How does a young film producer find himself working at a high-end theatrical playhouse on the drop of a hat?
It started with an email. "We are looking to replace a spotlight operator for our run of Rocky Horror Show".
I received this email because I was apart of an odd jobs hire list for the company. I immediately called the theater and told them that I was their man. As someone who grew up watching the film I knew it by heart and could not wait to be part of a live stage production. I did not have much experience spotlighting. I had done a little in high school and was resourceful with a steady hand. (Ok so i stretched the truth a bit but wouldn't you? This was my chance to work on Rocky Horror!!!)
Management told me they would let me know if the job was mine by the end of the day. In any case they allowed me to see the opening night show so I would have an idea of the cues. What I saw that night was an elaborate production. It not only homaged the film but took its own interpretation that complimented the story. Director Keith Andrews had an eye for blocking and pacing. The performances of his cast only enhanced his vision. With hypnotic chereography by broadway veteran Vincent Ortega and superior lighting design by Doug Harry you were transported to the off beat world of Frank N. Furter and his sexy ensemble. I can confirm after now seeing this production 40 times that there is no weak link on this cast.
After the show I went to work a night shift at my local 7-Eleven. The next day with an hour's notice I woke up to an email asking me to spotlight at the theater in an hour.
Without much time to process what was about to occur I immediately drove to the Gateway Playhouse. It was there I experienced a moment out of 42nd Street. The former spotlight operator injured himself and was sitting in a wheelchair. They told me the show must go on. I would later find out that he was just sitting in a prop wheelchair. It was convincing enough to suspend my reality for a good day or so.
The crew was wonderful and trained me on everything I needed to know. I befriended a passionate team of technicians, box office staff, ushers, musicians, wardrobe assistants and a cast who always made me feel at home. Each excelled in knowledge of their own craft and many of Rupaul's Drag Race. Everyday I learned more about the ever fickle audience and just how messy a sold out theater can be. Every night I got better at what I did.
My favorite part of the show comes at its climax in the second act. It is when Magenta and Riff Raff transport the castle back to Transylvania. Every night from my booth I was able see the smiling faces of the audience as the time warp reprised one last time. It is in that moment where I would look forward to doing the Time Warp again. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity and hope I can jump on another project like this soon.