The fabulous Commodore Ballroom is one of Vancouver’s marquee venues provided the healing power of performing. For all things entertainment, one of the very first things I did when I moved to Vancouver from Calgary 8 years ago was going to the Commodore, to see the band Rancid. I instantly fell in love with the venue and knew I had to wrestle there one day. Since then I have seen countless amazing shows there, Against me! The interrupters, Less than Jake, and the for mentioned Rancid, a bunch of times. Tonight was ECCW’s time to shine and knock socks off with their bi-annual Ballroom Brawl.
Over the last six years, these have become a milestone show for the Vancouver wrestling community. This night was no exception, with a stacked card, and a sold-out show! And outside talent like Brody King David Star, TJ Perkins, Kevin Sullivan, and Brian Pillman Jr. Not to mention local talents like Artemis Spencer, Nicole Matthews, Andy Bird, Scotty Mac, and the Voros Twins. This card had all the makings of a great night!
My match was a six-man! I teamed with Bishop and Fergie, the tag team known as Bishy-Wishy vs The SHINING, which consisted of The Voros Twins, Nicole Matthews, and their marvelous manager Kristopher Kassidy. A team I helped create, but has since turned their back on me, cause…….. wrestling! Not to mention I had a very special entrance planned. You see, the commodore shows, are always a night when we go the extra mile and tonight was no exception.
With all of this racing threw my mind, I woke up that morning with butterflies in my belly, but these weren’t my normal pre-big show, anxiety-filled daymares. This was different! This was food poisoning!!!! The day before this mega show, I had helped a friend, who was moving across the country, by taking all of her leftover food so it wouldn’t go to waste. I live my life by a few rules. One of them is, never turn down healthy food and this was all super healthy, so I thought….. I ended up taking home 8 tubs of plain yogurt, all with reasonably far off expiration dates. I made myself a protein shake, with said yogurt. Sure it tasted a little funny, and my normal consumption time of 1 minute for a shake, had taken 3 minutes, but I thought nothing of it. Must be the frozen mangos I had bought.
When I woke up, I was hot, I was cold and I was sweating. Not hot sweat, gross cold sweat, with an ache in my belly like, Mark Henry had put me in a bear hug, and was cranking it tighter and tighter. My energy levels, which normally can be alarmingly high, were non- existent. My normal pre-show 2-hour work out, turned into a pre-show 5-hour nap. However, there was no way I was going to miss this show! So I showered off all the clammy sweat I had procured, during my nap, looked myself in the mirror, gathered all my moxie, tried not to barf. and headed out the door.
Arriving at the venue, I was greeted by some of my favorite friendly faces, and a vibe which helped ease my discomfort slightly. Still wondering how I was going to perform, we headed into soundcheck. The lovely Miss Kiss, who is an incredible burlesque performer, singer, and actress, Hell! This woman could make watching water boil exciting!!! And the time had come to run through OUR act, which would be my entrance for the night. Miss Kiss and I have delivered, absolute, freaking magic every time we have performed together.
I knew tonight couldn’t be any different, bad yogurt or not. Then I heard it, heard it in my ear. Like a wind chime, with the power of a shotgun! The opening notes to My Chemical Romance’s Welcome to The Black Parade, followed by Miss Kiss’s breathtaking voice, singing Gerard Way’s inspiring, soul igniting lyrics. The music took over and filled every molecule of my being. I was no longer a boy with a sickness. I glided around the ring, enchanted by its energy. My sickness had vanished, and my focus was overtaken by the moment. Then the song ended. Just as my pain had dissipated, it was back. I was reminded quickly, that I hadn’t eaten much of anything and had just pumped out at least a metric quart of energy, and that was just in rehearsal.
It was then time to get ready, so I slapped on my new mummy inspired gear, smudged on my eye makeup, and started to put together the match. All while being bent over, as that was the only position I could find any relief in. As the ideas for the match started to flow, I started to stand taller. It was nearly showtime. So I walked to my position, at the curtain. I could hear the roar of the crowd, which shot from my ears to my toes and back up again. Which lead to me, being fully erect. ( I mean, standing tall…… people!) The lights went dim, it was our turn to enter, and as soon as those first few notes dropped, the ones that sounded like a wind chime but hit like a shotgun.
The crowd fell silent, not wanting to make noise, but wanting to listen. Sometimes silence is more powerful, than noise. Not only did the roar die from the crowd, but so did the roar in my belly. It wasn’t only the silence, that gave me power, it was not only the music that gave me power but a combination of working with, people I absolutely adore. Who just so happen to be extremely talented, but also working in a magical venue, and preforming the art I love, in front of a passionate crowd. This was a case of the healing power of performing.
AND That’s what gave me the power, not to puke all over the place but the healing power of performing !!!!!!!