Earlier this week I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with the great Roxy Astor, who wrestled on seasons 3 and 4 of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling program, better known as GLOW, as a member of the Park Avenue Knockouts.
Astor and I covered a number of different topics during our conversation, including what she thinks of GLOW’s legacy, how proud she is of David McLane and his work with WOW (Women of Wrestling), details about her hit musical AfterGLOW: The 80s Musical Experience, and most importantly, discusses the work she has done with author Pen Ken, who is producing and hosting the “More Than A Wrestler” podcast (launching tomorrow July 1st) that will feature stories from the great women of GLOW.
A trailer for the “More Than A Wrestler” podcast and my full video interview, along with quotes, can be seen below.
On the influence that GLOW has had on the industry all these years later:
Not knowing who we were inspiring. That’s number one. But 35 years later it’s like everywhere we go somebody says, “You know what? You changed my life back then. Like, I felt like I knew you!” And I mean, that is such an honor and a compliment. When you hear that from a fan that watched us back then and now we’re you know, 35 years later, and we’re still talking about GLOW. I didn’t even think this would ever happen back then. I was just back in GLOW having a good time now. You know, female empowerment, actually all empowerment.
On David McLane and the Women of Wrestling (WOW) promotion:
Okay, well first off I have to say with WOW I am so proud of Dave McLane. I mean, he has never given up the dream of WOW. When everybody thought it was gone, David McLane would bounce back up and there’s WOW. And then we had the pandemic. So I went to the 2019 show and they had the purple…Remember those? I brought with my dear friend Matilda Han, who had recently passed away. David McLane always acknowledged the GLOW girls. He acknowledged Matilda, because they were…I did not know David McLane. I did not work with him. It was Johnny Caparella. So it was Matilda who was close with David McLane, and the first season girls. David McLane didn’t really know me, he knew Matilda. So I would bring Matilda to the show and the other girls would come to the WOW shows. But we’ve always supported David McLane. Anytime there was a red carpet, anything I went to his show recently. And now some of the girls from WOW are following me. Even the costumer which I thought was kind of cool. Because I love the costumes on WOW. And it’s just so neat to see and sitting in the chair. And you know that 2019 You look at it, I’m like, I feel like I’m watching GLOW like, GLOW on steroids. And these girls are amazing. And they have these characters is cheerleader with a coach and and some of the girls back from 2019 and there was a lot of new characters, but just to see Dave McClain get up there with that mic and talk how he did back in GLOW. It was like, it’s like he never even changed. I mean, it’s still the David McLane. So that was great. And Jeanie buss is doing a great job. And AJ Lee bringing her on board, what is smart move.
On the creation of AfterGLOW: The 80s Musical Experience stage show:
I thought, “You know what? Let me do a play.” Let me bring the original GLOW girls on. Just because I’m always going going, What can I do? How can I get people, you know, the fans to connect with the GLOW girls? so I thought, You know what, I’ll do a play. I’ll bring five glow girls on. Okay, keep in mind, none of us really except for one are actresses. So, we had to write a script. We had to memorize lines we had to do…I’ve never done theater. I’ve done a wrestling. We were in front of a camera, but theater is so different. Go the left, go the right, do this. So Christopher Carver was our director. I know we were in good hands with Christopher as he directed Psycho the musical and over 40 plays and I talked to him about coming on board. I don’t know how to talk these people into things. But he was like, “Yes, I want to do something.” He was a GLOW fan. It just, we brought another writer in and Christopher Carver and it was just an idea I had that came out and we were on stage and it was just like a practice run. Like a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the 1111 Theatre in Los Angeles. We ended up getting nominated for Best Ensemble of the decade, getting nominated for Best Director. And I got nominated for Best costumes. And Dan got nominated, who did the choreography, for the wrestling.
How the show won several major awards up against the classic musical Hamilton:
This show received awards behind Hamilton. Now the awards are from Broadway world and they are of the decade. Broadway world of the decade, for Best Ensemble. To me that was like… that got my heart because Matilda was in her bed at the time. And I would bring her like these little fake trophies and put them next to her. I go, “Look you got your award.” it was a dream of hers. And that was actually the last project that she did. And before she died, a friend of mine, Robert, when we had another award coming up for most anticipated play. Robert told her that we won. So we won that one. So we won three awards, and she passed away the next day. So all this that’s going on now with the book, with the podcast…everything is like I’m dedicating to Matilda the Hun and the rest of the girls.
On her collaboration with author Pen Ken, and the formation of the “More Than A Wrestler” podcast:
Well, okay, so Ken actually reached out to me from LinkedIn, and I’m not usually on LinkedIn that much. And I think it was at the tail end of his book, The Dream is in Your Hands. And he reached out to me, and I’m like, Is this for real? Because you know, you don’t believe everything you read and I, especially on LinkedIn. He said, “Can you write an essay to your younger self?” So at that point, I had nothing like just nothing at all. And I thought, well, what can I tell about myself, like in a quick little essay, and I did it, I did it. I just sat down and it just kind of just flowed really well. And I had a deadline. So when I have a deadline, I get kind of nervous, like, is it good is it you know, and Ken was really good about rooting me on and he was really good through the whole ordeal. I’ve never done anything like this before. So then I had to give it a title. And to me, the title was very important, and I wanted to call it Life After GLOW. But I thought, What is something that can kind of embody everybody that everybody can go Wow, you know, Roxy, she’s, she’s because I was made doing this other thing. And you know, I’m more than this. I’m more than a wrestler. Yes, I’m more than a wrestler. Because I’m a hairdresser. I help with and I do so much. That is just there’s so many layers to me. More than a wrestler, I think covers it for me. It covers it for all the girls in the book. It covers it for all wrestlers, more than a wrestler because there’s more to us. And that title, the book came out, it was number three international and he has a number one book on Amazon. It was like this is like, I mean something something big, you know, and, and he wrote to me, Ken wrote to me and said, Hey, why don’t you do some thing, you know, with the more than a wrestler? And I said, Well, yeah, why don’t we?
What fans can expect from the podcast:
I liked the way that Ken Pen worked, and how he followed up and how he was just so professional. And it was just he’s got these visions, and then we would talk on the phone, and we’d work through everything. So I contacted a lot of the GLOW girls. And then he wrote these questions that kind of blew my mind, because I knew these girls, but then I was getting them back into my email. And I was learning about my GLOW girl brands. So it’s like, he’s like pulling stuff out of us. And that’s why this podcast is going to be so unique. You know, when I do podcasts, I will get the same questions over and over again. So when you’re asked something different, and Ken goes in and digs a little deeper, you get a different view. And you guys will see on the podcast.