Let’s put this to the test. I have randomly selected a personal photo of mine and want to see if I can get 1,000 words out of it. Here is the photo I am going to talk about.
This photo was taken on Halloween night 2013. We attended a special Halloween night screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at the historic Tampa Theatre. I am seated in the right corner of the photo next to my dear friend Marge. Our costumes for the evening were Abby Sciuto (Marge) and a Catholic High School Girl Gone Bad (that would be me). Marge and I have always loved any chance to wear costumes or really fun and off the wall fashion. This does include hair and make-up (and sometimes wigs). I live by the theory that life is a stage and our wardrobe are merely costumes. People will perceive many things from our appearance. My favorite clothes at home are jeans and horror movie t-shirts with beat up sneakers, however I would not be caught dead in these if I had to go to an important function where there are people I am going to be meeting. You do not get a second chance to make that first and initial impression. Say we are meeting at a PTA meeting to discuss the upcoming fundraiser for the school year. I am wearing one of the 5 outfits from below. Which one would make the best first impression?
Photo A: This would assure me that my kids (if I had any) would be without friends and the parents of the PTA would wonder what the hell was wrong with me. They would also request that I never come back.
Photo B: Parents would immediately decide I was a whore and would keep their teenage sons under lock and key, terrified of what might happen if I got near them. They would also be terrified at the impression and influence I may have on their daughters. Again my poor kids (if I had any) would be without friends for the most part because everyone would believe mom is a big ol’ slut.
Photo C: This one is a bit overdressed for the event and could come off looking like I was a snob wearing such fancy clothes to a PTA meeting. I do not think I am better than anyone and would not want to give off the impression that I thought I was.
Photo D: This one is not bad as long as the accessories I choose to wear with it are in good taste. I love fierce jewelry and there is a time and a place for it. Some people may frown on some of the earrings and necklaces that I own and they would be out of place in that setting.
Photo E: This is the winning look for this round. I look like a total soccer mom (still without kids) in my simple striped turtle neck, a pair of jeans and sensible shoes with my purse in the crook of my arm. This is actually the way I am dressed most days when I am home or working.
What impression did each photo give you?
My favorite day night of the year. I am the kid that never grew up and wishes every holiday could be Halloween. I remember trick or treating door to door as a child. It was a different time then and as kids we were allowed to go without parental supervision as long as we stayed in the area our parents wanted us to. We also had some wonderful Halloween parties where we would gather and have food, tell scary stories with only a candle to light the room and we would watch horror movies (which are my favorite to this day). Most of all I loved having a new costume every year. As an adult I still love having a new costume every year except now I love seeing the kids coming to my door for treats in their new costumes. After serving trick or treat goodies to the bright eyed children it is off to a party or in the case of the photo I am using, to attend a screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” Who said you had to act like a grown up on this night of the year?
Tampa Theatre is a movie palace that opened it’s doors in 1926. It is a protected landmark and is a feast for the senses with the beautiful architecture and design. It is a sumptuous treat to see a movie here in such a grand setting. If you do not live in Tampa and come to visit treat yourself to a movie or live show in Tampa Theatre’s elegant surroundings. I look back at some of the wonderful films and live shows I have seen here. A few of the films I have enjoyed here: “The Wizard of Oz”, “Crimes of Passion”, “Meet the Feebles”, “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane”, “To Have and Have Not”, “Blow Out”, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”, “Psycho”, “Pink Flamingos” and, of course, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” I have also seen Elayne Boosler do her live and very funny stand-up. If you would like to learn more about Tampa Theatre the website is : www.tampatheatre.org
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show”
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is one of the most important things to happen to me in my lifetime. Growing up was a rough time for me. I was nerd girl to the hilt. I was always clumsy and always felt out of place when I left the comfortable and controlled environment of my home. If a “Kick Me” sign was going to end up on someone’s back, it was mine. I did have some friends, don’t get me wrong, however, I wanted and wished for a place where I felt that I fit in. My life was like being trapped on the island of misfit toys.
In junior high school I got my first job (at age 13) through a work program at school. I worked for McDonald’s. I started feeling a little in place in my new surroundings and it was there that my life would change course forever. One night some of the high school kids that worked with me were going to “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and asked if I would like to go. I had heard of it but had never seen it. I said I would and lied to my grandmother telling her I was spending the night at a friend’s house. We got there and the show was unlike anything I had ever seen. Here was a movie musical that was so odd to my 13 year old mind and there were people in front of the screen performing the movie in full costumes! I knew this is where I wanted to be.
After the movie I went to talk with some of the performers and somehow I was granted a place in their group. I had set up a new challenge trying to figure a way to get permission from my grandmother to do this show every weekend. She let me although she was not really happy with me doing a show that started at midnight. I was only 13 years old but she could see a light in my eyes that had not been there before (she told me this in just the last few years when we talked about it). I had finally found a place where I was accepted being myself. I was not bullied, I was embraced. If I was picked on it was in very good nature and not meant to sting. I came out of the shell I had been living in. It gave me a place to get comfortable in my own skin. The old nerdy Alexandra died that night and I have never looked back.
It is funny how a movie, of all things, would provide and outlet that I so desperately needed. I could be myself 100% and be accepted, no questions asked. Marge who I am sitting with in the photo is one of the first people I met in University Cinema that wonderful night that fate stepped in. Here we are many years later watching a new generation doing something we loved so much. I hope this generation loves it as much as we did. I was 13 the first time I did the show. I am now 47 and my Rocky Horror family is still my family to this day. I performed the show from age 13 to age 28 when I finally stepped down. Many of my happiest memories come from those days and many of the people I am closest to and love so deeply did also. To each and everyone of my Rocky Horror family I want to say I love you and thank you for a place where I could feel safe, secure and learn to love myself just being me. If you have never seen a live performance of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” I encourage you to do so. Watching the movie on DVD is okay but it is nothing compared to the live experience with audience participation and a shadow cast in a movie theater. Don’t forget to wear a Rocky Horror costume, it makes you a part of the fun!
Take some time and look through some of your photos. See how many memories and stories they bring to you. A photo is taken in the present, however once that image is captured it is already the past. We manage to freeze a moment of time forever. Photos are our memories that we can gaze upon and share with others if we choose to. If you share an image, share some of the memories that go with it. You will find that a picture is worth more than a thousand words .