Tuesday, 14 April 2015

CHIKARA, Super Lucha Fun times

Yup no blogs in 3 years and now 2 in as many weeks, wonder how long I'll manage to keep this effort up!

This one requires a little back story. I LOVE pro-wrestling. If I could only watch one thing on television for the rest of forever I would choose wrestling. It's soap opera, with awesome costumes, hot guys and faux violence, what's not to love!

Now if I could only choose one wrestling company to watch for the rest of forever I would choose Chikara Pro. It's perhaps the daftest, most whimsical, glorious nonsense ever, there's time travel, super hero characters, monsters, jocks, band geeks, and everything in between! Most importantly these guys are some of the most talented in ring that you'll ever see.

Chikara are based on the East coast of America, so when they announced their first ever UK tour, it was pretty much a case of 'TAKE MY MONEY, TAKE IT, TAKE IT NOW'.  I'm not usually one to be so brave, but I plucked up the courage and thought I'd try my luck and ask if I could photograph the show. They only went and said yes! Dream come true, right there! It gets better, not only did they allow me to photograph the show, I got to shoot both Wolverhampton dates, FROM RINGSIDE!

Words can't really begin to express what a surreal experience this was for me. I was also privileged to sit in the pre-show speech from Mike Quackenbush, one of Chikara's founders. It was so motivational that had he asked me afterwards I would have been ready to get in that ring and give it my best! During the time before the show I was able to talk with these super heroes that previously had existed to me only in the internet. You'd think being a performer myself I wouldn't be surprised that these guys are actually just real people with remarkable talents, like so many of my cabaret friends, but no. Even after seeing these guys out of costume, you only need to see them work in ring to realise they ARE super heroes, or at the very least super human!

There's an extra fantastic upside of this lucky meeting, I have long wanted to produce a photographic study comparing the cabaret scene with the indie-wrestling scene. Since the show I've been lucky enough to pick the brains of some of the talents, and it seems the idea might be sprouting legs! So who knows where that might go in the future.

In the mean time here are some of my favourite photographs from the events, there were hundreds of great shots so I've only got a fraction here, check out the Chikara site for more info, and also should you wish to buy videos of the event, to see if I get kicked in my stupidly grinning pink head!

Chikara Pro Website


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