Can you heal from abuse? What do I do after leaving my narcissist? What does a healthy relationship look like? These concerns cross the minds of over 20 people every minute; over 28,800 people every day. And the sad fact is, we still don’t talk about it enough. Healing from Emotional Abuse isn’t a bandaid situation. But it doesn’t have to take years either. The lives of millions of other survivors around the worlds have been impacted by their narcissist. Yours doesn’t have to. To show you how to live a free, confident and peaceful life, your host and Founder of the Healing From Emotional Abuse Philosophy, Marissa F. Cohen.
Rob: All right, ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to a very special episode of the BCP / breaking through our silence podcast connection as we continue to breaking through the Speak Out movement with my tag team partner herself. Multiple-time Amazon award-winning Best-Selling Author, my good friend Miss Marissa Cohen. Marissa what’s up?
Marissa: Hey, tag me in, how are you?
Rob: I’m good. There’s no partner I’d rather have right now doing well, you know, as we say all things considered 2020 has been crazy. But we’re doing what we can over here. And right now we’re so I’m so honored to be talking to someone that I’ve honestly been a fan of for a while now, both in the ring, and on social media. And of course, we’re so happy to welcome to the show a Pro Wrestler, Cosplayer, and a certified PHR. What a resume. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the show Miss Jen Casale. Jen, how are you?
Jen: I am doing well. How are you guys?
Rob: Doing well, all things considered. Yeah. But um, Jen, thanks so much for a few minutes of your time. You know, you do it all. Like I said, What a resume. First and foremost, you know, it’s 2020. It’s COVID World. How are you? How’s the family making out? How are you doing right now?
Jen: We’re doing pretty well. You know, things. I’m out in Philadelphia. So, things are kind of half open and half closed. And we’re kind of doing what we can. We’re getting in, you know, a little wrestling as socially distant as we can, when we can. And yeah, we’re just we’re trying to get by taking it day by day doing our best to stay safe.
Rob: Yeah, I think we all are more importantly, you say Philly. what is the best cheesesteak?
Jen: Ah, that’s a tough one. Because everybody’s going to tell you like Jim’s or you know. They’re like, everybody’s taking you to the tourist spot. But there’s a really good spot right outside of Philadelphia that I like a lot. That’s called Leo’s and it’s out in Folcroft, PA. It’s like, a mile out of the city limit.
Rob: Awesome. I know. I’m asking the hard-hitting questions already. But I’m a foodie, so, I got to know all the good spots in America tells me about the Chicago pizza and all that. But anyway, let’s get to some real talk here, ladies. And again, Jen, thank you so much for your time You know, so let’s start at the beginning here. You know, we see this hashtag speak out is hashtag speaking out. movement starts to trend on Twitter. Jen, I want to know your initial reaction. Were you surprised? Were you expecting this, I want to know your gut reaction here?
Jen: I was so happy; I was so happy. I mean, it’s so sad and so happy all at the same time. I was really filled with a great mix of emotions, because I came into the Wrestling World probably about four years ago. And ever since I got here, I saw the need for this to happen. And I saw a couple people speak out here and there. And whenever would happen, it would get brushed under the rug. It would get shooed away those people would be the, “Difficult to work with.” They wouldn’t get hired anymore. Which was really sad. But then it’s this, that was like the whole dichotomy of like. Well, do you want to just kind of deal with this culture so that you can pursue this thing that you love? Or, you know, you know, or do you just like, stop and take a stand? So, for me, I waited a really long time. I’m very, very old to be in wrestling. But I waited a long time, because when I was young, the only option was to you know, I was working as a stunt woman when I was 18. And they were like, go be a wrestler, go be a wrestler. And, you know, I was like, No, I don’t want to have a bra and panties match. That’s like, you know, I don’t want to rip my somebody else’s clothes off in a ring while the guys get to have all the fun. That’s not what I’m here to do. So, I waited, and I waited, and I waited. And it seemed to get better. You know, you saw women in wrestling having main events and doing things. And I’m like, Yes, we can all do this! And you know, I got here and it’s so much better than it was, but there’s still so much, you know, kind of muck leftover. And then things that are so ingrained in the culture that they just… people don’t even know that they’re doing things wrong when they’re doing them wrong.
Rob: Absolutely. It’s such a crazy time. But I did want to ask you, you know, this is very interesting to me, because we have a lot of people come on the show and say you know, wrestling — if this was another business this would happen. Wrestling needs a human resources department; we were kind of talking about this off air you are a certified PHR. Tell us a little bit about that. And how that that plays into the wrestling business a little bit.
Jen: So, to be a certified PHR, it’s a certification test that you take. So, it allows you to put those fancy letters after your name, which I still feel really funny about doing. Because I’m like, I’m not a doctor or anything like that. But actually to take the test, The qualifications are that you either have to have a doctorate in a related field or you have to have worked in the field for at least five years. So, I was not fortunate enough to go to college for all that time. But I was fortunate enough to have a lot of work under my belt. And I took the test and I was very surprised I passed it on my first try. There’s only about a 50% pass rate for everyone who takes the test. And it’s everything the test is everything from, you know, Benefits Administration to, you know, Sexual Harassment and Sensitivity training. To the hiring and onboarding and firing and how companies are structured. You really have to know your business, inside and out. And literally knowing every part of running a business goes into taking that test. So, for me, that was a real badge of pride. I passed it in 2018. I continued to work in human resources in a regular 9-5 job. And I kind of when I got to start training at CCW, I literally came in and I feel like I’m such a nerd in this way. But I literally came in to a Dojo, where it was maybe my first month or my second month in before I was even wrestling, and I had like a whole business plan. And I was like, Hey, this is how we can make things better around here, like you could make more money, things could be more organized. And like I said, I’m such a dork in that way. But I think because in wrestling, paying your dues is something that you have to do. And I most certainly hadn’t, you know, earned my stripes at that point. You know, I took my time to do that. And I’ve worked very hard while I am here, in order to kind of say, like, I understand wrestling is so different than any other business. So, people say, Oh, well, you know, and no other business would run without HR. Wrestling is unlike any other business in the world. There is literally nothing like it that I have personally experienced. And I’ve worked in the entertainment industry and other fields. So, I’m to come into wrestling and to find just exactly how human resources can fit and, and should fit has been a really interesting journey. And I think it took the speaking out movement for people to be able to be receptive to it. So that. And I think also, you know, and it’s a funny thing to say, but having the pandemic where everybody had to slow down, everybody had to shut down, you know, people can’t run shows, they’re not over run by that every day, you know, I’m out here, I’m working, I’m grinding, because most wrestling companies will tell you, they’re held together by a string in a dream. And everybody’s just trying to get it, you know, get it by everybody loves people that are in wrestling. They get it by, like on the love of it. Um, you know, so that gets trying to get that little bit of profit margin out where you can, you do and so you end up sacrificing things like administration. And you end up you know, foregoing those things, and they really were never there in the first place, unless you have a huge company, like a WWE. And even in a huge company like that, they might have a human resources department, but that’s maybe not the way the thing should be. You care not just about things as far as things inequality for minorities, but, sexual allegations and injuries and you know, all of you know, working through injuries, when people should know all kinds of stuff like that has gone on and has been really like, really, really in the Wrestling World. And everybody’s like, so shocked. They’re like, how could this still go on? And when I tell you, when you are in this business, there is just such a love for what we do. And once you get the bug for it, it’s just, you know, it’s thrilling in a way that nothing else is. So, you know, people want to keep going, and you kind of do. I found myself turning, you know, turning the other cheek, turning my head the other way to things, even kind of falling into the culture myself. And so that’s one of the things when I do talk to wrestlers about sexual harassment, I say, you know, that was something, I did it. Like, I’m guilty of doing it myself, because one of the things you know, girls always joke about is the, you know, the unwanted dick pics. They’re going to come, you know, people tell you like when you get in wrestling, this is going to happen to you and people are going to send it and it’s not just that because cosplay is definitely something where that is pretty common as well. But, you know, my solution was fight fire with fire. So, if I was going to get somebody who’s going to send me one of those, you know what, I was going to send them the picture of the last guy that sent one to me. Because, you know, it is it’s like kind of like a cute, funny creative way to feel like you got revenge. But you know, when I really looked at it, I was like, you know, I’m really just kind of like, instead of doing something to make things better, I’m just kind of perpetuating the culture. So, um, you know, it took that kind of step back and looking at my own behavior too. Because they think we all you know, as girls in wrestling, you know, you have to be really tough to be in wrestling. Girls, guys, everybody. And I think you know, as women like Well, the things that goes on this like, again, for the culture is that girls are not very good wrestlers and you’ll hear that all the time. So, you spend a lot of your time trying to be one of the boys. And, you know, I may sit on the fence about a lot of those issues where it’s like, well, should there you know, how much safe space should there be? And, you know, what is safe space and all of that. And that’s stuff that we’re all really kind of like working through and finding right now. And you know, what the lines are and what to do and what not to do. And it’s just, you know, it’s kind of all very new for everybody.
Rob: And the women. I will say this, lots of comment on here. First of all, is there anything you don’t do, I’m like clapping my hands right now. You do a little bit of everything. That’s amazing. And women’s wrestling right now is on top. The women are really killing it. That’s just my opinion. But speaking of women that are killing it, let’s turn over to Miss Marissa Cohen.
Marissa: So, I first of all, I love your spirit. So thank you for being you. And thank you for being an advocate and an HR rep and for doing the sensitivity training and the sexual harassment training and trying to make a difference. I do have to comment on the most creative way to combat dick pics. And I have to admit that I’ve done similar things to people. Yeah, so story. Short story. On the day of my last book launch. Some guy hit me up on Instagram, who I did not know he asked me if I was into trades, and now me, naive me was like, I don’t know what that means. And I got a dick pic. So, what did I do? I went on unnamed porn site screen-shotted sent dick pic. I was like, I mean, how, first of all, like you, if you’re reaching out to me on the day of my book launch, you clearly know what book I am promoting. Right. And then, you know, I like I was mad. But I mean, that was a really it was it made me feel good. So yeah, I hear you.
Jen: And that’s it. Yeah, it’s crazy, right? That as you’re like, Oh, good. It’s very vindicating. Because you feel like at least you got to get that you know, something back.
Marissa: But the worst part of all of it is people don’t send dick pics because of sexual urges. They send it because of control and shock value. Right? So, if somebody sends you a dick pic, it’s not because they’re like, “Oh, I think she’ll be really into me. Yeah, if she sees my dick.” It’s, it’s, I want to make her feel as uncomfortable as possible. How do I do that very quickly. You know. And I think that, that culture being, you know, not okay, but like tolerated in any industry is really, really toxic, and really, really unhealthy. And that is like the first thing that needs to go, because that element of control is the gateway to sexual harassment.
Jen: It is and is a crazy thing, that’s my, my big crazy thing with wrestling and, you know, I’m really like, taking time to explore is that a lot of wrestling, not just in the ring, but it’s certainly outside the ring as well. A lot of it is about control and there’s a lot of funny situations that you find yourself in. So, you know, the wrestling match itself is a bout of control, who’s in power, who’s on top, who is losing, who’s winning. That’s control right there. You know, and so that that’s like a thing that’s all about control. And then you also find yourself in these funny situations with promoters, because everybody is an independent contractor. So you are, you know, you’re negotiating your own pay. And that’s like a little, you know, control bout that you’re having with the, you know, the person that’s the promoter. And there’s a lot of amazing promoters out there that take care of you and just give you the rate that you asked for. And then there’s some people that want to kind of nickel and dime you. And that’s a little control game. So, there’s a lot of those little pieces of control that are all over wrestling, where you kind of find that all over and if you can kind of like spot it when it’s happening. And that’s when you want to help especially, you know, young people, not just young women in wrestling, but like all young people in wrestling that don’t have a ton of life experience out in the world. So that you kind of know what’s going on in those situations when you find yourself where somebody is trying to control you or manipulate you. And you can say take a minute stop and say hey, what’s really going on here? And let me not just like have my emotions rule this situation or have their emotions rule the situation. But go ahead and you know, figure out what’s really going on?
Marissa: Absolutely. And I think that’s a huge benefit of having HR and HR experience, right? So, you as HR for your company can look out for the younger guy, younger people and have their back so when promoters try and nickel and dime them you can say no, no, that’s not what you agreed on. Or when somebody is harassing somebody, you can step in — or HR somewhere can step in and stop it right there.
Jen: Even I’m so sorry to interrupt or just say even just giving people the tools that they need the tools that they need. So, we do like peer mediation is something we’ve been training with a little bit here. So that people kind of understand in the moment of a conversation, so that they can stop and recognize. And sensitivity training is big on that, too. So, you can kind of stop and recognize like what’s going on, rather than just kind of like feeling the feelings.
Marissa: Right. I think that’s amazing. So, keep doing what you’re doing.
Jen: Thank you. And I think one of the other funny, when we were talking about funny situations, too, that you find yourself in, in wrestling, that makes like, a lot of the sexual harassment situations really weird is that like, you’re going to be in a situation every time you’re wrestling where somebody’s crotch is in your face, or your face is in their crotch. Or you’re picking them up by their crotch, like, so there’s a lot of that. And I think as human beings, we deal with those uncomfortable situations with humor. And I think that’s, like, perfectly natural. But the balance is like, where do we find… where is you know, what’s funny, what’s not funny? What’s humor? To who? And it’s all different to every person?
Marissa: Absolutely. But I think that’s the power of consent, right? The power of consent and communication. But you guys work mainly off of body language. I imagine I mean; I’ve never wrestled in a ring with anyone. But I can imagine that there’s a body language communication there. So, you know what, or you can anticipate what’s going to happen? And tell me if I’m wrong, stop me if I’m wrong.
Jen: No, you’re not wrong at all.
Marissa: Okay. So why can’t, why can’t we translate that body language in the ring to verbal communication outside the ring, you know, being able to read somebody’s body language, or say what you just did or said, makes me uncomfortable, and I don’t like that.
Jen: And that just has to become a practice. And that’s something that you know, we’re working, we’re certainly working on here at CCW Dojo, at the academy here. You know, just people being comfortable being uncomfortable. You know, if we can wrestle around in the, you know, 100 degree heat, and we can sweat on each other, then we can certainly say when we feel uncomfortable to each other. And it’s just a matter of practice, just like anything else. You get better at it and it gets easier, the more that you do it, the first bunch of times, you’re in the wrestling ring, even coming back from us being off for quarantine for three months, you take those first couple of bumps in the ring, and the next day you wake up and you are so sore, and it hurts so bad. So the first time you have that really uncomfortable conversation, where you tell somebody that’s been making you uncomfortable, every time they you know, they look at you and you know, you come out in your gear, or they make a comment every time, you know, you do a move in the ring. You know, when you finally you kind of rip that band aid off, and you’re like, you know what it really, you know, like, it really makes me uncomfortable when you do this, or I preferred if you’d not do it or you prefer it, if you compliment me in this way, instead of that way. It’s real cringy. It’s real painful to do it the first couple of times. But you know, we’ve all come together here to say that we’re going to have a supportive environment for one another. And we did that by outlining a code of conduct and going through it with everyone and having everyone sign off on it. So that we can all be committed to having a good environment here and supporting each other, and getting, you know, getting through those uncomfortable situations until we’re all comfortable being uncomfortable.
Rob: Wow, really well said and something we have asked pretty much everyone we’ve had on during this series, I want to hear your thoughts on this. We talked about apparently, it’s common for there not to be a locker room or a shared locker room. We also addressed you know a lot of these big cons that we’ve had, you know, obviously before all this COVID stuff, where the indie talent would have to go pick up the big names. And that’s where a lot of these speaking out stories came from, that we see on Twitter and such. Your kind of thoughts on the shared locker rooms and these airport pickups and maybe some things we could do to change that.
Jen: And it’s interesting because I also come from, I have a theatre background from when I was younger as well. So, I think we have those, you know, those shared co-ed locker rooms is something that I’ve been around for a really, really long time. And it’s one of those things to just to me like it doesn’t phase me. And I think that there is now going to be a possibility in indie wrestling anytime in the very near future where we can see widespread separate locker rooms because they think when you had Risa on here, she was talking about having, how difficult it is to have separated locker rooms because you have co-ed matches, oftentimes. And I’ve experienced that myself, because, you know, sometimes you’ll have a match and there’ll be guys that need to be involved but you’re in the women’s locker room. You know, when a company has done their best to you know, make a safe space for everybody so that we wouldn’t run into issues. But I think the issue is not, the solution to the problem is not to separate people, it’s to bring people together. So, it’s not to say that everybody should always have a shared locker room, but it’s to say that we should all change our culture, which takes time, and we all need to have patience with. So that the we can exist in the same space and not be shitty to each other. You know, is it can’t always be about separation? Because that’s just kind of, you know, in a way ignoring the problem. In a perfect world. Yes, um, you know, you’re saying like, Oh, we should have men’s locker rooms and women’s locker rooms, and then maybe a separate place where we can all meet together? Well, what about people that are transgender? There’s lots of people that are in the Wrestling World, and certainly more all the time about, you know, fall into somewhere in between. Where are they? Where do they, and this is something they have to deal with in their everyday lives. But you know, in wrestling, where people are a little bit more gritty, is that how do we make those people feel comfortable? How do we make them feel welcome, and where do they go, and usually, it’s just, you know, that’s their life, and they’ve lived that, so they go where they’re most comfortable. But like I said, I think for us is just a work in changing the culture so that we can all be together, and just be good to one another. And I don’t expect it to happen overnight. It’s a culture. The wrestling culture has been, what it is, in some form or another for over 100 years. So, for me to, as one, you know, one lady to come in here and take, I’m going to change it all overnight is a little silly. But I think, you know, I can at least, you know, a lot of people came out, and they spoke out and they told their stories. And that sparked other people to say, Hey, we don’t need to take this, let’s all get together and be better.
Marissa: But now, it’s about doing something to promote that change. So, what do you think we can do to really promote that change of culture?
Jen: For me, I think is certainly, you know, I know that I can affect it on an academy level on a school level, because you’re getting people that are coming into the business. So, I think that’s I wanted to start at the foundation. So that’s where I have chosen to start within my organization, and really restructure it there. And I know other people, you know, other companies that I’ve worked for, Titan Championship Wrestling, they also have taken steps to make sure that they’re treating their training their people, they’re training their talent on sexual harassment, because there are some people that have been in wrestling since they were, you know, they come people come to wrestling, because they have bad homes. And they’ve been in wrestling, since they were maybe 13, or 14, and no one ever told them, what was the right way to act, and what was the wrong way to act. And all they have to go on is what they see. And then the other thing that happens is, sometimes you’ll have a show, and there’s literally three generations of people, which is so cool. There are three generations of people on one show. Like, That’s amazing. But what is the divide? And how can we expect everybody to have the same values, because they don’t come from the same homes, they don’t come from the same generation, they don’t, they didn’t go to the same church, they didn’t grow up the same way. So why on earth could we expect them to all come together and just, it should just work out, Right? Unless we tell them, it’s our job, you know, as people that are part of administrations, and, you know, part of companies, just as it isn’t a business, it’s our job to educate people to tell them when you are here, this is how we expect you to act. And, yeah, I think anyone just expecting someone to behave in the way that they would just want to behave is crazy. You know, you’ve talked about a bull in a china shop. You wouldn’t expect the bull to come in there and, you know, actually play and not knock anything over. So, in that sense, you know, like I said, it’s our job to educate, it’s our job to say, this is what’s right, this is what’s wrong. And it is painfully basic, in a lot of ways, but then you can go back and hold people accountable. And it is about getting signatures. It is about saying, here’s the code of conduct. And we literally go over it every class. So some people that are at classes five times a week, they hear it over and over and over again. But you know, what, they know what it is already. So, you know, it’s getting those signatures and then holding each other accountable. And then having you know, we have all kinds of things in place, we have a school form that you can fill out anonymously or non-anonymously, and submit so that it comes in and if you have an issue, that issue will be handled immediately. Um, and you know, like I said, we have the Code of Conduct everyone signs off on that. We have the sexual harassment training that we’ve already started. And then the sensitivity training that we’re going to be doing as well. And having those trainings and saying, this is what it is, this is what we expect. And when people don’t live up to it, it’s a matter of holding them accountable, which is tough for promoters to do. Because let’s say you have your top guy, and he’s in your storyline. And, you know, this is what you’re riding on, this is what your draw is where the people are coming to see. And all of a sudden, this guy does something horrible, or we find out something horrible about him. They’re not so prone to just like, throw this guy to the wind, because everything’s riding on this guy. But we have to get to a point, because in some senses, wrestling is one of the only businesses where you can do that. You know, because stories change the they always they have the same card subject to change. So, people need to get comfortable promoters in particular, that that can happen. And that I think they have because you really saw how many people when speaking out happened, lost positions. They lost their jobs, whether they were held accountable, literally by society.
Rob: Very well said and, you know, especially in wrestling, like you’re right, you can’t scrap storylines, because like, who was the anonymous brand General Manager, you know, what I’m saying? I digress. But that’s a really good point and on a serious note, you know, you mentioned, you know, you have all these different generations. I’m all about, you know, promoting the talent, getting them, you know, as much as I can, you know, to put them over, as we say, in the business here. And we talked to a lot of younger talent, we’re very high on a lot of these younger talents, that, quite frankly, I think are going to go very, very far. We’re going to see them on TV and no time. But I do worry, especially when I see all this stuff about them. What’s your kind of thought, on protecting these younger talents? What’s the future look like for these guys right now,
Jen: I like I was saying earlier, it’s all about education with them. I, you know, I always have this, I have this picture. And I wish that I had it for you guys. And I have to have to locate it. But it’s a picture of me as a baby. And it’s really shocking. It’s really shocking, because my grandmother is holding me next to my mother in a hospital bed, I’m a newborn, and my grandmother has a cigarette in her hands. And you’re like, Oh, my God, you get thrown out of a hospital today, if that happens, you know, you would literally get ejected from the hospital. But that was social norms, then. We have to help our young people understand that some people that are in the older generations have these different values, because life was different when they were younger. And we have to find ways to hold people accountable. Without I think, just burying everybody immediately. So that we can all continue to have a better culture. Because you can’t just wipe the slate clean of all of the people that came before you because so much of wrestling is about tradition. And so much of wrestling is about you know, those who came before you passing the torch down to the next generation. That’s so important. And it’s such a cool thing to me about wrestling. But we just have to get, like I said, young people, it’s just, it’s education and communication. Anything for young people today have a tough time. Because they think I’m in the middle of the different generations that I see currently in wrestling. But I think people that are younger that come in, they really have a difficult time expressing their feelings. I’m aware, you know, I think people that are in the older generation, tend to just say their feelings, regardless of how it’s going to affect anyone else. So, I like there is a middle ground that we can all meet in here.
Marissa: That comes with comfort, right? So, if you have if you’re a veteran, and you have this pedestal, or you have a platform, I feel like you’re more confident in that and you are more likely to speak out about what’s happening. But if you’re new, I mean, your reputation is riding on this on this situation. And you can either blackball yourself or you can, you know, actually have a career or a chance at a career. And I think that’s really where the disconnect is, in my very, very humble opinion.
Jen: Yes, no, I think you really hit the nail on the head there. And one of the things that we’ve put in place here at the CCW Academy is we’ve done we’ve done like a two-layer system. So, we have a mentor — trainer. That is a person that’s a trainer, one of the trainers that we have here is assigned to every new student. They have a vested interest in their development. They’re like one-on-one, they get a one-on-one meeting every month. You know, and they are that person’s person to go to. And if it’s not working out, it can be reevaluated and they can be switched to another trainer. We also pair everybody up, That’s new, with a buddy. So, they have an elder student that’s here that’s kind of like you know, already knows the ropes and everything else. So that this person is going to be properly integrated into our culture that we have here. So, if they’re messing up, because you know, if you don’t know that you’re messing up, you know, somebody’s going to tell you you’re messing up, you know, or you’re not doing the right thing, you’re not doing your ring crew duties or, you know, whatever it is, you might be doing, somebody’s going to be there to tell you. So that’s what we’re trying to get this kind of like twofold mentorship in place, so that everybody that comes in, that’s new always feels like there’s someone to go to, because they think that that was, you know, my personal experience, certainly in, you know, the first school that I went to, I felt really alone and like afraid all the time, I didn’t know what was going on, or what was happening. And then I came to CCW and I was very, very accepted here. And, and I was really given, you know, so much creative freedom to do all kinds of different things that I’ve been hearing, which was awesome. But I think as a student experience, people really need to feel made at home. And they need to feel like they’re a part of what’s going on. And I think that’s a big part of creating a safe environment. You need to know that you belong, and what is okay and what is not okay. And you need that kind of person on a, you know, on a tutor level, who is, you know, here and is in charge who is a trainer. And then you also need that person that’s like, Hey, this is my buddy, this is my peer. This is a person who am eye-to-eye with that’s helping me out.
Marissa: That’s an awesome system.
Rob: I just wanted to chime in here. I’m curious. Obviously, no stranger to inter-gender matches, no stranger to rolling with guys in a faction. Behind the scenes, I’ve been behind the curtain from a journalistic perspective, you know, where we shake everyone’s hand everyone’s brother, sister, we see all that respect. You know, not to go into detail or not to name names or not trying to make you say anything. But I’m just curious, you know, very obviously very powerful woman in the ring and outside the ring. I’m curious, like, what your experience was, like, you know, going through this Wrestling World, that’s such a wacky circus. Was it mostly positive? Did you encounter some, like negative experiences where people tried to take advantage of you one way or another?
Jen: So, I’ve definitely had, have had experiences on both sides of the fence. I would say, you know, I’ve just been always fortunate enough to be a self-aware human, that I knew that when I was younger, and I saw things in wrestling that weren’t good. I said, hey, that’s not for me now. And that when I got into it, you know, I thought, like, Hey, I’m older than all these people, and I know better. And none of this stuff is going to happen to me. And, you know, lo and behold, they’re still situations that I did find myself in. But I think, you know, everything that happens to you in life can be looked at, you know, as a, you know, you can hold on to your anger, you can look at it as a learning situation. And that’s really what I did. I was like, hey, you know, what’s going on? Here’s not for me, I’m going to go look at things in other places. Because I knew that I loved wrestling more than I disliked shitty people. So, you know, I was able to take them. Like I said, I was so amazed because they think I came to I was afraid to come to CCW, because they had a terrible reputation. And they did like the around in, you know, the circle of wrestling there, Oh, don’t go over there. Bad things are going to happen. And I came here and I had nothing but positive experiences. Like I said, I was given such a platform to just creatively like, do, if I worked really hard at what I was doing, no matter what I was doing, I was given the creative freedom to do it. So, I’ve been able to be here in so many different capacities and do so many different things. It’s been just so, so amazing. And I’ve been so thankful, like so, so thankful for the experience. And I found people that have really kind of taken me under their wing, and taking care of me along the way. But do I think, you know, like, I still felt that way. And I think that’s just me as a person saying, like, Hey, I feel like an outcast because I’m, you know, here I am, you know, in my late 30s and then I’m, you know, in the ring with people who are 16-17 years old. And you’re like, what am I doing here? At some point, this is weird. This is uncomfortable. Is this right? Should I be doing this with my life right now? But everybody always was so patient with me here and everybody was always so kind to me here. And, you know, I when I came, I was here I was coming off an injury, I made a really bad break that had hardware in it, and it took me a long, long time to get where it needed to be in the ring. And you know, there’s I still, I still have a long way to go. I feel like um, but every, like I said, everyone here all of the people that were in my classes were always so good to me and so helpful to me that it was just like, I’m always so forever grateful. And I tell them all the time, probably to the point where they’re really annoyed by it.
Rob: Absolutely. And, you know, like you said, like, wrestling has been so good to you. It’s been so good to me, as well, you know, I just made these great connections with people. And by the way, the answer is, yes, you should be doing this because you’re absolutely killing it. But I digress. You know, it’s just been so positive. So, when I hear this stuff, it really breaks my heart. And this is the stuff that I don’t see. So, it’s really, really crazy. I do want to throw a quote at you. Marissa help me with this one. Was its Linda, who has said it on the show? What’s the quote, Marissa, about the trust in the ring.
Marissa: We have to trust our bodies with these people in the ring, but we can’t trust them with our bodies outside the ring.
Jen: Yes, I love that quote so much. You know, and then there’s another one that is a good one too, is that, you know, everybody has a mother or a sister or a daughter. And you know, you don’t you don’t want them you wouldn’t want them treated this way. Don’t treat somebody else that that woman that you’re looking at. That person that you’re looking at, is somebody you know, is somebody’s sibling; Is somebody whose family care for each other. Like we’re such a little, you know, in a way we all you know, we joke around and call each other Carnie’s all the time. But like we are this little Carnie family that puts the show together. And what we do is so magical. It’s like I always equate it to raising a barn. Like everybody needs brings their particular skills. And you know, we all do this crazy thing. So that we can put on a show. It’s literally like, the fact that human beings can do this and build a ring. Every time there’s a show, we build a ring from the ground up. That’s amazing. We can come together and do that. We can come together and build a ring; we can come together and trust each other and throw each other around and punch each other in the face. We can do all those things and do them as safely as possible. Why can’t we do these other things? I know that we can. And that’s the thing that seems silly to me. It’s like it’s if obviously if we can cooperate in this way, we can also cooperate and the other way.
Rob: Very well said and I guess we touched on this a little bit already. But just any you know, any advice I guess, especially for these, you know, younger up and coming talents.
Jen: I know, it’s just really you know, when you’re going into wrestling schools, make sure that you’re checking out not just the kind of shiny things. Like not just the people that came out of the school, like not how successful, not how many people came out of that school went to WWE. Find out what’s going on, like we just added here, you know, we added our trainers, we have it in a female trainer, we added in a Ref. So, we have ADD trainers, like, oh my God, they are everything. And they have also been like, really just amazing to me as Gabby has too. But find out, Are there trainers at that school that you can identify with? You know, are there people that are going to treat you like a human being, and don’t give anybody your money. Like, definitely, you know, wrestling training is a lot of hard work for people who are trainers. So, make sure that you are giving money to people, don’t take free rides from anyone, because you will pay for it in one way or another. And make sure that you know, like I said, get what you’re paying for and give as much into it, you’ll be so surprised as what like what you get out of it. And I mean, I would give that advice for anything in life to anyone but particularly for young people, the harder that you work, the more people that you touch, the more you’ll get out of it. I tell people all the time that wrestling is my master my master work in life, I bring all my talents together. And I put it into wrestling. And every time I’m in that ring it gives back to me.
Rob: Yeah, I’ll say. That’s it for me mercy, you got anything before we get out of here?
Marissa: No, I’m just so happy that you’re making such an impact on the Wrestling World. And I don’t even think you see the scope of it yet. And if you do, then that’s amazing. But if you don’t, you are starting a revolution. And I’m so excited to watch. And hopefully other people will catch on and come to you to do the same thing in their organization. So, thank you.
Jen: I would definitely like I said couldn’t do it alone, like Gabby Gilbert and the rep they have all stepped up to help me not just to come as trainers and give their knowledge and you know, come to the aid of these students that we already have, and to new students that we hope you’ll come and join us. But they’ve also been great with me helping to give administrative work, structure, class curriculum, so that people can really come here. Young people, old people, any kinds of people can come here and have a comprehensive school experience. We’re really excited. You know, like I said, we have our new facilities that we’re getting up and running. We’re just kind of like crossing our fingers until COVID has passed so that we can get our class numbers back up. But in the meantime, we’ve got these small classes where we’re working on changing the culture, just one person at a time. And it’s been it’s been really great so far.
Marissa: That’s amazing.
Rob: Absolutely. All you guys are going to get signed, by the way, one of the best tag teams on the planet right now. I mean, I’m telling you right now. But anyway, instead of being a major mark here, let’s get some shameless promo out of the way. We’re all about it. Now we can be on a fan level or on a professional level here. You know, obviously, working with CCW, how can people contact you on a professional level or follow you on a fan level?
Jen: Um, if you want to reach out to this school, you can reach out to CCWtrainers@gmail.com. You can ask us any questions that you have about the school. The trainers will get right back to you. You can also come and check out our school we are located in Blackwood, New Jersey. You can email us for more of that. For me also on a professional level, you can find me on LinkedIn Jen Casale PHR. And you can see all of the fun and fabulous work history there, which is the boring stuff. Or you can also check out my Facebook. You know, I’m Jen Casale, as well on Facebook, so you can check me out there.
Rob: Awesome. Super cool. And Jen, thank you so much. You know, obviously a fan for a long time. But you’ve definitely earned my respect and just thank you so much for coming on the show. And, you know, just opening up and telling everyone what you had to say. I super appreciate it.
Jen: Thank you. I hope I didn’t chew your guy’s ear off too much. I appreciate your time as well.
Rob: That’s fantastic. And guys, you know, everyone who’s listening right now, like I always say stay safe, stay positive, take care of each other. We’re out. Peace.
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