Marco Orlando

For all intents and purposes, wrestling is the foundation that my entire worldview has been built upon. It is what has made the most sense to me and what I’ve understood best. I was hooked on wrestling ever since the late 80s and early 90s during the “Federation Years.” I could tell even back then that I saw things differently when I was drawn more towards the bad guys of the time and found those characters more entertaining. I wanted to be financially well off like “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase. I wanted to be athletically gifted like “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig. I wanted to be a sex symbol like Ravishing Rick Rude. I’m none of those things now that I’m older, but those were things I equated with success back then.

Over time, I realized that I’m not talented enough to get by in life on what I equated with success during the “Federation Years.” So I tried making up for that by developing a personality. I ended up taking bits and pieces from wrestlers I’ve grown up watching and tried putting my own spin on it to make it my own. I took a little from DiBiase and Hennig and Rude. I took a little from all of my favorites from both sides of the “Monday Night Wars” during the 90s. I also ended up borrowing heavily from Triple H. I related so much to his anger and passion and rage as a teen, and I envied his cunning against his opponents. I was much angrier back then and I always felt like I had something to prove, and it showed in my demeanor during normal school hours when I was consistently trying to find ways to survive my environment without going crazy. Without Triple H, there would have never been “GAMEFACE.”

Anger is a strange beast. It’s perfectly normal and sometimes even healthy for us to get angry. Anger can be a huge motivator when applied in a productive and constructive way. It’s always kept me fighting for what I think is good and right in life. I’ve gotten some of my best work done that way. On the other hand, getting too angry too often can be dangerous. My anger has had a nasty habit of disrupting my progress and kept me from achieving the things I value most in life. I would pre-emptively rip people’s heads off when they didn’t deserve it. It was a defense mechanism, like “get them before they can get you.” And I’ll admit I’ve missed out on some golden opportunities that way.

Numerous factors and recurring themes are at play here for everyone keeping score; Internalized hatred, consistently feeling less than human, low confidence, low self esteem, trust issues, people pleasing, putting too much thought into everything, and difficulty making the distinction between perception and reality. It’s almost as if establishing a name and a reputation and developing a personality based almost entirely on wrestling has hurt me more times than it’s helped me in life, like I ended up overcompensating for all of my perceived deficiencies because of it.

I’m beginning to realize now that I don’t really need to have an elaborate “larger than life” personality to make friends and attract women. Such a personality has ultimately resulted in the exact opposite for me. If I want to feel something real in life, and if I want what I do in life to have some real meaning, I need to do a better job being myself and being true to myself. In essence, “GAMEFACE” needs to go away for my own protection. “GAMEFACE” must die so that Marco Orlando can live.

If you are self advocate and would like to share a blog post with us please email Laurie Coldwell at lcoldwell@sufumaine.org   


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