The Man Who Would Be King? Book It.

Sunday, 20th August 2017 saw the culmination of over a year’s worth of work, graft, and emotional and creative investment. It’s not something tangible that you can hold, like a novel (yet!), comic book or painting.

No, this art was crafted and moulded over numerous meetings, Skype/Facetime sessions (depending which one provided a better, less pixel-faced connection), and dinners. It was also born out of a deceptively simple concept, birthed, as it was, in the backroom of Vault Comics in Welling, during a podcasting session with then-stranger-now-friend, Kieron.

Now that some time has passed and I can look back on the events leading to this serendipitous meeting of mutual good fortune with an even eye, I wanted to recount them, connecting chaotic, unrelated events into a string of occurrences that suggest, perhaps, a sense of order amongst the chaos, giving you all a better idea not only at how this working relationship came about, but also the processes involved in booking a wrestling show whilst trying to maintain artistic merit, with all efforts going towards not only putting on a fucking amazing wrestling show but executing on an event that had dramatic purpose, heft, and resonance.

The Man Who Would Be King

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The Great Exposure Fallicy.

Excuse the title, which I realise sounds like some sort of post-modern funk/jazz fusion band. That aside, I do feel it perfectly apt for what I want to talk about.

Temporary is in the bag as much as humanly possible. I went through once more with a fine-tooth comb to primp and polish it as much as possible with another grammar run through – which felt much like the Death Star run, looking for all those cheeky errors in much the same way Luke sought the exhaust port (is that dirty? It sounds dirty.) All that’s left now is to try and wait patiently for the agencies to eventually respond in kind. Until then I remain on my ‘stepping stone’ home.

In the interim, however, and in an attempt to cajole myself into writing more consistently, turning the practice into a resolute habit, I have taken to writing articles as well as offering my assistance as a narrative consultant to a gamut of differing potential opportunities. None of which offer any pay. Which is fine, to a point. Afterall, one does not simply walk into their dream job. But after years of stop/start chances (video games, anime, wrestling – all the fun, pop culture touch stones, none of the long-term monetary benefits of steady, loyal paid work!),  it’s hard not to wonder why one might bother working so hard for nothing in return.


If only it were that simple, Joker, old chum…

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Oh, Canada. 

    So it turns out that getting up at 5AM, travelling to Gatwick, checking in at 8AM to then get on a flight to Vancouver for a 9 hour flight leads to me being pretty much a barely functioning, monosyllabic spewing, mess of a man. 

    By the time we had arrived at the hotel (via taxi, after deciding to not bother trying to understand the Canadian transit system after the journey we had just gone through) and checked in, it was 10:38PM in the UK when I finally Facetime’d my family to let them know that we had arrived okay. 

    17 and half hours, roughly, and all I cared about was the bed we had just found. Not for anything like ‘that’, you little perverts. I just couldn’t wait to sleep the fuck out of that bed. I don’t think that’s a thing, but, if it’s not, it totally should be. Plans to head on down to the hotel’s adjoining Sports Bar in order to enjoy dinner and hockey (Vancouver Canucks vs LA Kings) went out the window as soon as heads hit pillows. I was able to convince Thea that a nap would allow us enough energy to wander around town a little bit, to familiarise ourselves with our surroundings, before heading for dinner/hockey. Instead it lead to us both realising how little energy we had, obviously going off nothing but fumes and unknown emergency reserves.

    Napping a little bit, waking up periodically to try and convince ourselves to shift, only confirmed what we both already knew, deep down: we weren’t going anywhere. It was 5:30PM in the afternoon in Vancouver, the sun was shining and it was, at least according to the taxi driver, the hottest recorded day yet at 17 degrees, not that we would be able to really experience any of that. 

    I woke up at 2AM, gasping for water, my head pounding. It turns out that falling asleep without brushing your teeth or responsibly hydrating in hours is a sure fire method to wake up with a headache pulsating, each pulse potentially being the one in which my brain would break free of its skull cage. Without any water, I took the first world gamble of drinking water from the bathroom. Deciding against the tantalising toilet bowl water, I instead drank deeply from the tap – luke warm at best, but it might as well have been the secret to eternal life as I gulped down glass after glass. This allowed me to sleep for a further three hours before I gave up, deciding instead to rest my head by staring at my iPhone screen in the dark as Thea (who has an innate ability to sleep through anything, no matter what or where – a skill I will always be jealous of) continued to breathe contently next to me. Eventually I did the only thing a good boyfriend would, or could do, in this situation and gently woke her up after she stirred slightly with a sincere, “Are you awake?” 

    Up before dawn, and with NXT on my iPad, courtesy of the WWE Network (available for $9.99, dontcha know) we planned our day ahead, aiming to explore our nearby surrounding areas, with almost scarily meticulous detail being given to where we would eat today. 

    In fact, on reflection, the route of our day seems to be guided more by places we want to eat, than things we want to see….

    So, proudly sporting a Bret Hart shirt (please like me Canada, I silently scream), I can’t wait to see what Vancouver has to offer us on our first day here, and this is before the hockey tomorrow at Rogers Arena. With the Canucks having lost to the LA Kings last night (which I discovered during my ‘this is a smart thing to do’ time staring at a screen in the dark with a headache), tomorrow’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs should be a fun, atmospheric, game to be a part of, though, from what I understand of Canadians and hockey: lose, we may experience a riot; win, we may experience a riot. 

    I can’t wait. 

    When It Rains, It Pours

    It’s the final day of my detox and, as usual, it featured a number of highs and lows. The lows consisting of a non stop pounding headache, and hiding under the duvets for a half hour in the vain hope that it would subside; the highs being how much lighter I feel (and weigh – which is 10 pounds lighter, incidentally) and that I finally, FINALLY, feel cleared of all the excess I was carrying around from the Christmas period.

    Seven days is the shortest cleanse I’ve ever committed to, with my usual countdown consisting of ten. The longest I have ever attempted, and will never attempt again incidentally, is fourteen.

    The fourteen was way too long, and I have fond memories of counting down the seconds of the last day, much in the way that I am now. I can’t lie, for all the good the cleanse does for me (coupled with my BJJ) I can’t wait for that first meal tomorrow. Time today seems to be slowing down purposefully in order to stretch the goal posts that bit further away, but it’s only a matter of time, and I’m dedicated to the cause. Plus I’m one stubborn S.O.B.

    I’ve used the time during my juicing cleanse to look into what steps I can now take with my finished manuscript, Temporary. How, pray tell, can you take it from a shit load of words on a screen, to being pound, published, and available in all good book stores near you? The ‘what next’ of the situation has always been one that has confounded me. From my short film, First Date, to my first feature length script, Gamers, it’s always the next step. What next?

    Well, I’m determined to make something happen with Temporary. I believe in Temporary, and I believe that there is a message within it that will resonate with an audience once it has the ability to do so. So…what next?

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    “Where The Fuck Is Owen?”

    A random series of events have been unfolding and connecting for me these past few weeks; events and moments that have found me standing in front of a camera, a massive green screen behind me and an auto cue speeding away on a laptop screen, just below the ever watchful eye of the camera lens, ready to be edited and uploaded for the enjoyment/dissection/derision of thousands of pro wrestling fans. And here I thought I had come here to discuss an awesome concept that I’ve been developing with these guys…

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    Why UFC 175 Actually Matters.

    It seems recently that to consider yourself a contemporary fight fan means to sink hours upon hours of your life into sub par events, headlined by unestablished names and ‘rough around the edges’ fighters.

    Now, I’m not against watching two no name guys slug it out, considering that once upon a time, like most things in life, the now well established fighters were once no name guys as well. GSP, for example, was not always the recognised name and face that he is now; he earned that right by fighting hard and representing a fledgling sport in a fantastically humble manner.

    But with the influx of of fight cards, it’s hard to argue against the over saturation that MMA is now finding itself in. With multiple cards taking place every other week and some actually occurring on the same day (!!!), MMA has found itself in a position where the ‘hardcore’ fan is struggling to justify the three hour incremenets in which to watch each card. Too many cards, in too quick a succession simply dilutes the product, which is why it’s refreshing to see that tonights UFC 175 actually matters.

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    WSW #2: Connecting The Dots

    In my experience, I’ve found that there’s not too much in life that you have true control over. I’ve also heard it said that the best way to make God laugh, is to tell him your plans. I’ve always been particularly fond of this concept and, given the trajectory my life has gone in relation to the plans I laid out for myself, it’s something that I can fully relate to and understand.

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