In honor of Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, WWE Ambassador Dana Warrior is highlighting members of the WWE Universe who have turned awareness into action by hosting events, bringing communities together, inspiring friends, family members and even strangers to help in the fight against pediatric cancer to ensure that one day, no family or child will have to suffer like Connor’s did. That’s the vision we share, and with the help and commitment of the WWE Universe, one day, we will make it a reality. Every dollar counts. Every moment counts in the fight against pediatric cancer.
This month, WWE will shine the spotlight on individuals who have joined the fight against pediatric cancer. This week, we’d like to introduce the WWE Universe to PodSlam’s Rich Camillucci and Chris Mullet. These two college friends joined their love for improv and comedy with their expertise in podcasts to create a fundraiser that is truly one of a kind.
DANA WARRIOR: Hello! Thank you for speaking with me today. Can you both tell me a little bit about yourselves?
CHRIS MULLET: We met at the University of Florida, my background is in journalism, and I minored in drama and theater, so Rich and I first met doing sketch comedy. My true passion is writing and performing.
RICH CAMILLUCCI: I have always been into theater and performing, and I went to school for communications, broadcast specifically. When I moved up to Chicago, we started a podcast network, which included live events like PodSlam.
DANA: When did you both become WWE fans?
CHRIS: At birth! My sister is a little bit older than me, and she had all the action figures and tapes, so it was kind of handed down to me. As I’ve gotten older, it’s less about the larger-than-life characters, but more about the storytelling, the athleticism and how much passion the WWE Superstars have for it, and it’s what I consider to be the best art form in the word. Thirty years and still going strong!
RICH: My earliest wrestling memory was wearing out my WrestleMania III Home Video, wearing it into the ground, watching WrestleMania VI in my parents’ bedroom and from there on out I always remember WWE being a part of my life.
DANA: We are so proud that you are using your passion for WWE to raise funds for a very worthy cause, Connor’s Cure. What you are doing is so inspiring and so cool. Can you tell me about the first time you heard of Connor’s Cure?
RICH: The first time I heard of Connor’s Cure was actually through the initial video about Connor that WWE put up on YouTube that started making its rounds through the internet, and I remembered everyone talking about how powerful, moving and touching it was, so I bookmarked it. I eventually opened it back up about three or four days later, and that was the first time experiencing the story in full.
DANA: I understand bookmarking the page, and it is a pretty emotional video. One thing I love is how WWE is raising awareness for this serious topic, but also balances it with the levity of how people across the world are being moved to eradicate pediatric cancer forever.
CHRIS: I agree. I found out about Connor’s Cure around the same time as Rich. On TV, this obviously started as Connor being the biggest Daniel Bryan fan, and then him just having this charisma and energy and life about him, that made everyone around him fall in love with him. You followed along this story, and he was living his dream meeting all of his favorite Superstars. Once it was announced that Connor’s Cure was founded, and that it represented everything he stood for, I thought it was just fantastic.
DANA: That is so true! Connor never shrunk – even among all of these huge Superstars. What inspired you to create the Connor’s Cure fundraiser?
CHRIS: It’s multi-tiered, but really that everyone in all shapes and forms, their life is changed by cancer. That is true about my family, and that has always been something that has had my attention, and this just struck me as we needed to do something for this, and what was our biggest platform or expertise? It was our podcast and our podcast audience, and the network of people we knew, and even those we haven’t met yet, that wanted to help out. You can see the inspiration that Connor’s story was bringing out of people. So, taking a cue out of something we did in college, was to do a fundraiser called 12 Hours of Improv, so we took this concept and created the PodSlam fundraiser. Most of the Podcasts that sign up for the marathon, it’s their first time hearing about Connor’s Cure and first time hearing that it takes place in September. We felt passionately about Connor’s Cure and wanted to do anything we can to raise awareness.
DANA: That’s awesome. I love how interactive PodSlam is. You can follow it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – it’s very interactive. Can you tell me what your goals are for 2017 and 2018?
CHRIS: Sure, this is the second year, and PodSlam has grown so much since the first year. Always what we try to do is give a variety of different flavors and shows and bring them into the world of professional wrestling. This year, more than 15 podcasts will be broadcasting live over the 12-hour period. We have existing shows that have a great following that focus on wrestling, but we also have blogs that touch a range of topics from improv to movies. We will also have wrestling auctions and prizes, and we even have an audio Royal Rumble! We are entertaining and definitely make the 12 hours worthwhile. Moving forward, we want to make this even bigger. We’d love to see the show getting on the road, bring more people in and raise that donation amount!
DANA: Wow, incredible. It’s the everyday warriors like yourselves that are going to make the impact on Pediatric Cancer. Thank you for taking the morning to speak with me.
This year’s PodSlam is Saturday, Sept. 23. You can listen live at arcadeaudio.net/podslam or join in LIVE at Chicago’s famous IO Theater!
Follow PodSlam on social media for updates:
Official 2017 PodSlam lineup includes:
- 1 p.m. – Dilettante Ball (Arcade Audio)
- 1:30 p.m. – Humanoid Resources (Arcade Audio)
- 2 p.m. – Bad at Movies (Second Wind Collective)
- 3 p.m. – So Many Bits (Second Wind Collective)
- 3:45 p.m. – Riverside Falls (Arcade Audio)
- 4:15 p.m. – Alcohollywood (Chicago Podcast Co-op)
- 5:15 p.m. – Not Your Demographic: A Feminist Wrestling Podcast (Cageside Seats)
- 6:15 p.m. – Scream Cast's: Would You Stream It? (Scream Theater)
- 6:30 p.m. – Our Father (Arcade Audio) - Presented by Spiñata
- 7 p.m. – Advanced TV Herstory (Core Temp Arts)
- 7:45 p.m. – Pro Wrestling Trivia Game Show: Podswoggle Vs.
- 8:45 p.m. – Talkin' Wild w/Dan (Second Wind Collective)
- 9:15 p.m. – The PodSlam All Star Rumble - Presented by Advanced TV Herstory
- 10:15 p.m. – Ninety94 Chicago
- 11 p.m. – Marty & Sarah Love Wrestling (MLW Radio Network)
- 12 a.m. – Podswoggle: A Wrestling Podcast with Entertainment (Arcade Audio)