more adventures in audio

Yep, a week has passed already and despite not thinking I’d be doing another audio post for some time, I’ve done it already. Thanks to my brother, Cezza, not only for helping me figure out this technology stuff but also for being an awesome guitarist and allowing me to use one of his very own tracks at the beginning and the end of the post. You can follow him on Twitter right here.

I actually picked a topic this week that wasn’t, well, me! I was afraid I was turning in to Ron Burgundy. It would be great to know what you think about what I discuss in this post, so please get in touch once you’ve listened.

This was kind of a serious topic so I’ll make the next one more fun.  Feel free to email me with suggestions.

Here goes part two of my adventures in audio……….

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16 thoughts on “more adventures in audio

  1. I was thinking about one of my favorite wrestlers over the weekend, Kamala, played by James Harris, and I started looking up some of his matches, and I happened upon a shoot interview he did where he talked about the hardships of working for Vince McMahon and always getting the short end of the stick when it comes to money… like having to sleep in a rental car to do shows for the WWF and maybe being able to share a room with another worker the next night… and having times when him and his family were genuinely starving, despite the fact that he had a decent position in terms of exposure, and was being told to lie to people by the company to make it seem like he was making a lot of money. He also mentioned the fact that when he was working a pay-per-view match against Undertaker as part of a longer feud, Taker got 500K, while he only got 13K. He drives a truck now, which he enjoys, but he still has some ill feelings about the experience. And given the fact that he is sort of like John Coffey from The Green Mile, well, seeing someone like that getting so screwed just makes me angry.

    But yes, I would totally support a union for wrestling, but I don’t think it will ever happen.

    • Yes, that kind of thing makes me angry too. There’s no governing body so nobody holds wrestling up to any standards. Standards of pay, working conditions, contractual obligations. The talent are in a terribly vulnerable position. A union is sorely needed. If I win the lottery this weekend, I’ll make it happen.

      Thanks for such a detailed comment, MC.

  2. I can’t believe John Cena is against a union. I would have thought he’d want everyone to get a fair deal. I can understand dodgy employers not wanting to have to deal with unions, but fellow wrestlers? Then again, he’s the person least likely to rock Vince’s boat, so maybe it’s not such a surprise.

    That quote from Bret Hart is exactly what I’m talking about. Sad.

    • Considering that a) Cena is seemingly from a working class family and b) wrestling is a collaborative effort between two or more individuals, not just one star doing all the work in the ring, you’d think that he’d be in favor of them too.

      However, because he make so much and stars in the WWE’s movies, well, he probably thinks that he is always going to be one of the top guys… when we both know that if he stopped drawing or got a really bad injury, the WWE would just leave him by the side of the road like so many other superstars in the past.

    • I think that’s taking a bit far MC… WWE’s very good to their people who go down with career-ending injuries. Droz and Nowinski are still collecting paychecks and they were never anywhere near Cena’s level.

      A wrestler’s union is a great idea, but unfortunately, I’m inclined to believe it will never happen. I’m not an accountant, but I don’t see any way to do it without financially cripple the industry. I can’t even imagine how much money it would cost to get medical insurance for guys who get dumped on their head for a living. Hell, most insurance companies probably won’t even touch them… but that’s why America needs sweeping health care reform. But now I’m getting close to talking politics, and trust me, no one wants that.

    • I’ll defer to your experience on that Razor… you have a lot more insider knowledge than I do about such things, so I’ll have to take your word for it.

    • Well, I don’t like to claim to have any “insider knowledge,” but WWE gets a bad rap when it comes to taking care of people who get injured. I’ve heard stuff like that from a lot of folks, so please don’t think I’m singling you out.

      Another example would be Matt Cappotelli, the co-winner of Tough Enough 3 (along with John Morrison). WWE stuck with him all throughout his battle with a serious brain tumor that was first diagnosed in 2005. They did eventually release him earlier this year, but for a guy that was never a part of the main roster, it was a classy move on WWE’s part to stick with him through all that.

      That’s not to excuse some of the shadier things WWE has done (which I’m sure there’s a long list), but they’ve been pretty good in recent years of taking care of their talent and ex-employees… especially since the institution of the Wellness Policy.

  3. Another great audio post, you really do have the gift.

    On the technical side, I’m using a USB mic too and they can be a pain in the ass. It may seem odd, but if you take a pair of pantyhose, cut out a small piece and rubberband it around the mic, it should eliminate some background noise and “P-pops.” It won’t solve all the problems – if you listen closely to my show, you can hear my computer in the background, which sounds like a jet engine taking off – but it helps.

    Now, on the serious side. Entertainers in general: musicians, actors, athletes (especially American football players), and wrestlers have a high death rate, but since there are fewer wrestlers than any of those other media outlets, their deaths stand out the most. When it comes to wrestlers, I think they live the hardest life.

    No wrestling promotion can pay people NFL, MLB or NBA money; there is no off-season; there’s constant travel; constant bumps; etc. The schedule is lighter now than it was in the 80s, but instead of 300+ days a year on the road, it’s 200+ days on the road, which is still a lot. These guys are constantly moving, probably not getting much sleep (and probably mostly in bad hotel beds) and they’re in non-stop pain. A lot of them need (or think they need) drugs to calm the pain, drugs to stay awake and drugs to go to sleep, that’s where the addiction problems set in. The media loves to blame steroids, but it’s not the steroids that kill wrestlers, it’s the painkillers… especially when they’re mixed with things like alcohol and illicit drugs.

    And that’s just for the guys who are still working. You think about the retired or semi-retired that you mentioned, their bodies are banged up and they have nothing else to fall back on, so they wrestle when they shouldn’t or try to find some way to hang onto their legacy. I think this is a problem that will start to rectify itself (at least a little) as WWE continues to recruit legitimate athletes out of college like Jack Swagger, Shelton Benjamin, Charlie Haas, Brock Lesnar, Bobby Lashley, etc. The old-timers didn’t have college degrees, a lot of them probably didn’t even have high school diplomas, and with no other work experience besides wrestling (which is viewed as a joke in America), what else are they going to do? We’re a youth-oriented culture, a 55-year-old retired pro wrestler who’s not as famous as Ric Flair doesn’t have a lot of work options. So that causes all sorts of issues: financial problems, depression, boredom, etc. and that leads to drug and alcohol abuse and mixed with poor health, tragedy can strike.

    Well, I ranted longer than I expected… I think I’ll use this for a blog sometime. Thanks for inspiring me. Keep up the good work!

  4. I’m not too sure about ‘the gift’ but I’m trying really hard. This is WAY out of my comfort zone. I think I got spoilt last week with a professional recording mic. Hoping to get it back by next week, but if not I’ll take your advice and try the tights. There were a few spots I had to re-record because there was loud birdsong in the background. So frustrating.

    Seriousness: That’s exactly what I meant when I said maybe deaths in wrestling are just publicised more, so the perception is different to the reality. And it’s easy for the media to sensationalise a death from a ‘sensational’industry, so they jump on it at first opportunity.

    I agree, it’s all about keeping going, getting through the next show etc. If they stop, there are a hundred new guys that are younger, faster and with more stamina to take their place. Things will definitely be better for the younger talent coming through now, but there’s a whole generation retiring in the next 10 years that deserve some kind of aftercare. I hate that word. It sounds like something you get after a heart attack. But it gets across what I mean.

    Glad I could be of some inspiration.

  5. I have no deep insight in to this as before listening to this I had honestly never thought about it and now I have thought about it I can’t believe that it just hadn’t occurred to me before.

    Anyway, I’ll stop rambling and just say, awesome, yet again.

  6. Good stuff again! Keep it up!

    A union would be a great thing for the guys, but I don’t see it happening. If a group of midcard guys made a stand they’d just be fired most likely if they rocked the boat as they’re very easy to replace. The top stars that make money for the company would have to be on board for there to be any chance, but they’re already well looked after financially and wouldn’t want to lose their spots by upsetting management.

    • And such a union would likely have to be across the major promotions too unfortunately, making it even more unlikely.

    • Thanks very much. I agree. Which is why I think someone impartial from outside the industry should set it up.

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