Last month, I wrote about being creative in very general terms. I truly believe that being creative is one of the easiest ways to keep your mind sharp and to keep yourself feeling young. There are many ways to express yourself, and over the next few months, I plan on sharing ways I’ve expressed myself. I encourage you to try one of them, all of them, or something completely different. The world of Tellest is all about sharing creative juices, as you will see in the new few months (or, perhaps, even weeks).
Every creative person has their origin story, and I’m sure that for most it would go back to being a kid and playing make pretend. But, since every kid tends to have this memory (so many “I’m Batman”, “I’m Donatello”, and nerf war memories come from that era of my life), there’s something I like to call the true origin point (patent pending). For me, before there was screenwriting and directing, writing a novel, or even podcasting; there was one of my greatest passions was wrestling.
I’m sure there is a chance that I have lost some of you already, but sit back and read. Origin stories are important and perhaps you’ll connect with this more than you think.
Some of my earliest memories involve wrestling. My aunt was, and continues to be, a fan and we connected because of it. This is when I discovered Shawn Michaels, The Heartbreak Kid, and anyone that knows me, knows that I wanted to be him. It’s such a shame that I fell out of watching the, at the time, WWF prior to 1998; I missed so much of his career. I bring this up, because he was the reason I wanted to be a wrestler and wrestling helped show me that being creative can be so fulfilling.
In the late ’90s, early 2000’s, our group of friends started backyard wrestling (I know, I know! How dangerous! Play it safe kids!) under the organization called Underground Wrestling Federation. At this time, I don’t know that wrestling is what you could call what we did. Punches, kicks, stomps… that was mostly what we did. As my creative juices hadn’t really started flowing yet, I came up with the brilliant gimmick of Heartbreak Kev. Go ahead, judge; I would.
At some point, we met up with another group of friends who had also started their own wrestling organization; Trampoline Wrestling Federation. When I first saw a suplex… on the ground, I was amazed by these guys. Little did I know, that I would spend the next four plus years of my life wrestling, on the ground, in a ring… professionally. But, I’m getting a head of myself.
This is where the name Steel Tip was birthed. After losing the HBKev gimmick, I developed Steel Tip (which, ultimately meant nothing) into a multi-media personality. It’s a name that the Tellest fan base if familiar with; to my understanding, he’s one of the fan favorites of The Child of the Stars trilogy.
Steel Tip isn’t the only thing to come from the wrestling world. I learned how to tell a story from wrestling. At the end of the day, that’s all wrestling is, right? Each match is telling it’s own story of hero vs. villain, villain vs. villain, and even hero vs. hero. Crafting story lines in wrestling can be, at times, the most interesting part of the business. They may be no “writing” of dialogue (though at times, there is) or any kind of screen play, but you have to make the audience care about the characters who are telling the story to get them engaged.
Acting and directing are HUGE parts of this world. EVERY wrestler is doing some sort of acting during their matches or promos. It may just be an over exaggeration of the persons own personality, or it may be an over the top act. As the heel (usually), you are helping direct the match. You make the decisions that help shape what the audience sees and, hopefully, embraces.
I learned to talk here, and that’s one of the things I do MOST in hobby form now. Mike and I host a couple of podcasts (shameless plug 1 and shameless plug 2) and I built a network of podcasts on the back of Steel Tip. I certainly don’t go by that name anymore, but hidden in initials and meanings, podcasting (for me) can find it’s roots deep in the wrestling world. I think that podcasting and wrestling are so closely linked by evidence of guys like Steve Austin and Chris Jericho each starting their own show, post-wrestling career.
Aside from wrestling leading me to all these great, creative, different things; at it’s heart it was creative freedom. It was a dopey dream that I worked hard at, and it paid off. I may not have made it to the big leagues; but in reality, that was never the goal. The goal was to entertain people, and I did just that. When you are on a creative kick, it’s a kind of high. You get super excited about something that you are so passionate about, and others may balk at, but at the end of the day YOU have to be proud of what you’ve done.