I picked up a last minute booking at a sleepaway camp for performance arts. Which is a very strange sentence.
I’ve worked in front of plenty of small crowds. I mean small like 10-12 people. THREE times I’ve worked in front of literally no one. No one came to the show but the promoter insisted that if we wanted to get paid we had to work.
None of that was as awkward as performing in front of 180-200 kids sitting on the grass cross legged who were silent and still aside from an occasional fidget. They were super polite, especially for their age. I have no idea why this happened. Some bookings seem like practical jokes. But on who? And why?
The guy running the camp had a big claim to fame – he was on the onset script supervisor for the third Matrix movie. His wife gushed about how great wrestling is as a performance art and then started laying into me for no reason about how it isn’t “real acting”. Who the fuck said it was?
To make things weirder, it was an all-women’s show. No offense to my own gender, but if you’re going to put on a show for a bunch of artistic tweens who don’t give a shit about wrestling, maybe a couple jacked up dudes would make things better? At least they’re interesting to look at maybe? Just my opinion.
Not helping matters was the big draw of the show was a tag team whose gimmick is being porn stars. One woman came out with a fake belly and pretended to wrestle while pregnant. I don’t know if that’s her thing all the time or if she felt like that was something special she needed to break out for the performing arts kids.
I guess I have more pride in my craft than I thought because after I saw the first few matches dying slowly, I was desperately thinking of something I could do that had any chance of getting over. The best I could come up with was involving some of the junior counselors. In particular there was a kid in a Deathklok shirt with long black hair over his face that I assume the kids thought was cool or at least thought he looked weird.
I was supposed to have a match with this woman who normally gets booked as a referee and has the gimmick of, you guessed it, being a referee but I convinced her instead that we should have a tag match against Metalocalypse kid and some of the other junior counselors.
Having a match with some untrained kids is pretty stupid, but I figured I could protect myself from a pack of skinny 16 year olds. Plus it wasn’t so much of a match as a fuck-around the ring skit. One of the kids told me he was boxing in Golden Gloves so I didn’t need to “pull my punches” with him. I was tempted to blast him just for laughs, but I did not. Because I am a good person.
Our match was by far the best thing on the “card”, by which I mean a couple kids laughed and most of them at least clapped for the counselors.
As far as shit bookings go it wasn’t so bad.
I did so well that the guy running the show gave me a sweaty crumpled-up five dollar bill as a bonus. I’m on a rocket ride to financial success now!