They say never meet your heroes. Being someone who has met some of my heroes, and being someone who has been told that people look up to them. (Who calls themselves a hero anyway? ….. I mean …… come on!) Throughout my time in wrestling, I have had the honor of meeting many people I have looked up to. Most have been super cool, and to be honest they all have lived up to my expectations of them. They were for the most part either toned down or in some cases toned up versions of the person I saw them play on tv. These are heroes.
Most entertainers get to choose their own voice, and I speak of entertainers because that was who I personally looked up to as a child. There are lots of types of people, that people look up to. Not just wrestlers or entertainers, some of whom are quite often overlooked, because they aren’t perceived to have such glorious positions in life. But this is a wrestling site, so let’s stay in the ring, shall we!
They say that the best wrestling gimmicks come from inside, often the quote of turning yourself up to 11 gets tossed around. For example, I was once backstage, at a WWE event which featured Stone Cold Steve Austin, when I saw him he walked by with a beer in his hand, which felt right and makes perfect sense. Why would you come up with a character, who drinks a lot of beer, if you, yourself didn’t like beer!?
I have played with many incarnations of Randy, over the years. All of which came from exploring different sides of myself, playing with how much of this, or how much of that. I have found that the closer to myself I am, and the more truthful I am in my performances the more I connect with others. I believe this isn’t only true about my performances. The best heels I know have a mean streak, maybe not one they wear around every day, but they at least know how to tap into it.
Funny wrestlers tend to be funny backstage, and high-risk wrestlers tend to live on the edge! Obviously, there are plenty of exceptions to this of course. There are wrestlers who go out and play something completely different than who they are, but those are “gimmicks’’ while they can be super fun, they often do not tend to resonate as much with people.
When I was young, I looked up to many people, for the most part, I found myself drawn to the different, the wild, or the unpredictable! As I grew, I found my self gravitating to the kind, and compassionate. Little did I know, that these two types of people, were quite often the same people all along. I find that people who are dedicated to what they love and are willing to take big risks. Do it to show how much they care.
In a world which can often be far too dark and mean, it’s the kind and compassionate who are the ones who make a difference. It’s in using what I have learned from, those I have been inspired by, plus finding the pieces inside me, that I want to show off, that have helped me create the character I play today, and the person I am!
This is why I aim to pick my heroes wisely, or more so, pick who I emulate with caution. It’s cool to look up to the rebel, but look into what they are rebelling against, and if this suits your own morals. Then carry on! Don’t just follow someone blindly, because cause they look good in a leather jacket!
If someones happily sells themselves publicly as a meanie, I have learned there’s a good chance that’s coming from somewhere inside them. So whether you are a wrestler, or some sort of entertainer, a coach, a teacher, a parent, or a fish tank cleaner! You never know who’s watching, or looking up to you. So wear that leather or faux leather jacket! And be wild! But also be a good person, these things aren’t mutually exclusive or make us heroes.