Blackwell Street - Dover, NJ
We've tried to make it to as many Ring Of Honor shows in the tri-state area as we could for the past few years, but we've had to cut back quite a bit recently. It's for a good reason though. I went back to college last Fall, so free time and spending money have been in pretty short supply, but I have kept up with what's going on in ROH as best I could. That is how I learned about this opportunity.
So I reached out to them in the hopes that I'd be one of the first 60 people to RSVP for a chance to work as a ringside extra for the filming of a movie that's being filmed. It's called The Wrestler, and it's being directed by Darren Aronofsky (the director of Requiem For A Dream and The Fountain), and it stars Mickey Rourke and Marissa Tomei.
I thought that they would have gotten flooded with responses, but there must not have been very many. When I arrived on Thursday, I think that there were maybe one or two other folks who had responded to this post who showed up. All of the rest of the extras that we talked to were members of SAG.
It was pretty easy work. All we had to do was stand where we were told to stand and act like people who were cheering at a wrestling match. They moved us around on three different sides of the ring and in the balcony for a few shots while Mickey Rourke and his opponent, Ernest "The Cat" Miller, made their entrances to the ring. They also shot a few scenes of the two wrestling in the ring. I have no idea what the context of these shots will be when the movie's finished, but it looks like the ROH name and logo will be front and center for at least part of the film.
That's Mickey Rourke on the left in the lime green tights as Randy "The Ram" Robinson. The man in the middle-eastern tights is former WCW and WWE wrestler Ernest "The Cat" Miller as "The Ayatollah". In the photo directly above, the referee that Mr. Rourke is shaking hands with is Crestwood's own Jon Trosky. He wrestles on the indy scene as Supreme" Lee Great, and he had been working on the film for quite a while now - longer than Mickey Rourke, in fact. He was one of the wrestlers who was helping to train Nicolas Cage, who was originally set to star in the film before he pulled out of the project.
I wore my Ring of Honor shirt to the taping and wore it for the first half of the day until everybody took a break for dinner. They fed us in the basement of a church that was down the street from the theater. We came back a bit early, and I couldn't resist the urge to take a photo in the ROH ring.
Before we started shooting again after dinner, one of the production guys gave me a Randy "The Ram" Robinson shirt to wear. That's the shirt I'm wearing in this photo that I posted yesterday of me with the director, Darren Aronofsky. I'm not sure if I'll be in the background of any of the scenes that make it to the final cut, but if so, I'll either be wearing a red or black shirt. If it's a red shirt, it's from before we ate. If it's a black shirt, it was filmed after dinner. I know, I know... super secret Hollywood insider news right there!.
Mr. Aronofsky was a super nice guy. He made it a point to thank us for coming to the shoot and to chat with us for a few minutes, and he even gave me his copy of the call sheet for today You can see it in his hand in the photo, and it's a very awesome souvenir from the time I got to work on a movie set. Unless my career path takes a very drastic turn, it'll probably be my only time working on a movie, but it was a great experience and a memory that I'll always treasure.
Ring Of Honor took advantage of the fact that they're already all set up in the building and held two shows at the Dover Theater after the taping - one on Friday and one on Saturday. We came back for the Friday night show, and the crew was there to do a little more filming for The Wrestler, this time with an actual paid crowd. To be honest, I think the ROH fans on Friday did a better job than the SAG extras. They popped like CM Punk had just come back! Well, we're in the crowd there too, so either way, there's at least a halfway decent chance that you'll see us at some point in the movie.
It's been a busy weekend. I was thinking about heading back down for the show tonight, but I'm pretty tired and I have work to catch up on before class on Monday morning. I'll write more about Friday night's ROH show after I've gotten a full night's sleep.