Stories - my own included - matter more to me more than just about anything else. That isn't a deliberate choice; it is simply how my brain seems to be cross-wired. Narratives are how I make sense of the world, and story-telling seems to be what unites the seemingly disparate range of swashbuckling activities that occupy my time.
The plot of a book, the thrill of an adventure, the experience behind a review: they're all stories being told in different ways. Stories also form the backbone of every good wrestling match, any captivating live show and even - to an extent - the action with which I am involved on TV and in films. Hell, narrative even makes up a key element to the product marketing through which I started my career: boxes, websites and blogs.
So I'm a story teller. Day in, day out, no matter what I'm doing - I'm trying to tell a story. Of course, that doesn't necessary mean I'm any good at it... It just means that stories are what gets me out of bed in the morning, and keep me up for days on end.
Writing is the most obvious outlet for story telling, and I love it. It calms and excites me to the same extent, providing me with both an outlet and an inspiration. If there is a meaningful difference between being a writer and being somebody who writes, I think it's that urge: the need to keep writing.
I started writing as soon as I could hold a pen. I filled notebooks with nonsense and I've never stopped. Hundreds of thousands of words later - probably millions - putting my thoughts into written words is as natural to me as pulling a punch or adopting a power stance. This is how I got through University, made a career as a copywriter, and finally released my book A Rum Run Awry.
Looking back, my inspirations followed quite a natural progression. Behold the slightly disturbing line of inspiration:
When I was very young, I watched Rosie and Jim. Didn't we all? Naturally, I decided I wanted to grow up to live on a boat and write children's books. As I grew older, I discovered Pirates of Penznce and decided to ditch the children's books and use the boat to become a Pirate King.
Alas, when my parents refused to move onto a boat, I was forced to shift my passion for theatrical and operatic violence to professional wrestling, mainly motivated by the utterly wonderful Mick Foley - who turned out to be a children's author. Who'd have thunk it?
I stopped wrestling in 2005, when I moved to Leeds to study philosophy. However, the confidence I had gained through live performance helped me pluck up the nerve to pick up my guitar and turn my love for story-telling into live music, inspired by my lifelong hero, Dave Grohl. My band, Gay Bum, was formed in 2008 and is exactly what you'd expect from a story-telling wrestler...
In 2009, Gay Bum moved to London. At one particular gig, PUMP Photography approached me and pointed out a London-based wrestling school called London School of Lucha Libre. So began my journey to Lucha Britannia.
Alas, the life of a combat bard is not an easy one. Some years later, I found myself utterly lost and directionless. Fortunately, I rediscovered the genius of Andrew W.K which, when combined with the wonderful feedback from this site, made me realise I could be happy just doing my own thing and hoping it inspired others to do their thing too.
So that's what I'm doing. I call it Edventuring.