I’m a wrestling hipster. I like professional wrestling, but I like it ironically.
So doing stand-up comedy and liking professionally wrestling I have found there are a lot of similarities between the two.
First of all, even though it doesn’t seem like it both of our forms of entertainment is scripted. Every little thing we do on stage, even if it looks like we just did it “off the cuff” was probably a line we used one time, it got a good laugh and we’ve used it ever since. Those “off the cuff” remarks are the “Five Knuckle Shuffle” of comedy.
The other thing that is pretty common between the two is how you get started. You start by meeting a bunch of people who are at your level. All of you are trying to get to a higher level. You take a lot of shitty gigs in places that you would never associate with comedy or wrestling. A crummy bar telling jokes or a ball room on the top floor of a Community Center wrestling aren’t exactly where dreams are coming true.
These are the places we start. It’s where we cut our teeth and hope that someone, anyone recognizes the work we are doing. In either cases what we are trying to do is, “Get Over” with the crowd. Simply put, it means we want people to like us enough so that when we return they will cheer and laugh for us no matter what we do. We start getting a following and then eventually cash in on that following.
That brings me to merchandise. A professional wrestler or a professional comedian relies on the merchandise table to actually make the money they need to get from gig to gig. If we can prove ourselves on stage or in the ring, hopefully someone will throw a few extra dollars our way for a T-Shirt, headband, poster, etc.
We are all striving and trying to get bigger and better, we work our way up the card. We take bad bumps, we drive long hours on the road to get to gigs and get paid little.
But then once, and awhile, we get that break where we can really showcase what we can do. We get a chance to headline or be at the top of the card. Even if it’s just a small show somewhere we take the win where ever we can.
We align ourselves with friends and peers that we know that we can work well with, so that when we are on stage or in the ring together we can put on the best show possible. We know our skills we know our weaknesses and we bring the people with us that will help mask those weaknesses and enhance our skills.
We want to move up to the grandest stage of them all, for both it seems like it’s Madison Square Garden.
We will have people cheering us we’ll have people hating us, but that’s okay. As long as people keep coming through the turnstiles and through the door into the club we’ll keep performing.
In both of these professions once we get that taste of the crowd’s cheer we are hooked and the hardest thing for us to do is stop.