[Foss note here: We wanted to give Robert the opportunity to say goodbye and thank you to everyone here at the show with one final interview, when I couldn’t find anyone to do the interview, Amber popped up and suggested “Let Robert do it!” Never one to turn down a great idea we did the only thing we could do was ask Robert to interview Robert. So here in all it’s glory is Robert interviewing himself about his final show and future plans. Enjoy.]
Robert: No, thank me!
Price: I’m welcome. You’ve been doing the show for two years and now you’re walking away. Why?
Robert: I’m going to New York. There’s a great big world out there, and I have to go see it now while I’m young and stupid. I know too many people that wait for something to push them out of their comfort zone and end up…comfortable. Plans to leave the city get pushed back further and further until they don’t see the point in taking the risk because they’re happy where they are. That’s a beautiful thing, but it’s not what I want to do. I’m deeply afraid that I’ll squander the opportunities that I’ve been given by making the safe choice. I get anxious if I feel like I’m not creating or learning or improving. Don’t dream it, be it.
Price: That was a little heavy for the first question. Let’s lighten up a bit. What was your first Rocky Show like?
Robert: I don’t think anything could really prepare me for that first show. I knew the movie well, but I think I had seen it only three times at River Oaks. So some of the call-outs caught me by surprise and made me miss my next line cause I was laughing. I found my self looking back at the screen even though I had promised myself that I wouldn’t. I think I got the floorshow dance right because that’s what we practiced the most, other than Sweet T. One thing you realize about the movie is how many different costumes that Frank has to be responsible for. Keeping track of when to change into what was pretty difficult.
Price:Where did you get your costume?
Robert: The black heels were from erotic cabaret and then hand glittered with E-6000 by me and my lovely lady Sara. The red heals I stole from the costume loft at The University of Houston School of Theatre and Dance. They had done the Rocky Horror Show a few years ago and I saw it and loved it. The wig I ordered from a Rocky specialty sight, and the corset was made by a wonder woman who used to help us out with costumes. The garter belt I had to make myself (which I have no business doing) because nobody makes the British-style six-garter belt anymore, and even if they did it wouldn’t be the right color. Sara actually finished it for me and it’s fastened with a bra clasp. The elbow gloves I also hand stitched which is why they look the way they do, and the fabric is the reverse side of sequined chainmail from a production of Once Upon A Mattress in which I played Prince Dauntless. The dresses are thrift-store finds.
Price: What is going through your head as you’re doing the show now?
Robert: I’m mostly concerned about keeping my voice healthy by supporting with good breath, my posture in heels takes some conscious thought, and I’m always making sure to try and “fuck the back row” with my performance. Foss’ vision of the show makes us the rock stars, and I think our goal is to be so engaging and committed that we’re adding to the movie and not taking away from it.
Price:This might be a little early in the interview to ask, but do you ever fantasize about people at Rocky Horror?
Robert: Of course. When I put on that costume I feel like a demigod, and 300 people dressed like they’re gonna get laid is definitely a turn on. The sexiest person I ever saw at rocky was Sara doing Trixie’s strip-tease, and I think the fans would agree. The fantasies involve Sara and I “going to town” together on various audience members.
Price: How long have you and Sara been together? What’s your secret?
Robert: It will be 3 years this October. She’s talented, kind and clever. We’ve grown a lot together as we’ve grown up. We’ve been apart the last three summers because of her professional work as an actress, but we both have summer birthdays so we’re used to grand romantic gestures. I’ve made her several videos, she wrote a rap for me, and this year we’ve recorded an album together of all the silly love songs we wrote in high school up to now. It’s called Retro Spectacle and her songs are amazing.
Price: A lot of our cast have hidden talents. Stevie styles hair, Zach is a chef, Rachael is a visual artist, and Amber is a professional groupie. What do you do outside of Rocky Horror?
Robert: I have a degree in Playwriting, and my passion is improvisation. I perform with Comedysportz Houston in a family friendly show, as well as with Flirt Reynolds in a PG-13 show. I teach improv at Beta Theater. I’m currently studying up on shakespeare so I can improvise a play in iambic pentameter.
Robert: New York means I’m going to get knocked down, and get up again, and hopefully they’re never going to keep me down. I’ll start at the beginning all over again as a tiny fish in a hurricane ocean, and maybe discover some like minded fish at the bottom that want to start a new school. But I gotta watch out for sharks and hooks and stingrays and such. I got to find out what water is.
Price: Are you planning on trying cocaine when you get to New York?
Robert: No, I might give up drinking though. I waited until I was 21 to drink, which I do not regret at all, and after a year of trying everything out I’d be comfortable saving the money from now on. I don’t eat meat and I don’t drink soda, I don’t drink coffee and I don’t smoke weed. Cheaper to be clean. I’m still debating whether pornography belongs in my life, and I’m a master debater. I’m thinking right now my imagination is more interesting than whatever the internet decides is erotic, and getting in touch with my own sensuality probably makes me a better lover.
Price: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Robert: Handing over the management of my improv theater to someone I trust so that I can go pursue a job writing and performing for a new kind of Netflix show. Then visiting Houston to play in shows at Christmas.
Price: This has been really fun for me and I wish you the best. I have one more question: what advice do you have for people just starting out in Rocky Horror?
Robert: Get to know the people you work with. I think at some point in the big cities Rocky Horror was an unsafe place for normal people, and now it’s become a safe place for weird people. The people that do the show and the people that come to the show believe in certain principles that are wonderful. Sexual and gender liberation, the importance of obscenity, and the sense of disillusionment about the world they’ve felt as they got older. These are people that have fun celebrating a strange and broken fantasy because they think reality is the real joke. Getting to know your cast also result in moments of unexpected collaboration. The audience doesn’t remember the movie when they leave, they remember the moment when two cast members created something new together because they’re friends and friends can do that.
Foss again: On behalf of everyone at The Royal Mystic Order of Chaos we want to thank Robert for his time and Energy. As always we also want to extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Fans of Chaos and The Rocky Horror Picture Show who have supported both the cast and Rocky Horror in Houston. Thank you all so much for being so kind to us. See you tonight!