Sunday, October 17, 2004


Let There Be Lips...Again!


It's happened again, somehow.

Jessi, our director of Vancouver's Rocky Whores (the name of our cast) had mentioned the possibility that she might have a job in broadcasting by next Halloween, and if so, then her AD, Kevin, would bump up to director, with me moving into the number 2 spot.

This week's rehearsal was supposed to be a trial run for that; Jessi was on-air at school this weekend, leaving Kevin in charge, and me getting his back. Then she sends an email out on saturday--about 24 hours before the thing--saying that Kevin's grandmother has died, so he can't be there, so Rich is in charge.

*blink blink* What?

So yes, once again I fall into the leadership role. I think I handled things pretty well, even made up for some past mistakes. I just made sure we kept on task, since, as with any gathering of like-minded people, the tendency was to just be social. But mainly, I prayed there wouldn't be another situation like the one that led to us being without a Rocky and a Riff-Raff.

Let me give you the basics on that story, which I mentioned a few weeks ago but never elaborated on. Our Rocky, you see, had been a 19-year-old girl, who was at that stage where she realizes how easy it is to use your sexuality (or, more accurately, your tits) to get attention. At rehearsals, she loved to make innuendo-laden comments, or flirt with the girl playing Frank, or anything else to shock me shock me shock me with that deviant behavior.

The trouble came when she arrived at one rehearsal with some fetish costumes she had bought at a sex shop, and she and Frank modeled the "Sexy Milkmaid" and "Sexy Strawberry Shortcake" (no comment) outfits. Another cast member (who shall remain nameless to protect the innocent, though who among us can truly be called innocent?) made some comments, which Rocky chose to be offended by.

There's the problem; she was offended by sexual comments, made in a sexually charged atmosphere, and directed at someone who has made more than her share of sexual comments.

A couple of weeks later, Jessi was out of town, and called off the rehearsal. But Rocky sent out an email to the rest of us declaring a "super-secret" rehearsal. This cloak-and-dagger event, to which I unfortunately couldn't make it, was specifically so she could air her grievances about the other cast member without him there.

That was bad enough. Then the next day, Jessi, who knew nothing about her clandestine bitch session, got a call from Rocky's mom, demanding to know why she had kept her daughter until after midnight.

Jessi: "Um, I never had your daughter last night."

What followed was probably the worst phone conversation of Jessi's life, with Rocky's mom condemning us as sexual deviants and threatening legal action. Turned out there had been a whole 'nother controversy; as her costume, Rocky had been planning to wear the standard gold lame trunks, with handprints painted over her tits with liquid latex (see previous comment about the power of tits). Jessi had called the theater to see if this was kosher, and the theater management had called Rocky's home and left a message that "bare breasts" (their interpretation) were not okay. Which was what started the avalanche of shit between Rocky and her mom that rolled downhill onto Jessi.

I got most of this as it was going on, since I had been helping Jessi with a project for her school that week. For everyone else, the first hint they had (apart from the secret rehearsal) was when Jessi announced at the next rehearsal that Rocky was out. And moving to Winnipeg with her mom.

Rocky showed up later on at that rehearsal, along with her boyfriend, who we all assumed was still playing Riff-Raff. They sat off to the side the whole time, not saying a word, then after we were done rehearsing, the boyfriend stood up and announced that he felt that we were all giving him suspicious looks, and was also dropping out. Of course, we WERE giving him suspicious looks, because he was there with the person who had stirred up the shitstorm, quit the cast, and showed up at the rehearsal but didn't say anything. We had nothing against him personally--the fact that he shows up so late in this narrative attests that he had no part in the rest of the drama. But he had decided to join Rocky up there in martyrville anyway.

Still, like soldiers, we all seem to have come out of this traumatic experience with a closer cast bond, and more determined to do a kickass show.

With or without a Riff and a Rocky.
Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

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