When I was a little kid, probably nine or ten, my parents took me to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  Some of you may question the parenting wisdom of taking a child that young to see a movie that features sex, transvestite aliens, axe murders, raunchy crowd participation, and perhaps most objectionable of all, Meatloaf. Everything about that film says, “Don’t bring your ten year old son to see me!”

I’m grateful that my parents didn’t listen. I immediately fell in love with that film in a way that only ten year old kids can fall in love with those kinds of movies – with passionate zeal. I loved how rowdy everyone in the theatre got. I loved throwing toast and rice and toilet paper, and yelling at the screen. I even loved seeing young Susan Sarandon in a bra, though at the time I think I was really confused about why. And the music! Oh, I devoured the music! I vaguely recall my dad having the soundtrack on vinyl (either that or bootleg cassette tape!), and me sitting and listening to it for hours on his oversized earphones. I loved it. Hell, I still love it.

No really, look at 'em!

Look at those gams!

So why all this blather about Rocky Horror? As I get on in years, I’ve started thinking more and more about roles that I haven’t played yet. For some roles you have a very narrow window of opportunity before you simply get too old to play them. For example, as much as I love the role of Enjolras in Les Miserables, I’ll never actually get to play him – I’m now too old. I have a ton of dream parts, but always near the top of the list has been Frank N Furter, the titular Sweet Transvestite of Rocky Horror fame! I’ve always wanted to play him, but for various reasons throughout the years I have avoided auditioning.

And if I’m being truthful, the main reason I’ve been afraid to audition has been because of my weight. I’ve struggled with unwanted pounds and poor body image since my early twenties, and being a little heavy has always made me apprehensive about auditioning for Frank. After all, those costumes don’t leave much to the imagination, and you have to be pretty fit to pull them off. (In some cases, literally pull them off!) Sure, I can sing the role. I can act the role. But for my entire adult life I simply have been too overweight to actually GET the role.

And so I’ve decided to change all of that before I get too old to play him! To that end, I will soon be implementing the “Frank N Furter Project”, a weight loss and performance program that will prepare me to be physically fit enough to play Frank by this Halloween. I would like to hit my goal weight of 235 pounds by my birthday, September 15th. Trimming up by that time will give me plenty of time to audition for any local productions of Rocky that may be happening this year. I will also be taking dancing and singing lessons, the better to be prepared for the artistic requirements of the role.

Though these preparations are ostensibly to help me land a role in Rocky Horror, that’s obviously not the only reason I want to do this stuff: I understand that losing weight, becoming a better dancer and a better singer will generally make me a more marketable performer overall. It’s the best thing I can do for my career, and this is the best way that I can think to motivate myself. What could be more motivating than knowing that on your birthday in eight months you’ll have to Nair your entire body, pull on some fishnets and a pair of panties, strap yourself into a corset, and sing like you’re the king of the goddamned universe?

Because that’s what I plan on doing, folks. To keep myself honest, I am making a vow to you, here and now: on September 15th 2013, my thirty-eighth birthday, I will dress up in my best Frank N Furter drag, sing a song from the show, and post it on my Youtube page. It may be glorious, it may be horrible, but it WILL be happening.

I can’t think of anything more motivating than that!

Stay tuned for more info!

Love,

Shelly

ps. here’s a link to my Youtube page with me singing I’m Going Home, one of my favorite songs from the show!

Categories: General

8 Responses so far.

  1. Laura Sheehan says:

    I can’t wait to see the results! In fact, I shiver with antici… pation. 🙂 I know you can do it. There will probably be setbacks and struggles, but as long as you keep getting back on that horse, you’ll make it. And if you ever want some private dance lessons, let me know, I’d be happy to help. Best wishes!

  2. Amy says:

    This is awesome! And yes, that sounds like real motivation 🙂

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