June 5th, 2009

Snark

Con Story Part IV: ACMRH The Musical

It's been a while since our cast (whose name and composition has varied over the years, but is currently the Transylvanian Concubines of Fairfax, VA) has done a preshow at a convention, due to time constraints, lack of motivation, or simply not enough cast members in attendance. Q and I only attended the Saturday afternoon portion of the last convention (Atlantic City, 2008) at the last minute; and, if I recall correctly, the two of us were the only members of our cast to attend the Chicago convention in 2006 (and so on, and so on). We decided that we wanted to do something new and different; it wasn't simply enough to do one of our preshows that hadn't been seen on the national level yet (although we do want to show off our First Nudie Preshow sometime), we wanted to create something brand new for the occasion.
Q had the idea of making a musical (I thought we should have called it a "rock opera") about the old Rocky Horror newsgroup on usenet (alt.cult-movies.rocky-horror). We brainstormed on topics – I insisted that one of the songs had to be "The Next Rocky Horror", about Repo!, Showgirls, et al., for instance – and then Q wrote most of the songs with her band Glasgow Tunnel (Tim and Katy) with additional lyrics and vocals by Σοφωκλεσ and Skanky. (I offered some additional input, which was occasionally even used; but only played a minor part in the audio production since I can't sing or play an instrument.)
Once the music was finished, recorded, mixed, and edited, it was my turn to get serious. I produced the list of all off-topic obituaries ever posted to the newgroup (one of the many issues that rent the group) which Q assembled (from Google image searches) in chronological order; she also assembled the other montages. (We made a long list of movies that qualified as "the next Rocky Horror", but couldn't fit all of them. Many, like Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, got left out; but I insisted that Batman had to stay. The convention montage was made entirely from pictures I took at previous conventions.) I created all of the animations for the computer startup sequence, the desktop, and all of the fake inside-joke newsgroup posts. My utility, Allah Sulu's Massive Tool, played a large part in the animation process (and was plugged in the animation).
We rehearsed it a bit at home in Maryland, and in our room at the convention; but some of the performance still consisted of on-the-spot ad libs (like my decision to stick balloons in my shirt so that I'd have huge fake boobs for the verse about Showgirls. I spend about fifteen minutes combing the floor of the convention hall looking for two balloons that were the same size and shape. Cosmo wondered what the hell I was doing, but I didn't explain.) Since the whole thing was so inside-jokey, we expected it to go over many peoples' heads, and only appeal to the old timers – we were all pleasantly shocked by how well it was received. Flush with success, Q wants to write a real, full-length musical now.

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