TheEntertainment industry has many different divisions. From singers to A-listHollywood actors, entertainment is all around us. Whatever your particularinterest is, there’s something there for you. What this paper is about is twoforms of entertainment I enjoy. That is Professional Wrestling and Drag.
Twocompletely different facets of entertainment which on the surface have nosimilarities what so ever. However as someone who has some history in one ofthem I can tell you that it’s not particularly the caseForactors, singers, comedians, and dancers for example have more easilyconventional ways of getting the training and education they need learn theircraft. Whereas those wanting to become a wrestler must look at other ways. Onewould have to see if there are independent promotions close to where they liveand see if they offer a training program.
Another way is through networking.Someone in your family or one of your friends might have a connection and haveyou meet a seasoned vet who would be willing to train you. If you’rea fan of drag shows and want to get started, it’s a little easier to make theinitial contact. Wither your man or woman there’s no exclusivity. Men whoperform drag are called Queens and Women who perform drag are called Kings. Eventhose who like to perform while staying in their gender are calledBio-Kings/Queens. If you know where a bar is having a show you can talk to aqueen/king after the show and talk about getting started. Those who mentor anaspiring performer are called Drag Mothers/Fathers.
Pursuing acareer in these fields is an expensive and tedious undertaking. If you thinkyou could just hop in and get motor running you’re in for a hugedisappointment. The average cost of training for wrestling is $2000-$3000 and thatis close to what someone spends on makeup, shoes, and clothes for drag(depending on the person).
“A personal gown would be $1,000 to$3,000,” Miss Fame, who’s been doing drag professionally for five years,said. “Drag queens have to be like brides every time they want to becreative.”(1) But there’s also the underlying cost of breaking in thebusiness and that’s paying your dues. Dues does not have monetary value. It’snot something you can just right a check for. Iconducted an interview through Facebook with local Wrestlers and Drag queenssnd they provided some great insight. “Back in the day you had to pay your dueswhen you first started.
I worked fortips only my first 2 years of performing at Third World in Wheeling WV everyweekend.” (Zubovic) That’s is an example of paying your dues. Some othersinclude working security, setting up/taking down rings, carry the bags of themore established vets among many other ways one would show their respect.Another way is too endure the pain that comes with the territory and bitingyour tongue. “Itwas a lot more brutal all around. It had a lot of the old school vibe to it.The training was intense and sometimes you felt like you were just trying tosurvive it.
The wrestlers were much bigger back in those times and they hithard. But once you earned the respect of your peers you really did share a bondwith them that’s hard to break.” (Clements)Themainstream media often influences one’s desire to embark on the journey totheir intended career. Both industries have had moments in pop culture thatgrew their fan bases. For Wrestling it was the weekly ratings battle betweenTed Turner’s World Championship Wrestling(WCW) and Vince McMahon’s WorldWrestling Federation (WWF now WWE) more commonly known as “The Monday NightWars” in 1995.
Both companies brought interest in Pro Wrestling back into mindsof everyone watching at home and drove interest in breaking into the business.”The Monday Night Wars really drove the interest in wrestling all around. Inthe Pittsburgh area however, I believe the success of ECW really had much moreof an effect on the area.” (Clements) With Drag it’s a slower story.Acceptance of the LGBT community has been a slow but steady process since theStonewall Riots in 1969. Drag didn’t start to gain mainstream acceptance untilaround Season 3 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. The show debuted in 2009 and has helpeda ton in the LGBT community.
The acceptance of drag as an art form evolved withthe show as it became more “sanitized”. Meaning the exuberant gay themes weretone down. Theentertainment industry is a cutthroat business. No matter how hard you try toget where you want to go, there’s always someone or a group of individualstrying to keep you down. This a deterrent for those who want to breakout, butwith explosion of in the internet it’s becoming easier to get in into it. There’s2 quotes that are excellent pieces of advice for a rookie.
1. Keep your eyesand ears open and your mouth shut. When someone who has years of experience ismentoring you on what to do and not to do the worst thing is to constantly askquestions or give input when your word means nothing. 2.
Never say I’ve learnedall that I can learn. You never stop learning ways to improve your craft.Eventhough I never wrestled a match or performed in drag I acted in several localshort films. If I could give advice to someone it would be this. Be a realist.
That phone call from a Hollywood producer or WWE may not come and you’re stillworking at the same bars and fire halls your whole life. That doesn’t mean giveup. If you love what you do, screw what everyone else thinks.