I haven't put pen to paper in a creative manner in so long. Fact is, since my transition from strictly music to a much broader scope of the entertainment business and it's many facets, the only creativity I've displayed recently is what I wear to an appearance. It's like as if I'm in character as "Uncle Louie" and my wardrobe is a huge part of that image. It represents who I have become in my business. It makes me easily identifiable and hopefully, memorable. When people see me again... they remember! It has to be a flashy color-coordinated outfit; that's become part of the Uncle Louie signature look. Shirts with a matching fitted hat. I never bend the brim of my hats and I always leave the stickers on. That drives Goldberg crazy so for that alone, it's become part of my routine! As somebody with some serious OCD, routine means a lot too. I also have ADD, so try and stay with me; I get off subject a lot! Back to my clothes. I match those articles of clothing to my sneakers and I'm always sure to wear a huge flashy watch, a couple of rings, maybe a World Series or NBA Championship ring, an iced out bracelet, and I can't forget my big gold chains. Dookie chains like rappers wore in the '80s or a couple of huge Cuban link chains, depending on my mood. If I'm at one of my Legends of Wrestling events, I have to rock the huge gold Championship Belt pendant that Rey Rey custom made for me. It matches the Legends of Wrestling World Championship belt he made and since I can't wear the belt, the giant pendant is the next best thing! The best part when I'm wearing all that stuff is that I don't take myself serious, it's almost like cosplay but for a character that I created. I'm Louis Gregory, but when I put on those clothes and I lift those huge gold chains over my head, when they rest around my neck, on my shoulders, I become Uncle Louie.
I decided to get back to writing. It's always something I loved. In college, English Literature was my major. I figure it's like riding bike; writing is just, it's just, well... something you can always do, right? I mean, a pen is like a car, isn't it? Just get behind it and push until it picks up momentum and it'll coast right through the page like a car down a steep hill. My pen leaves word after word on the paper like the Lawman Mustang. Take Bill Goldberg for instance; he gets into one of his muscle cars, slams his size 14 stingray boot down on the gas, accelerates across the pavement, leaving an indelible signature in hot, stinky, burned rubber. I want to leave my mark too, without the smell of course (or so I hope), but you get what I'm trying to say, right? Where was I...
I am not "living the dream" -- I'm "living my dream." I am so lucky to be doing so many exciting things and every day feels like a new adventure. The challenges are part of the fun and they make the success and the victory taste that much better. What I'm trying to say is, yeah it's cool but don't get me wrong, it isn't all just good times and fun getaways. There is a lot of moving parts to what we do. Each event that we produce or promote has so many moving parts. It takes a lot of team effort and coordination to ensure they are a success. Words cannot explain what it's like to talk to Brian Knobs (Nasty Boys) for an hour on the phone about a business idea and how best to execute it. If you were a fly on the wall for those conversations, you would fly around looking for fly paper! As far as creating shows and making appearances, the "build it and they will come" philosophy only works in the movies. Building it is just a small fraction of the equation. You have to build it, promote it, and execute it. You are only as good as your last event. There are a few bits and pieces in between too. Can't forget the most important part though, you have to be able to get paid! Getting paid is always tricky, but if you don't get paid it isn't a business, it's a hobby. You can't keep food on your plate, a roof over your head and the lights on if you aren't making money.
Social media has played a huge role in what I do. Some of the biggest websites in my business have written articles about my success in social media. It's been both humbling and motivational. I have to stay on the cutting edge of each social media platform, for me and for my clients. I also have to understand the pitfalls and consequences of social media. A lot of people who follow my Twitter or my Instagram must think "hell, I can do that."
I recently spoke to a follower from my social media who has become a friend and I was venting about how tired I was on the road. I always love a good opportunity to complain a bit, I get that from my mom. He told me how easy my job seemed, how I got to travel around with Goldberg and "watch Goldberg sign autographs all day," and he asked how hard that could possibly be. Man, for a second that really aggravated me. I wanted to make sure that he and the rest of the world knew how hard I worked. Then I realized that his perception of what I do was actually my fault. Nobody to blame but myself. Social media is just so powerful and at the end of the day, it creates a perception that becomes a reality. My Tumblr blog may be the only window into my life for a lot of my friends, fans and followers. After all, I am the only one to blame for what they see through that window and I adhere to a strict code when it comes to painting that picture. I won't vent, won't be negative or never let anybody see me sweat via social media. There is one small caveat; I tend, from time to time, to tell people precisely what I think about them -- but that's another story.
There was that time when I told Questlove of the Roots how much I disliked something he did with regard to Eric B and Rakim; that went viral of course so I had to pull back on the reigns and be a little less liberal with sharing my thoughts in that regard. Still though, if one was to judge my role in the entertainment business strictly by what goes on my social media, they may think that was all I do; hang with Goldberg, hang with Eric B., eat dinner with celebs, drive cool cars, eat really good food -- and a lot of it! That is what my social media portrays, so I guess there must be hundreds of thousands of people following me on Twitter who think I just eat a lot and hang out with Goldberg. Kind of humorous I guess, not really totally accurate but definitely a microcosm of the positive things that I post on my pages.
Social media paints a picture and everybody with their own Instagram, Twitter, or whatever platform they use becomes an artist with the paintbrush, painting their own portrait. Ever think of it that way? My followers see me in the studio with Romero Britto, painting with him, so they think my life is happy and perfect like his iconic pop art masterpieces.
Back to Goldberg for a second. Man can Bill eat! I'll tell you what... I can eat too, but not like this guy. Coming up in this business with Prince Markie Dee and The Fat Boys, back when I was a rapper and a lyricist, when I was only an entertainer, before I became a businessman, being around foodies was an everyday thing. Eric B. and Deion Sanders would take me to the "french restaurant" all the time. Yeah, the French Restaurant was Popeyes, but that's beside the point. Who eats more than The Fat Boys? After working with Bill Goldberg I realized very quickly who eats more than The Fat Boys -- he does! Wow, the sheer amount of food he consumes puts The Fat Boys to shame! The biggest difference being that The Fat Boys ratio of caloric intake versus their exercise is significantly disproportionate, whereas Goldberg's love of food is paralleled by his ability to burn those calories with as much vigor as he consumed them. At 48 years old, he is in the best shape of his life; his cardio is exceptional.
As I watch Goldberg jump in the ring, he hits pads and then begins a sparring session, sweating off breakfast and lunch with a barrage of kicks and upper cuts. I pull out my iPhone and record a video of him sparring with King Mo at American Top Team. I open Instagram and post it, shortly thereafter my phone vibrates, it's Glory Kickboxing. I grab a pen, get behind it and push. I write down ideas, reminders, things I want to share. We shake hands with Dustin "The Diamond" Poirier, say goodbye to Kimbo Slice and we jump in the car. Pedal to the metal, we leave some of our rear tires in that Coconut Creek parking lot. On the road again, we joke about how much fun he had hitting people. I'm not sure what or who's next, but Bill is... Waffle House!
(In my next post I'll talk about how Legends of Wrestling was last weekend at CitiField.)
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