyone to come to the theatre in whatever normal, fancy or transvestite dress they feel appropriate, whether it is appropriate to dance during the Time Warp and some suggestions for dress code while attending the theatre.
For Rocky Horror this guide to dress code only features two rules:
- No suits. These are only worn by people who thought they booked tickets to Phantom of the Opera or Chicago but accidentally dialled the wrong number.
- No sandals, anoraks or anything remotely connected with the acquisition of British Rail rolling stock serial numbers.
And the reassuring reminder of the ‘Golden Rule’: There will always be someone who looks more out of place than you do!
So why is this such a good idea? Because it shows that the costs associated with buying a ticket can easily be overcome with just a little bit of work putting together a simple guide of what to expect when an audience member walks into the theatre.
Of course, when I’m talking about costs I mean the psychological kind. The monetary ones can only really be overcome by knowing the producer!
But as I write this I am wondering if audiences may leave the theatre with more psychological costs than when they entered if they aren’t prepared for the strange journey on which they are about to embark. Oh well, that’s something for psychiatrists to deal with later!