With Sunday night drawing closer and closer, it is still hard to believe that I am going to be living out a life long dream of mine. This Sunday, I take on the role of play-by-play commentator for Inspire Pro out of Austin, Texas. As clichéd as it may sound, I never would have imagined in a million years that I would go from being a mere face in the crowd, to assuming such a massively important role in a company. For a long time now, I’ve wanted to contribute in more of a way than just paying $15 dollars for a ticket at a show. I wanted to give back to the people and the thing that has given me so much over the years. I would think that contribution would have come in helping set up a ring, or selling tickets etc. But instead, I get the opportunity of a lifetime.
I can’t go without thanking the person that made this dream a reality, and that is Justin Bissonnette, aka Biss. This is a man willing enough to stick his neck out for someone like me, because he had the trust and the belief that I would rise to the occasion. He never had to give me this chance and I cannot thank him enough for doing so. With him being a person that I look up to and hope to strive to be even somewhat like, I hope to make him proud.
When the opportunity was originally bestowed upon me, the weirdest amalgamation of excitement and nerves began to creep in. And, I reassured myself that once the date drew closer, once I got more prepared, I would feel more comfortable. To be completely honest, with less than a week to go until show time, I am no less nervous. But it isn’t because of ill preparation or not having enough time. It is because I feel obligated to do my absolute best in order to portray the story and message that these wrestlers and this company hope to portray.
As I began to tell everyone I could tell about this amazing chance, they would affectionately refer to me as the “Voice” of this new company. It is then when it dawned on me how much of a serious and important job that I have. When all of these great performers that I look up to step through the ropes to do what they do best, I have to guide the viewer along on the journey that these men take them on. The biggest advice that I have gained through picking peoples brains is that it isn’t about how intelligent, or over the top, or cool you sound. It is about narrating the story that these men and women portray through every little thing that they do.
I look back and think on the emotional rollercoaster that wrestling has put me through. I think back to when I sit in front of a television or at a live show, and how the performance made me feel. I think to how it would make me vehemently despise someone, or in turn rally behind another. I think of how pro wrestling, with a simple 8-10 minute encounter, would teach me about so many other things than just pro wrestling.
It is now my job to make everyone listening to what I have to say feel something, not about me, but about what is happening in front of those viewers’ very eyes. It doesn’t matter if I know what an inverted three-quarter facelock backbreaker is. It only matters what that move has caused and what it means.
I have to tell myself constantly that I am not going to magically wake up one day and be perfect at this. It is going to take a lot of time, many shows, and therefore tons of practice to even be somewhat good at this. But, I have to keep trying. I have to recognize my faults and always improve upon them. Being a fan of independent wrestling for so long, I have seen athletes that I look up to so greatly, get better and better every time I see them. And if they can put in the work ethic with as hard of a job they have, I know that I can do the same. It seems very fitting, but I hope to use what I have seen from everyone around me as inspiration to get better.
A great piece of advice someone told me was, “Feel free to doubt. You’re just not allowed to stop.” And with the chance that I have, I refuse to stop.
Eamon Paton is a can be found on twitter here, and behind the commentator table at Inspire Pro Wrestling. The first show will be July 7th at The Marchesa Theater in Austin, TX. Bell time is 6PM. Tickets and information can be found here.