‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ Offers a Place to Belong, a Place to Be Yourself

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Everyone remembers the first time they saw the movie that changed their life.

“I just remember watching the movie and being like, this is something that exists out in the world and how did I not already know about it?” says Kara Stone.

For some, that movie is a strange, sensual, science-fiction, cult classic -- "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."

It’s the tale of Brad and Janet, a young couple lured to the castle of the seductive, singing, cross-dressing Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

The bizarre flick flopped when it was first released in 1975. But decades later, on the stage, performers are breaking stereotypes and breathing new life into the musical.

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“I love 'Rocky' because it allows people who are sort of on the fringe to not feel so alone and isolated,” said Mone’t Ha-Sidi.

She plays Brad Majors in the Amber’s Sweets production of "Rocky Horror."

She’s just one of a dedicated group of "Rocky" fans who have channeled their passion into performance. Every few weeks, they pull on fishnets, squeeze into corsets and strap on platform heels to rehearse the show. The cast walks a delicate line between being true to the original movie and being true to themselves.

“I auditioned for Brad as a joke, because I thought there’s no way they are going to cast me. I look nothing like Barry Bostwick,” Ha-Sidi said.

She may look nothing like Bostwick. But on stage, that doesn’t matter. Performing in "Rocky" allows Ha-Sidi to act beyond her gender and race. It’s an opportunity not always available in more traditional musicals.

In "Rocky Horror," you don’t need to look the part. You just need to love the part.

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“Because the whole model of 'Rocky' is 'Don’t dream it, be it,'” Ha-Sidi said. “And we really should embrace that fully, by making sure people who may not look like Susan Sarandon, or Barry, or Tim -- as long as they can emote that character, they should have an opportunity to do it.”

“If you want a role, you are good enough” said Victoria Augusto, another cast member. “It’s always welcome, it’s always expected, and frankly, they’d be offended if you were anything but who you are.”

Lucy Rizzo plays a Transylvanian, one of the musical’s alien party-goers.

She struggled with body image issues until a friend encouraged her to try out for the "Rocky Horror Picture Show." Surrounded by supportive friends, all wearing colorful wigs and dramatic make-up, her securities began to melt away.

“It’s not about body typing, it’s about coming in with enthusiasm,” Rizzo said. “At the end of the day, I felt more beautiful, more confident every time I came off the stage.”

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Christa Quinn plays "Rocky’s" anti-hero, Dr. Frank-N-Furter. As a regular performer in the Sacramento area, she’s no stranger to the stage. But she says "Rocky" is special. It’s a place where outsiders, who don’t always feel like they fit in, will be accepted and loved.

“It’s a source for misfits I find. And it’s a beautiful place where we can find our family in one another,” Quinn said.

Jessica Friesen is the director of Amber’s Sweets "Rocky Horror Picture Show." She says it’s the community that draws everyone, performers and fans alike, to the show.

A place to belong. A place to be yourself. A place to call home.

“It’s the best community you will ever find," Friesen said. "It’s the most accepting community you will ever find. And you will find lifelong friendships in it.”

-- FOX40's Kaitlin Talbot filed this report. 


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