People Like Us: The Cult of The Rocky Horror Picture Show

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9780996399401: People Like Us: The Cult of The Rocky Horror Picture Show
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An in-depth look at the devoted fans behind the sucess of the ultimate cult movie, and the unconventional community they've created.

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From the Author:

Up until I started working on this series, I had only seen Rocky Horror in the theater twice in my life. Little did I know I was about to fall down the rabbit hole with these folks for six years, learning everything about "shadow casting" the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the incredibly tight-knit community that has formed around the love of performing this film. These photographs are from the LA area (where I'm from), the Bay Area, Texas, Las Vegas, New Orleans, the DC metro area, New York City, New Jersey, Portland, Seattle, and Eugene. In the course of my travels I encountered Rocky fans from all walks of life, with different professional backgrounds and interests, all under the roof of The Church of Rocky. It was fascinating to see how a subculture based on something so spontaneous and genuinely organic can spread all over the US (and world!), sharing much of the same traditions and structure. Making these photographs of people who have embraced and are empowered and united by their differences from mainstream culture, has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and I hope you enjoy the result.

From the Back Cover:

"A treasure chest of irresistible portraits depicting the 'shadow casts' who keep the Rocky Horror Picture Show alive nationwide. Upon closer examination, Everett's intimate
photographs and accompanying interviews reveal the escape from reality into the imagination that the spectacle offers to countless participants - who through their enthusiasm and dedication, contribute to  Rocky Horror's longevity." 

-Gerd Ludwig, National Geographic photographer

When Fox Studios released The Rocky Horror Picture Show in September of 1975, it came and went with little fanfare. A film adaptation of a hip undergroundLondon musical, it seemed to have failed to capture the frenetic energy of the live show and engage audiences as it had on stage. Little did anyone know it would make an unconventional return to it's theater roots, set the record for longest theatrical release of all time, and go on to become the ultimate cult movie.
 
For the past four decades, attending a midnight showing of Rocky Horror has become a right of passage for American teens ; something as ubiquitous as attending your first rock concert, or first high school party. The raucous shows are partly vaudeville's last gasp - with their explicitly bawdy humor- and part new religion for the sexually liberated and socially progressive. It's an environment where bold sexual innuendos and puns are used freely with an almost innocent humor. There's a accepting "anything goes "atmosphere, and a sense of being in a place where the rules of "out there" don't apply. For regulars and casual aficionados alike, Rocky Horror is a safe-haven where people of all persuasions can go to have a good time and be accepted as they are.
 
PeopleLike Us documents the tight-knit community of dedicated fans who perform in and produce the weekly shows, and who in doing so, have kept the film on screens in the pop-culture collective consciousness for forty years.
These "shadow cast" performers spend countless hours on painstakingly accurate reproductions of their characters' costumes, special theme nights, set fabrication, and promotions. The film becomes an anchor for their world, with its gently satirical silver screen archetypes and saucy one-liners lending themselves to an abundance of internet memes and fan fiction.
 
Images from the live shows focus on the relationships between the cast members and the participatory nature of the film-going experience, while the environmental portraits take the performers out of the theater setting and portray them in their everyday environment. In each portrait, the everydayness of the domestic setting is transformed by the act of becoming something else, and in doing so, evoking the ritual of performance. In this sense, People Like Us explores that ineffable line when the performer ends and the character begins.The film's tag line and central theme - "don't dream it, be it" - is embodied in this phenomenon.

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