Cubicle to the Cage Casting Call
Around two years ago, Top MMA News told you in an article about tryouts for a new show involving MMA called ‘Cubicle to the Cage’ where average Joes will train MMA for year to prepare for a professional fight. This week the show got a big announcement that it has signed a deal with Rad X and will be going to air in January 2013 with filming for the show starting in the New Year. While it took a while to get the show on a channel in Canada, the person behind it thought it might not happen.
“I am about ready to explode basically,” says Boyd Sharpe, creator of the show.
“I had basically given up hope 6 months ago and I thought it was a great project while I worked on it. I am just going to go to Titan’s MMA and train some jiu jitsu and some MMA classes and that will be the end of it. Then I got a call from the producer Greg Hemmings and he said ‘Boyd, you’re not going to believe it but I got a call from Rad X and we start filming in January’.”
Sharpe has worked on the idea which has taken him away from his wife and three children. The show was originally an idea from Sharpe after he starting training at Titan’s MMA gym in Halifax around three years ago. When mentioning the idea to some friends who are in the television industry, they said that it could make for a good documentary and possibly a TV show. So Sharpe and Titan’s co-owner Peter Martell and others decided to put the idea together and shoot a promo that would show Sharpe being one of the show’s competitors. While a couple of years have passed since then and while Sharpe will still do it himself and it does give hopefuls a chance to live out the dream. The shooting started two years ago when they held an open tryout at Palooka’s boxing club where people did a routine workout of striking, wrestling, grappling and crossfit training. While they did see over 150 hopefuls that day, some could not handle the pressure with some of them even puking in trash cans. With this and the short documentary piece that was shot, they pitched the show to different networks and festivals that included the Banff World Television festival. While they did garner interest from networks and even won an award for best promo in Banff, it was still in its baby steps. They did try other conventions in Miami and Paris but things looked to be dead on the idea until Director Greg Hemmings got the call that the show got signed. While they have the deal signed, they still want to expand the idea into the United States where Sharpe has had talks with Spike TV and Fight Now. A deal in the US would be a big boost added for the show, however, they still need to get people interested and ready for the show in a 14 months’ time. Lucky Sharpe has been on his game and is trying to plan ahead.
“We are working with Stitch Media that focuses on online video content,” says Sharpe. “They are currently doing the online component of the new Trailer Park Boys series ‘Drunk and on Drugs’ and they did a project with Sidney Crosby last year. We are trying to get a project off the ground with them so we would be teasing out separate content online as the show was going on. Hopefully, that will promote the show so were hoping to build an audience following ‘the Cubes’, which is what we’re calling the trainees online leading up as the show goes to air in January of 2013.”
The only thing that needs to be focused on is to get people to audition. While there were 30 people who got a call back from the first tryout, those people will have to go through the process all over again at a new tryout which will be taking place this Sunday at Titan’s MMA and Boxing Gym on 3,200 Kempt Road in Halifax. This also gives a chance for new hopefuls to give it a shot to see if they are the cream of the crop. The registration and interviews are from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Auditions take place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Call-backs follow from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. People looking to audition are asked to come dressed for physical activity.
While the show will be ready to go in the future, Sharpe knows there will be critics who will voice their ideas on the show either being good or bad. The criticsm he does expect will be from the hardcore fans and not the average television view.
“I do expect to get some criticism from hardcore MMA fans because they are used to seeing people come from mixed martial arts from a very different perspective,” says Sharpe.
“Where we see mid-west wrestlers get out of the wrestling circuit into MMA, people coming from karate schools and so on. They are not use to seeing this concept of people coming from the office world. I throw back to those people that if Chuck Liddell didn’t walk in to John Hackleman’s school, he would be an accountant. Kenny Florian would be working for a marketing firm and Joe Lauzon would still be working as a network administrator somewhere.”
Top MMA News will be keeping track on the show’s process throughout the filming and you can also follow the show and all its update on its Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/#!/cubicletothecage
Disclamer-A first it said Sharpe was not going to be a contestant but that has since been corrected.