Dear Independent Wrestlers - This is How YOU Can Be Valuable
Working many shows over the years, I seem to always be asked the same question: "How can I get extra attention and be looked at as valuable?" Basically, the delivery or verbiage may be different, the premise of the question is always the same. How can you become a valuable commodity to a company and get regular work is a great question but sadly, so few take the proper steps because sometimes, it may seem "below their standards".
Remember this, you are in entertainment and every time you enter a new company, you're new. Even if you have done nothing within your current company, until you seem "needed" you will sit on the sidelines. Once you establish a reputation, then things will change for you, until then, drop the ego and get to work.
Be Nice - this should be common sense but for some, it simply isn't. Some will not know who you are and you should go out of your way to say "hello" or do the customary hand shake. Let me share a story about why being nice is crucial regardless of who you are.
In 2002-2003 when we were running the PWF in Pottstown, PA, I was all about brining in a certain wrestler that I had just seen wrestle some fantastic Iron Man matches. He showed up at our show and introduced himself to some but not others....this is where the problem arose. To myself and Steve Corino, he was fantastic and very anxious to work, but to one member of our booking staff he was less than cordial, this prevented him from working on our show....this wrestler that we passed on...CM Punk. Things were smoothed over between the 2 and eventually, when World 1 started, we used Punk and Corino even helped get Punk to Zero-1. This just shows you, be nice as you never know who you're ignoring!!
Offer to Help - this is where egos get in the way. When offering to help, this means, taking tickets at the door, selling merchandise, helping with ring crew or even selling hot dogs. Shows need people to help make things run smoothly and sometimes, planned help flakes out...this is were YOU have value. Step in, step up and be there. Show you want to be a part of the show.
Ring Crew is something I really believe is a great judge of character. I did ring crew for several years to pay my dues. Not just for my own company, but for others. Even though I owned a company, the ring needs to go up for the show...get your ass there to help. I'm 44 now, been involved since 2001, and last summer when I wanted a part in CZW, I showed up at Tournament of Death, stood in the hot truck, unloaded the ring, set up chairs, then helped take it down, put stuff away. Helped in the back and still, to this day I help. No ego...just knowing that shit needs to be done. I have been to many shows were veterans help with the ring, and its an eye opener for many. You are NOT above it.
If at any point, you don't believe the decision makers aren't watching to see who helps and who doesn't, you're being foolish. I have seen companies go out of their way to use someone who helps over someone who doesn't. Bottom line is make yourself valuable and prove you want to be there. I simply can't stress this enough.
What should you always have? Honestly, I recommend always bringing a referee shirt, black dress pants and wrestling shoes. Also, ALWAYS have your gear!! Holy crap, I've actually seen workers show up without their gear. Always have it. Also, if possible have generic gear and a mask. You never know when this may help you earn a spot by foiling someones win. Instant work for you. Dress clothes are also always a great option, although, if you read my previous blog entries, you should be dressed nice anyways, so if thats the case, then bring regular clothes. The bottom line, be prepared!!
You want to work, but sometimes you have to work for the work. You have to prove value and desire. People will notice.
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