Fanmail Q & A
- I see that some of Bret's appearances are listed as book signings and some as autograph sessions. What's the difference?
Bret's book is available for purchase at book signings. Anyone who purchases a book at a book signing can meet Bret and have their book autographed. (See below for exception). There is no additional charge for having your book autographed.
In order to assure that everyone who buys a book gets to meet Bret and have their book signed Bret does not sign anything but books at book signings - until the book signing is over. In other words, IF Bret has finished signing books for everyone on the line BEFORE the time that the book signing is scheduled to be over, he MAY then sign memorabilia that fans have brought along. It will be announced before the book signing starts if Bret will sign memorabilia at the end - IF he gets through the book signing line and time permits. So.... if you bring memorabilia to a book signing please be aware that you may not be able to get it signed. The procedure is; wait on line - which is fun because you get to meet a lot of other Bret Hitman Hart fans! - meet Bret and have your book autographed, and then, if you have memorabilia, get back on the end of the line. IF Bret can work his way to the end of the line before the scheduled end of the signing he'll sign your memorabilia, if nothing is preventing him from doing so.
Everyone on the line at a book signing will be asked to follow certain guidelines in order to make the line move as quickly as possible. The line moving faster does NOT mean you will spend less time with Bret when you make it to the front and get to the signing table where Bret is seated. The line moving faster only means that more people will get to meet Bret and that there is a greater chance he'll be able to sign memorabilia for those who choose to get back on the end of the line.
The people at the venue should ask everyone on the line to do the following things when it comes to preparing your book to be signed. If they don't ask you - please do it anyway. And, please tell everyone around you on the line to do it too. Tell them you read it on Bret's web site. You'll be helping as many fans as possible to meet Bret that day so thanks from Bret and thanks from them. :-)
1. Use the book jacket flap to flap your book(s) open to the title page.
2. Either bring a stickie "Post It" note or you will be provided with one (for each book). On the stickie note please write only the name or names that you would like your book personalized to. Please do NOT write sayings, slogans or essays on the stickie note, only the name or names you want Bret to personalize your book to. Place the stickie note on the book flap that is holding the title page open.
3. Hand Bret your book open to the title page.
4. If you have more than one copy of the book, put a stickie with names in each and stack the OPEN books on top of each other. Put the open stack on the table in front of Bret - maximum 5 to a stack. 10 copies per person.
5. If you want to have more than 10 books signed, email email@example.com to make special arrangements in advance. Clearly state your name and contact info and what signing(s) you'll be attending.
6. You CAN have a photo taken with Bret at MOST book signings (see exception below). At no time is anyone allowed behind the table at which Bret is sitting in order to pose for a photo with Bret. Any unauthorized person behind the table is subject to being escorted from the premises. You are welcome to shake Bret's hand across the table. At most signings there are one or two people on hand whose sole responsibility it is to take photos. You will see them up front. Hand them your camera or cell phone and they will take a picture of you and Bret and then give your camera or cell phone back to you. Therefore, we suggest you bring a camera or cell that will be simple for the 'photographer' to use, with no advance training on the device. We try to use "photographers" who are good with gadgets.
If you wish to volunteer to be a "photographer" at any signing or autograph session listed here at brethart.com please email firstname.lastname@example.org and include your name and contact info, including phone, along with what events you plan to attend. Please note, this is NOT an easy job. Things are moving very fast. You have to be able to snap once in a lifetime photos for people with devices you have never used before - and you only have one shot to do it.
Sometimes stuff happens. Sometimes we're not able to do things exactly as described here and we'll wing it.
* If, before the book signing begins, it is obvious that there are too many people on the line to meet Bret within the scheduled length of the signing, it will be up to the discretion of Bret and his management if he can sign for extra time. Sometimes this is simply impossible due to scheduling concerns - such as travel and flight schedules, live interviews, etc. If the line is so long at the beginning that not everyone is guaranteed to meet Bret, an announcement will be made. We do everything we can to avoid this scenario and Bret takes it very seriously to try to meet as many fans as possible who came out to see him.
** The signing table is often elevated on a platform. To request handicapped access please email email@example.com in advance. Please clearly state your name and contact information, including phone, along with what signing(s) you plan to attend.
*** If you already have a copy of Bret's book that you'd like signed you CAN have it signed BUT there may be different guidelines or a possible minimal charge for this, depending on the venue. Check event descriptions in the appearances area.
At an autograph session Bret will sign copies of his book and memorabilia you bring with you as well as publicity photos that will be available for sale at the venue. Rules vary somewhat at different autograph sessions depending on the venue and the promoter we're working with for each event. Please go by the guidelines for having a book signed (above) - flapping it open, stickies, etc. You CAN be photographed with Bret at an autograph session - sometimes over the table (as above) and sometimes without the table. This varies from session to session. The cost varies from session to session too. Check the appearances area for info about each autograph session.
I wrote my thoughts about The Wrestler for Macleans Magazine, a respected Canadian news weekly. This about covers it..... Bret
The Hitman versus ‘The Wrestler’
The Wrestler is being lauded as the definitive portrayal of pro wrestling, but I submit that’s only because no one has asked a real wrestling champion about it—until now. In the movie, Randy “The Ram” Robinson was a main-eventer who sold out Madison Square Garden. So was I. The movie opens with a montage of clippings and event posters eerily similar to the ones in my personal collection. I lived that life for real. I liked the movie, and I’m disturbed by it.
In director Darren Aronofsky’s astutely layered vision there are glimpses into a shrouded world considered fake by all but those who live in it—for them, it’s the only reality they know. Nuggets of truth make the story believable. Mickey Rourke’s clairvoyant performance makes it compelling.
The film isn’t so much an exposé of the wrestling business as it really is; rather, it shows us what a lot of people outside the business think it is. With this dark misinterpretation presented in such a plausible and dramatic way, many wrestlers who’ve sacrificed so much to entertain their fans—their bodies, their families—now feel embarrassed by the film’s unbalanced portrayal in which there’s no respect for our art or our dignity. I’m uncomfortable that audiences will unconsciously assume every wrestling has-been comes to a tragic end.
Traditional sports have an off-season but me and the boys were on the road 300 days a year. As a former WWF (now WWE) champion I travelled the world for 23 years straight, 1978 to 2000, wrestling every night, sometimes more than once, plus promotional appearances and working out. It takes over your life 24/7 and, especially before cellphones and email, no matter how hard I tried, it was impossible not to become distant from my family, my kids. Most, maybe all, the boys suffered the same isolation, and soon strangers became family and family became strangers. Almost all who escaped came back, having no clue how to make it on the outside.
Pro wrestlers don’t have medical benefits, a pension plan, or a union. I’m not complaining. Wrestling has been very good to me, despite heart-wrenching disappointments, betrayals, and too many deaths to want to count any more—including my youngest brother, Owen, who fell to his demise from the rafters of an arena on a WWF pay-per- view during an ill-conceived stunt.
I was retired from the ring by an errant kick to the head, on live pay-per-view, which resulted in a concussion so brutal my doctor used the word hamburger to describe the back of my brain. That was followed by a stroke that paralyzed the entire left side of my body. Battling back was the toughest fight of my life by far, and, although I’m left with permanent effects, I’m grateful that when people meet me I can still measure up to their memory of the hero I’d long pretended to be. I still sign autographs all over the world and my fans still come out in droves. I’m humbled when they tell me, time and again, that my wrestling character inspired them in some way to make positive changes in their lives.
Wrestling has given me a great life and for that I thank Vince McMahon. Vince and I have had major differences, but I’ve not minced words and my autobiography (Hitman) is a testament to that. When evaluating the impact of The Wrestler on the wrestling business it’s only fair I give the devil his due, because it’s Vince who succeeded in taking pro wrestling out of back alleys and dingy halls like those in the movie and made it marketable, mainstream and just plain fun to watch. He couldn’t have done it without a talented roster of wrestlers. To go out there and tell a credible and dramatic story with no retakes, in front of a live audience, with nothing but your body, your opponent, and a 20- by 20-foot ring, is an art form that takes dedicated training, physical and mental stamina, athletic agility, charisma and ring psychology to create what I always thought of as mini-movies. Those who perform this art old-school take pride in creating the illusion of realism without actually hurting our opponents.
We don’t know what wrong turn brought Randy the Ram to subsist in desperation on the lowest fringes of some perverted putrefaction that barely resembles the wrestling business I know. Although the film speaks superbly to the speed bumps all pro wrestlers navigate, I’m happy to report most of us don’t swerve off the road quite so severely.
Thanks for your email. We've heard from a lot of Bret's fans in Australia wanting to know when Bret's book will be available in bookstores there. That's a good question and right now there just is no answer - yet. Meanwhile, you can order Bret's book from amazon.com.
- If you could step into the ring one more time and face any wrestler past or present, who would it be?
Sweet Daddy Siki. He was one of my favorite wrestlers of all time. - Bret
- When you used to make your ring entrance, you'd hold your arms out and say something to the crowd. What would you say?
It was usually something like "Right F*%& On", or "Holy S*^t" - usually something like that. Most of the time I couldn't hear myself anyway because of the crowd noise. - Bret
Curt Hennig - "Mr. Perfect" - Bret
Rock 'n Roll is my favorite music. I like Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan. I like good lyrics and really I'll listen to all kinds of stuff as long as it's good. My iPOD on shuffle is a pretty strange mix! :-) - Bret
Yes! Bret's facebook was added in Jan 2010 and OFFICIAL FAN PAGE! Here's the link to Bret's profile: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000646872380&ref=search&sid=100000646872380.2331036081..1 (max 5000 friends reached)
Fan page: http://www.facebook.com/hitmanbrethart
The Facebook profile and fan page will be used to provide news, appearance and merchandise info. Online store with new and vintage merchandise coming very soon also!
Twitter Added Feb 2011: www.twitter.com/brethart
Since I have great respect for all the new members, I will do everything I can to help them. But they have enough talent to make it on their own. - Bret