What A Character
So last week I had two shows, FutureShock at Stockport and Grand Pro Wrestling in Hindley Wigan, both awesome shows. I haven’t talked a great deal about GPW yet so this week I shall give it some attention.
Grand Pro Wrestling (formerly Garage Pro Wrestling) is a company I hold close to my heart. In the wrestling food chain when most trainees in the North West start out, their aims are usually to get on shows with their schools, and the next step is an outside booking. If Dave Rayne (Futureshock) suggests you to be used at GPW or vice versa Johnnie Brannigan (GPW) lets Dave know what trainees are doing well at his school, it’s a real confidence booster to trainee and good indicator you are going in right direction. It’s a nice little talent pool, and with so many companies at loggerheads it’s a great example of a solid working relationship in Britwres.
Funnily enough though, that’s not how I got my nod to work for GPW, that was from Damon Leigh and he was who I worked with first, before turning on him to join Dirk Feelgood. From there I managed Danny Hope then on to The Cause stable. Now I am back, amidst the North West rookie league I am manager of the brand new stable The Circus, featuring Nicholas Cartier and Noah. I would say this is completely different to what I’ve done before and I love it.
From the get go I’ve always loved the character type performers, I don’t like one dimensional entertainers, and that’s both as a fan and from being in the business myself. I think unless you are an exceptional wrestler (and of course there really are some) failing to have a relatable character could mean a short shelf life. Playing up to stereotypes in society is surely the best way to play up to an audience. In real life there’s always an underdog and always a villain, so expand on it.
Having a defined character can make the performance easier too, naming moves and move set in general, if your character is a hard nut he’s not likely going to hit a hurracanrana. If you keep asking yourself ‘what would my character do?’ it’s always going to come easier, tap in to it, be it, Noah (who coincidently is in The Circus) is a guy who knows his character like the back of his hand and knows definitely what his character would and wouldn’t do.
I have been lucky with the opportunities I’ve been given, my first ever gig in wrestling was Rockstar Spuds crazy groupie in FWA, and as clueless as I was, I knew even then I couldn’t “half-arse” that one as it would’ve looked totally stupid for all the wrong reasons. So what did the teenage Mel do when she was fangirling at concerts? Scream like a moron and totally freak out and that’s what I did with Spud, just think how you would act in a real life situation and channel it. That was a short lived character but I learnt a lot.
From there I started wrestling in Futureshock and was teamed with The Models and given the moniker “The It Girl” by Greg Lambert, which has stuck to this day. Now this unit appears to be my bread and butter and one I cherish dearly, the guys have taught me loads, but how does an It Girl be an It Girl? Make an effort with one’s appearance, study girls like Katie Price (obviously) Paris Hilton etc, act like a Model and like a bimbo all in one, society seems to hate these girls so it guarantees heat. (If needed however, the comedy element actually works as babyface too.)
As much as I love the “It-Girl” character, just like with having no character, doing the same character constantly everywhere can definitely become stale. I’ve played other parts like secretary and WAG but the circus is my biggest challenge in a while.
You can’t really wing being in The Circus….I don’t have any life experience of that time I worked as a juggler or a tight rope walker…like I did with Spud as a fan girl, it does have a few wrestling similarities of course but all in all it is something totally new to me. I’m Circus mistress essentially, and ready sink my teeth in to all of it, so what does one do to prepare…I’ve watched a fair few videos on youtube as research let me tell you haha!
Nicholas Cartier one of GPW’s latest Graduates knows his character so well already, and it’s so much fun putting matches together, I find myself thinking ‘brilliant’ every time he suggests something the ring master would do. His move set is on point and last Friday we beat our opponents (Damon Leigh & Alex Jones Casey) by ref distraction and me shoving Nicholas’ top hat on to AJC’s head, making him unable to see so walked right in to The Circus’ finisher. I’m hoping the rest of the UK will get to see more of The Circus soon.
At the end of the day you never know what part a promoter is going to ask you to play so it is a good idea to make yourself versatile where possible, so guys there’s more to life than that bicep pose and ladies I know there’s more to you than just blowing a kiss. Get your thinking caps on.