Veronica Le Strange is ICW’s resident backstage interviewer and also a burlesque dancer. She is ICW’s answer to Renee Young but much, much better!
How did you go from burlesque dancer to becoming involved with ICW and what’s it like being part of it?
I started going to ICW from their first show in Apollo 23 and I was hooked, never missed a show. I already knew some of the wrestlers/folks involved already and I also used to work with BT Gunn! I eventually became friends with more of the roster, then with Dallas and Mikey Whiplash through mutual friends. Mikey decided to put me on to do burlesque at ICW: Fierce Females when it was still a sister company to ICW, it was May the 4th 2013 so obviously I had to do Darth Vader!! Dallas noticed me in a different light, I convinced (nee pestered) Dallas to give me a position, he gave me a look, the look he gets when he’s inspired and said “I have the perfect thing for you”. He could see how I handled myself around the roster, I get what I want, I look different and I know how to get attention. He saw a hidden talent and believed in me. The rest is history.
ICW has had a terrific rise from nothing to being featured on the BBC and beyond, what else is in store?
Prepare yourself for all the plugs! Obviously the big dream for any wrestling company is to get on the telly, we’ve been on Vice and as you’ve mentioned the BBC and in the process, breaking records! We’ve already got our ICW On Demand service on our website www.insanewrestling.co.uk for a very reasonable price of £3.75, there, you can find our weekly show Friday Night Fight Club, if you want a taster this show is free for non-subscribers for the first 24 hours after release! Apart from that, its bigger shows and bigger tours! Our upcoming tour, the “Insane Entertainment System Tour”, all the show names are references to old school gaming, which is awesome and it’s coming to a town near you! Tickets are available on www.ticketmaster.co.uk
Grado has become a cult hero and is now touring the States, did you ever see that happening?
The buzz around Grado is phenomenal, as part of ICW and watching him rise up and get bigger and bigger, I always get a flutter of pride for him and I’m so happy with how well he is doing. Anyone can see that he has something special and to have watched him get bigger and better. It’s fantastic! He’s just such a good lad and I wish him all the success in the world. He’s a pleasure to work with and he always makes me laugh, both on and off camera. You can see my face in some of the videos we’ve done together, I can hardly keep my face straight, professionalism!!
Have you always been a fan of wrestling and would you consider a career inside the ring?
I was a late bloomer with wrestling, it was actually my ex boyfriend who introduced me to it. We were hungover after a night out together and he insisted we watch some wrestling. I wasn’t convinced until he put it on! ECW, ROH and CZW… I’ve never looked back. There would even come a point where we would watch and I would tell him to shut up! I still love watching and have a lot of catching up to do! The boys never let me forget this! Some tease me and some give me homework and match suggestions. When I started going to live shows wrestling quickly became part of my life, even before I was working in the business. I get asked all the time why I don’t have a go and train to go into the ring. When the boys set up Glasgow Pro Wrestling Asylum some of them suggested I should take part. I think I would be alright at it, I fear nobody. But, when you’ve been around the business backstage and seen some of the injuries these guys get it’s scary, not only that, the limits these guys and gals push their bodies to is incredible. I have so much respect for what these guys do, I can see how hard they work and I am under no illusions that I could be anywhere near the level these guys are at. I’ve had an amazing opportunity to see beyond what the fans see, a lot of people get into wrestling training and realize it’s not for them and then become a ref/valet/manager to stay involved with the scene. Whereas that’s where my heart is, being a presenter is what I want to do. I would happily manage or valet for other companies outside of ICW, I say that because remaining impartial in my position is important.
You’ve recently had the pleasure of becoming a meme did you feel like you’d made it after that?
Haha! Yes! I have made it! I was so happy! I use my assets wisely, I grab attention. I get a lot of people saying to me that I shouldn’t show off my breasts as much as I do and I appreciate what they’re saying, quote “you are more than just tits, Veronica!” I know I am, I’m an intelligent human being, you have to be more than one thing in this business and I can be both! I shouldn’t have to choose between tits or personality! But that’s just silly because BOOBS!!!
I imagine backstage at ICW is a bit mental,how do you keep it together and do your thing?
I bring flat shoes for all the running around I do trying to grab folk, I always have a pen, paper and my trusty clipboard a brilliant fan bedazzled for me. You have to keep your wits about you and the ability to think on your feet as backstage is buzzing, it’s mental. I should be sponsored by coffee and energy drinks! I also have a secret weapon, I bring biscuits and tea cakes and it helps bring folk to the camera room!
Any funny stories from backstage you can divulge?
As I said backstage is mental, but the crazy times really get going at the after party! I’ve seen some really insane, illegal and borderline creepy shit that will stay with me to my grave. The poor bus driver that had to take us home at 3am after our first night in Newcastle, that poor, poor driver. Imagine a bus full of crazy drunk wrestlers! The sight of Sabu wondering around the Glasgow Garage drunk in an arm sling and lost, having to go scoop him up and take him to the band room. That band room that has a stripper pole and has seen some things. I wish I could tell you more, but I have been sworn to secrecy!
What’s it like having a wrestler as a flat mate?
Eventful, intriguing and sometimes when I’m making a cup of tea… OUTTA NOWHERE!!!
Do still get a chance to perform burlesque now ICW has become so big?
I’m still doing burlesque here and there, I will be doing a performance at Stereo in Glasgow soon for a new club night my good friend is running. It will fetish themed, more information will follow, if anyone wants to see me perform! I’m not your traditional burlesque performer; I’m more fetish/Rock & Roll themed. I like doing things with a bit of edge! I love the freedom that comes from it; I honestly never feel more free that when I’m onstage performing to music.
Is there anything else you’d like to say or plug?
Thank you for your lovely questions I’ve had fun answering them! If you would like to follow me on Twitter it’s @VeronicaSalt, on Facebook is www.facebook.com/veronicajanelestrange. For any information on upcoming events and finally any booking queries, information, questions, suggestions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, thank you to all the support people and fans have shown me and for the team at ICW, you really don’t know how much it means to me, thank you so much!
Thank you to Veronica who took time out of her hectic schedule to answer the questions.
Check out ICW at http://www.insanewrestling.co.uk