Samantha Cohen, who goes by the name “Terra Calaway” is a professional wrestler who is the focal point of the documentary “Enter The Ring”, which hopes to shine a light on mental health, professional wrestling, and the stigma that still surrounds women in the profession.
2AM Pictures is a documentary production company, consisting of seven students from Ithaca College, who film pieces with the hopes of creating vivid and emotional stories.
The production company chose to tell the story of Cohen, a professional wrestler who uses the underground and independent wrestling scene as a way to cope with depression and self-doubt, while also using her experiences to empower women.
“Enter The Ring” is still in the production phase, with a page dedicated to the project on Indiegogo, for those who wish to donate to the cause. The project has received 87 percent of the goal amount, with a month left in the campaign.
Diva Dirt came across the project, and reached out to Cohen to discuss her time within the indie circuit, and what struggles she’s faced in her strides for mental health awareness.
In the trailer for the film, “The Queen of the Dinosaurs” describes injuries she’s sustained during her time wrestling, and was asked how she coped with the injuries.
I, of course, would have rather not gotten injured at any time. I wouldn’t wish my knee or neck injury on my worst enemy. I do, however, think they are all minor bumps in my road. I think the good that I’ve gotten from wrestling and the pleasant experiences I gained in my life solely because of wrestling makes up for it. I wouldn’t trade any of my career, good or bad, for anything, because it all led me to where I am now.
Also in the trailer, Cohen discusses how she uses Calaway as a way of covering fear and self-doubt. Cohen shares her experiences with fear on-stage and in the ring.
I think I will always have butterflies and nerves before I do anything in front of a crowd. But when you get those people yelling, and those lights and music going, everything fades away, and it’s just that moment in time, right there. I’ve definitely looked back and been SHOCKED that I’ve pulled anything off in wrestling, since I’m such a nervous, anxious mess at all other times of my life.
In the interview with Cohen, she describes how all the pain she’s endured in life has happened during her time wrestling, and how it’s helped her to cope with those obstacles.
It just happens that all the bad stuff in my life started while I was already in wrestling. I do think since I formed Dropkick Depression, an organization to help spread the awareness of depression and mental illness through charity events and fundraisers, I’ve been able to cope with my mentality a little bit more. I can’t focus on being sad because I need to focus on making others happy. It’s a weird circle.
Finally, Cohen shared her experience as a woman wrestler, and how she sees that the industry is evolving.
Being a female in wrestling has been a weird roller coaster. When I started, girls still weren’t taken all that seriously and I didn’t start THAT long ago. People were finally giving up on the whole bra and panties thing, and were seeing girls as competitors a little more, but nothing like what they are now. Women are finally showing that they’re just as good, just as badass, just as tough as any dude out there, and it’s beautiful to watch. There are still a lot of fans and wrestlers who tend to body shame women wrestlers while cheering on men with SIMILAR, if not worse, physiques, or that still think a woman shouldn’t wrestle a man because it’s too “unbelievable”, but we’ve made progress. I used to let it affect me, but I think now that I’m older and “wiser”, I just stick to the saying ‘Everyone has their own flavor’.
Please visit the Indiegogo page to learn more about the documentary, and how to help Cohen and 2AM Pictures spread their message. Also visit Dropkick Depression to learn more about Cohen’s mission to show “those who struggle with depression that they are not alone.”