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Ruth's Capsule Bio

Last updated: 3/16/2012

Occasionally people ask who I am. This capsule bio is my answer.

Rocky Horror History
I've been a fan of the Rocky Horror Picture Show since 1988, when I started performing in Lincoln, Nebraska. Since then I've been in casts in California, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and South Carolina, and even back in Nebraska. The husband and I currently perform with one of the two Chicagoland area casts. I've been fortunate enough to see the film across the US and occasionally outside it. I am also a fan of the play.

I play Magenta, whose voice I fell in love with on the film soundtrack in 1978, and occasionally the Usherette (Trixie). I've served as a costume judge at the Anaheim con in California (1997), the NYC con (1998), Denver Rocks the Rockies (1999), Transylvania '99, East Coast 2000 (Allentown), Bay Area 2000, the 25th Anniversary (2000), the Philadelphia Con (2002), The Denton Affair (Manchester, UK, 2006) the Untoucha-Touchables Con (Chicago, 2006), and the 35th Anniversary (LA, 2010) although listing these as credentials makes little sense, as the List you're looking at is the reason I was asked. I was honored to receive the BOSS award in April 1998 at the NYC con for my contributions to the Rocky Horror Internet community, and to receive a Fan Award at the 25th Anniversary. I was interviewed on the BBC World Service radio program "Outlook" on the occasion of the Rocky Horror Show's 30th anniversary. For my work on this site I received a David at the 2001 Frankie Goes to Hollywood convention (the "Golden Sphincter" award--hmm).

Other Pastimes
Other Rocky-related sites I maintain include, which used to be the Rocky Horror Frequently Asked Questions list, and the website for the defunct national Rocky Horror fanzine Crazed Imaginations, which I edited from 1998-2006. Since Rockypedia became part of I help out occasionally there too, mostly on the content side there and at their Facebook page. I also run cast Completely Crazy's website and Facebook page. I'm married to another fan, Wally (we met at the show, got engaged at the show, and spent our wedding night at the show).

In real life, I'm an engineer, working in project management. I enjoy collecting Rocky Horror items, reading, foreign languages, dark chocolate, women's history, vegetarian cooking, puttering around in the garden, and ancient Egypt.

What I Look Like
If you meet me at a con, I'll probably be wearing jeans and a T-shirt, no makeup, and have my hair up in a ponytail. If you're wondering what I look like, there are photos of me at: Just like internet dating site pictures, these are kind of old; I'm a little grayer now.

Oh, you meant in costume?
I photograph poorly so I have maybe half a dozen photos in costume I'm happy with. Here are a few.

Costume Prejudices
I hate foil-dot material, favor sequins over rhinestones, and I like wigs if they're well-styled. If your choices are your own hair or a poofy wig right out of the bag, save us both some trouble and style your own hair.

Do I Make My Own Costumes?
Over the years the answer has drifted from "yes" to "sometimes." I am mostly self-taught and firmly believe that almost anyone can learn to sew, but I've reached the point in my life where I have more money than free time. My most recent costume pieces were made in 2011; the oldest date back to 1991. In 2001 I bought a costume for the first time but did some of the work as well as final alterations. Since then I've commissioned three pieces (two Magenta dresses and a spacesuit), modified them to varying degrees, and purchased a secondhand pair of spacesuits. Apparently I have very strange measurements so I've learned to ask that a tailor make me a muslin before doing the finished piece.

I believe creating costumes is a continuous process, as your abilities and knowledge of the costumes improve. If you can't make a perfect costume, don't sit around feeling sorry for yourself or wishing you had the money to pay someone else to do it--make the best one you can, and go from there. If this means you're modifying something you found in a thrift store, great. That's how most of us got started and it's the fastest, most fun way to get your first costume together. People tend to assume I look down on people who wear cobbled-together thrift store costumes. Nothing could be further from the truth--it's how I got started myself, and I respect people who put their time, effort and love into their costumes. Personally I'm much happier getting creative with cardboard, duct tape and a tube of E6000 than sewing from a pattern.

You can email me if you want to discuss costumes.

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