Ariane Seiler, AKA Sloan, was only about eight-years-old when she realized that wrestling was her calling in life.
One day she turned on the TV to see The Rock – and she was instantly hooked. However, as she grew up she started to feel that a wrestling career wasn’t feasible, putting her dream to rest for a while.
But some things are just meant to be. She eventually started working on a live performance stage in Vancouver and the exhilaration of that made her determined to wrestle once again.
Inspired by Sloan’s story, Daily Hive sat down with her to discuss what wrestling really means to her.
What was it like growing up watching wrestling?
I didn’t really have many people to connect to in terms of my passion for wrestling. I had my dad who had always been a huge fan and my best friend, Shelley, who would always watch it with me. My obsession for it terrified my mom now and still does to this day. I had this binder that’s plastered with stickers of different wrestlers and the first page states “Ariane’s Book of Matches.” I wrote out what happened in every show. I think I didn’t have a daily way of connecting or talking to anyone about it so I wrote it out like I was telling someone what happened.
Why did you decide to pursue wrestling?
After about the age of 15 I kind of felt like the dream was unattainable. I didn’t know how or what it would take and so I kind of laid that dream to rest. When I moved to Vancouver from Nanaimo I started working at The Comedy Mix. Being around live performance 5 nights a week sparked something in me. I thought maybe I wanted to try stand up and I did it twice but I didn’t feel compelled to continue with it. I remember watching my fiance, Dino Archie, perform before we started dating and I always thought that he was just so obviously meant to be on that stage and it was so apparent that he truly was a stand up comedian. I felt like I want to feel that I fit with something like that. Wrestling kept popping up in my daily life more consistently then it had in years and I took that as my sign.
How do you feel you may be different from other wrestlers?
I think the thing that separates wrestlers from other wrestlers is the reasons why they pursue wrestling. Everyone’s story and desires are unique to them. I don’t have an ultimate goal on where I want to wrestle or what promotion I want to wrestle for. For me I am doing this because I want to do this to create. To construct a character and a performance that I can be proud of.
How has wrestling changed you or turned you into the person you are today?
I was quite shy as a kid and when I started watching wrestling it taught me the power of being assertive and being sure of yourself. As an adult it gave me my power back in a lot of ways but it also showed me my weaknesses quite clearly. Ones I didn’t know I had. It has forced me to be more solid within myself and has taught me lessons that I don’t know I would have learned otherwise.
What has your biggest challenge been?
Having to take a step back to gain perspective on where I am on my journey and what I need to do to move forward the way I want. Go, go, go isn’t always the right play. I had several minor injuries that piled up and it became apparent that I needed to step back.
What advice would you give to all the aspiring wrestlers out there?
As cheesy as this might sound. Follow what’s in your heart. Regardless of what people will say and tell you to do. What’s in there is what’s most important. Be safe and of course, have fun!
How do you keep working through all the tough stuff that comes with life?
The gym is my refuge. I have been going to the gym since I was 12-years-old. Not entirely but mostly self taught. When I was a kid I thought it was the only thing you had to do to become a professional wrestler. Since then it has been the only constant in my life. Dino also helps to keeps me sane on my journey with wrestling. I really respect his perspective and his advice.
Being tough is a value that was instilled into you when you were growing up. What has that taught you in your pursuit of success?
It’s always brought me back to the fact that whether we like it or not, not everyone wants to see you succeed. And that’s okay. In fact, that’s good. “Being tough” has taught me to be respectful but not a push over. I believe that if you don’t take those opportunities in life to stand up for yourself or what you believe then those moments will always stick with you. Keep your blinders on and keep moving forward.
What have the highlights of your wrestling career been?
I would say one of the biggest highlights so far was training with Lance Storm. It was a surreal feeling because I had grown up watching him on television. It was an honour and a privilege to have that opportunity come my way. Wrestling in my hometown of Nanaimo was really awesome because my dad got to see me wrestle for the first time and I got to work with Christina Von Eerie who taught me a lot. I am also very proud of the mini documentary Brawlin’ that I was a part of with Black Rhino Creative. It showcased the ups and downs of my journey and showed me how far I had come in the seven months that we were filming.
Which wrestler has been your greatest inspiration?
I was beyond obsessed with The Rock. He was everything I wanted to be; larger than life, charismatic, unpredictable, hilarious, animated, and he was always put together so well. He was definitely the catalyst for this dream of mine.
STORYHIVE offers production grants and distribution opportunities for filmmakers, musicians, storytellers and creators in BC and Alberta. They tell stories, create art, and make careers happen. Learn more at storyhive.com.