Words are important. They have power. A simple sentence can change the world, or bring about new ideas. A simple word can define a person, what they do, and how they react to the world around them.
In my last article we dove headfirst into the glitz and glamour (or the complete lack of) of the Wrestling and Drag worlds. It was fun, flirty, and had enough sequins to make the biggest Cher fan satisfied.
This time around we are going to get down and very dirty while looking at how the work Wrestlers and Drag Queens do outside of the stage or ring is just as, if not more, important than the matches or shows themselves.
You may think that the match in itself is the most important part of the whole show, but in reality, it is just the tip… (ahem, sorry), of the iceberg. We have all complained and been baffled when suddenly two random wrestlers are fighting it out tooth and nail, with discernible reason or back story.
That’s because promos, storytelling, and acting, darling, are vital. Without them, you just have a pantomime of people pretending to slap each other for funsies.
So, let us begin by imagining a hulking man – tall and good looking. He is standing next to a backstage presenter, wearing a pair of jeans and a black t-shirt. He opens his mouth and tells you straight he is going to beat up the other man and win.
Boring right? Something anyone could say, and it would have no true meaning.
But let’s add a pair of sunglasses, have the man grab the mic from the presenter, look into the camera with a smirk, cock his eyebrow and say…
“And the most electrifying man in Sports Entertainment, the People’s Champion says he is going to beat his jabroni ass, and the millions (and millions) will get to watch. Can you smellllll, what the Rock is cooking?!”
Now that grabs your attention (and other spots) because there is a character within the words, in the way they are said, and even the stance of the man.
This is something that is thoroughly needed within both Drag and Wrestling. Divine (my all-time favourite Drag Queen) is known for appearing in Hairspray and singing “You Think You’re a Man”, but started out working alongside the director John Waters, creating the character of Divine over time. She was trashy, rude, disgusting and downright dirty. She had a line to come back at you with and knew that character inside and out.
This is somewhat of a hurdle for some, especially if you make your character outlandish. If your character isn’t based partly on you or someone you know, it can be hard to know how they would talk, what they would say, how they would respond to a situation or even how they would stand.