Eli Ramos is a junior biology major from Fremont, Calif. They are part of ASUSF’s College Players and most recently played Eddie in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” on Oct. 19.
Kate Sagara: How did you get involved in theater?
Eli Ramos: I was in performing [acting] groups when I was pretty young. And I just kept doing theater from there, and then I came to college and joined College Players. “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” was my first theater experience in college. I am returning to it for the third year in a row.
KS: How have you been preparing for your role of Eddie? And how is it different from other roles you have played?
ER: I listened to a lot of music. I am extremely familiar with Rocky Horror because I watched it a lot as a high schooler, but I never saw it shadowcast until freshman year here. But now that I’m playing an actual role, I want to be able to match some of the movements and the energy.
KS: Why did you want to be involved in Rocky Horror?
ER: Rocky Horror was really important to me growing up as a person in a small town that wasn’t super cool about being LGBTQ. And as a young trans kid, and also a young gay person, just watching something that is cherished as gay culture in a sense [was important]. I think for a lot of young LGBT people, this is their first experience — especially with the line in Rocky Horror, “don’t dream it, be it.” I think this is the real song about being trans because it starts off with Dr. Frankenfurter saying, “this is the thing that I cherished very much,” and now I’m saying “don’t dream that, be that.” I’m very invested in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” because I watched it a lot growing up as a way of coping with being in a place where people were not cool with my identity. And then, on another note, it’s just a really fun production to be in.
KS: What do you like most about your character?
ER: I now identify as nonbinary — and Meatloaf’s voice can hit a range that a lot of people who are assigned female can hit — and it’s just a fun song. It’s really energetic. But I wanted to audition for Eddie [because his song was one] that I liked a lot growing up. People are like, “Oh you really like to be a dude,” and I’m like, “Yeah, I do, but also I’m trans — but I don’t have to tell you that.” I think Eddie brings that vibe that makes it feel really cameo, and having a dude just break out of a freezer to motorcycle around and sing about making out with a girl is just so fun. I think it really drives home the point that “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is not a very serious movie. It’s just goofy and fun.
KS: Do you do any other forms of art?
ER: I write a lot of music, and I sketch and paint, but I think music is the biggest thing I do, after theater. When I auditioned, I wasn’t able to make it in-person, so I just sent a video of me playing guitar, and they were like, “Yeah, dope, you’ll be Eddie.”
You can see Ramos in upcoming College Players’ productions. Be sure to check out the College Players’ website here.