Walt’s Soapbox: I Can Show You My Favorite Obsession

Only way to feel the noise is when it’s good and loud
So good I can’t believe it, screamin’ with the crowd
Don’t sweat it, get it back to you
Don’t sweat it, get it back to you

It was around 6:35 in the evening. I was getting ready to write this column when my phone rang. The voice on the other end was the notorious Madison “Sedusa” Martin, cast director of Transylvanian Lip Treatment, the Indianapolis Rocky Horror Shadow Cast.

She began rambling orders for me. For the show this Saturday. “Assist with new callback lines, show the new guys the ropes, get the crowd riled up, and of course help out with pre-show, including the Creatures of the Night costume contest and virgin ritual.”. She also asked if I could get some flyers or literature for the upcoming rally at the Statehouse on the 22nd to protest against the legislature’s numerous anti-queer bills to hand out at the show.

I lit a cigarette, jotted some notes, and made some phone calls. One to Chloe. To see if she could help me put together Cher Guevara for Saturday night, and one to Annette, who was heading up the rally on the 22nd to see about some flyers. Chloe answered and said yes, she could help me resurrect Ms. Guevara for Saturday. I left a message for Annette.

“Welcome to life in the weird lane with TLT.”

Some would think I’m stone crazy; I work all week doing my day job, often coming home completely wiped. I should take the weekend and slow down, right? Spend a Saturday kicking back with a six pack of Guinness, a bottle cheap wine, and a volume of Charles Bukowski. Instead, I’m spending this Saturday night running around like crazy basically from 7:00 PM to 2:00 AM. Then, it’ll be the cast after-party where I’ll drink until I pass out around 5:00 AM.

The truth is it’s addicting as hell.  To be cranked up and pushed to the limits, frantically getting everything ready. Making sure my make-up and outfit is set just right, knowing what’s going on for the virgin ritual, ensuring I have the prizes for the costume contest, making sure all the props are set right if need be. Then, at 11:00 o’clock, the doors open and the people start to pour in.

 At 11:40, it’s time for one last smoke before the last song. Then, once the last metal blaster finishes bouncing off the walls, I grab the mic and bark out “How the fuck are ya, Irving Theater?!” The roar of hundreds of late-night freaks, queers, and other assorted misfits washes over me. I forget my shitty day job. I forget my student loans. I forget my doctor bills. I forget everything else. It is a beautiful moment.

And it’s not just me who feels that way, the rest of the cast and crew is mostly like myself. Most of us work soul-killing day jobs. We deal with assholes of one stripe or another.  But for one Saturday night a month, we put everything we got into the show and set the crowd on fire.

That’s why I do it. It’s a reminder of who I truly am. It’s a space where I can be totally free in the flesh. I can walk out on that stage, decked out as weird and far out as I wanna be, say whatever I wanna say, and the crowd totally digs it.

I think too few people have that sort of release, dig? They work that soul-killing day job week in and week out. They come home, too tired to do much. They look forward to the weekend where they sleep in late, run some errands, then spend most of the weekend zonked out in front of the TV, just because they’re too tired to do much else. And can you really blame them?

But I want to challenge you, my audience, I want you to find your release. For me, it’s a late night Rocky Horror performance with TLT. For you it might be playing guitar or dancing or hell, hitting golf balls as hard as you can down at the local driving range. Whatever it is, find it, before the job eats you and you end up old and bitter.

And if you want to catch me with Transylvanian Lip Treatment, you can check us out on Facebook:

Image credit: polarimagizine.com

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