You know, ya learn a lot about the music industry after 20 years in the business, and I am not just talking about the performance. I have worked all facets of the musical conclave that surrounds every musician, from booking gigs, to management, to actual behind the scenes business practices (that would be highly illegal in ANY other industry) with a major record company.
I have experienced the high and lows of being a modern day muso, as well as witnessed the severe decline and outright destruction of the live scene in my beloved country of Australia thanks to purely corporate reasons and advantage. And the funniest thing I learnt through all of this was, it is pretty much identical to the industry of "Sports Entertainment." So I can elaborate a little more let me provide you with a bit of backstory about my existence.
Aside from the attempt at a successful music career I also threw my hat into the ring (so to speak) and went all out to become a professional wrestler, akin to what you see in the WWE. Although it was a futile attempt as I found out during the course of my training (which I guarantee you is harder than any other professional sport training program, I have tried several) that my spine was not up to the task, the one thing that stuck with me was exactly how much the industry is like trying to forge a career as a musician in a band (Especially in regards to the Australian Music Industry).
The very second that you decide this is the dream you wish to follow, you are immediately disadvantaged in life. Just like in music, 99% of people will only support you AFTER you get famous, so don't expect too many people in your corner at the get go. And just like in a band situation, you have to trust your fellow wrestler with your LIFE and vice versa. One single stuff-up from any of you and your career will be over before it starts.
Both Musicians and Wrestlers give up everything when they decide to follow their dreams. We all risk a stable life, financial security, our mental and physical health (although wrestling tends to be a bit more on the physical side of things), our relationships with family, friends and loved ones, for nothing more than to satisfy the masses with our performance.
We sacrifice everything "normal" people take for granted, just for that one chance at standing in the spotlight. And as with both, the rewards are few and far between and most likely will end up with you a bitter old coot living in perpetual poverty. But we do it anyway as we honestly cannot see life without it.
We all have our very own ONSTAGE PERSONAS that are both completely different as to who we really are. Whether you are a musician or a wrestler, whenever you hit that stage you allow yourself to become this character in a very bizarre, schizophrenic way that only other musicians/wrestlers can
understand. Which in actual fact can indeed be very therapeutic when life is treating some of us especially hard. And there will be times when you wrestle or play in front of about 4 people, and those are the staff of the venue.
And there will also be times when politics behind the scenes will ultimately rule your destiny, no matter how much hard work, effort and heart went into your chosen profession. You won't earn any significant money in either if you do not acquire at least a minimal amount of fame and no matter how dedicated you are, there will be times that dealing with the industry will indeed break your spirit.
Just ask CM Punk....or Kurt Cobain.
Now I can't honestly speak for other countries with my next point, but as it is with the Australian Music Industry, professional wrestling in this country is held back by the execs responsible for the carnage in the first place (I have clarified the situation about the local music industry in a previous article I wrote for another website which you can read by clicking here). They are not in it for their love for the profession, or to change the scene for the better, or to even push anyone who is remotely unique. They are in it for the money, maximum profits and nothing else.
And some of them will ruin a wrestler/musician purely out of spite, regardless of who they are or what they have done to help the business at large. We all live under the shadow of a monopoly that has all but snuffed out any real and serious competition. Yet no matter the road ahead of us, the friends we will lose or the loved ones who will not support you, we keep at it like...