Life as an Actor (Insight from James Reed)

What is your favorite part about performing in Rocky Horror Picture show?

          Being part of the Fishnet Mafia, the official Columbus shadowcast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show has opened a door for me to not only be part of one the most popular movies in cinematic history but to be part of a close net circle of friends and create a family like no other and out this love for Rocky Horror was born our sister cast, The Midnight shift, another shadowcast for main stream movies which most of us also a part of. It’s this unconventional family that makes it my favorite of being part of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

How long have you been performing in this show?

          I have been part of the Fishnet Mafia for 5 years.  I have played many of the characters beside my main character; I also work on the tech side of our show as well as being Assistant Director to our show.

Which character do you play and how do you relate to this character?

          I play Dr. Frank-N-Furtur in the Rocky Horror Picture show. Even though I first saw Rocky Horror when I was 17, I was more drawn to Magenta.  It is Frank’s take charge attitude, his strength and the fact that he is not afraid to be himself that makes me and Frank very similar and is why I love playing this character.



What do you enjoy most about the character you play in the show?

          I love playing Dr. Frank-N-Furter because of the shock and awe that he creates when is on screen.  He is a one of kind character. To play one of the most memorable characters in film history makes for an awesome time.

What’s your favorite part about your costume?

          It’s hard to choose just one part of the costume that is my favorite.  With the character being so androgynous and sexual in nature, every piece of Frank’s costume is important, from the high heels, to the fishnets, to his manly corset he wears.  If I must choose a part, it’s the high heels. You have to be talented to dance in heels.


What’s your favorite song in the show?

          My favorite song in Rocky Horror is “Sweet Transvestite”, this is the big revealing moment where we are introduced to Dr. Frank-N-Furter and all his glory

What inspires you to do this show?

          From the moment I first saw the movie when it’s first “home video” release on VHS was in the early nineties and discovered that Rocky Horror was more than just a movie, it was an experience I knew I had to be part of it. Unfortunately life happens and it wasn’t till 5 years I ago, I ran across the Fishnet Mafia here in Columbus and had the chance to become part of Rocky.  Over time, I learned that it is the older audience who knew Rocky Horror when it first started and the new audience that is just now discovering Rocky Horror that inspires me to do my part to help keep The Rocky Horror Picture Show alive and strong


Why is doing this show important to you?

          Doing the show is so important to me because Rocky Horror is in my blood. This is the longest running movie in history and is still loved by many all over the world and to keep Rocky Horror going for those who feel they don’t fit in, who have been made fun of, the odd people, the misfits, the gays, the straights and everything in between have a place to be themselves without being judged or made fun off.

How well do you work with other actors?

          Being Assistant Director on our cast it is very important that I work hand in hand with all our cast Director and actors. In my time with the Fishnet Mafia, I have seen many people come and go on our cast. Some think that it is just a time to party but soon realize that being part of Rocky Horror is actually a lot of work so they do not stay long. But there are a few select people that connect with Rocky Horror and stay, it is these people that have become my Rocky family and since we are in our underwear a lot of the show we learn a lot about each other and learn to work like a well oiled machine. It takes a lot of hard work from everyone to put on a show, even though it is just for one night a month.

What goes on behind the curtain when you’re off stage?

          Once the show is done we as a cast tries to do many other things together such as karaoke night, game night, family dinners, holiday parties, promotional cast events such as Marcon. We take time for cast meetings to make changes to the show, take care of cast business to keep the show running smooth.  Most of us work on our sister cast, the Midnight Shift. It’s not easy having a good time.

How does everyone put the show together and help make the show a success?

          Even though this is not conventional theater show, there is still a sense of a theatrical production to it. We have a set, props, lighting, sound, costumes, makeup, and acting. Our show just happens to take place in front of the movie it’s self.  Each member of cast is not only responsible for their character for the night from makeup to props; everyone comes together helping with the technical aspect of the show, audience participation and promotion. All of us help in so many ways that make our audience have a memorable night.  That makes our show a success.

Why do you enjoy performing?

          I love entertaining an audience, making people smile and being responsible for people having a good time. I enjoy playing memorable characters that we come to recognize on the silver screen that we all grow up with. How many times can someone say they played Winifred Sanderson in Hocus Pocus…no one…. But I can. I am always the center of attention and it’s this giant sparkling star over my head that gives me the ability to dress up in high heels and fishnets and dance around in my underwear and sing my heart out and love every minute of it!



Here are some links if James has inspired you to come see The Rocky Horror Picture Show live.  The Next Upcoming show is October 26th, at Studio 35.  Tickets are 10$ and the show will start at 11:30 pm.




One response to “Life as an Actor (Insight from James Reed)

  1. Pingback: My Rocky Night |·

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