Wrestling persona helped him land TV, nightclub gigs
Brian Towie/metro Toronto
“I like doing it because it makes people laugh. It makes them happy. And that’s what I want to do.”
You could develop your web designing acumen by attending classes, sharpen your sewing skills by working at a tailor’s shop or hone your acting ability by auditioning for drama school.
Roger Foley did all that and more by putting on some tights.
photo courtesy of roger foley
The now Toronto-based jack of all trades started his professional life as the Bruteman, an outrageous professional wrestling persona (or “warrior of entertainment” as he puts it) he used to land himself television appearances, nightclub VJ gigs and broadcast producing jobs in his native Ottawa. Usually accompanied by his bevy of young women called the Brute beauties, Foley boasts celebrity interviews including The Black Eyed Peas, the Trailer Park Boys’ J-Roc, Randy and Mr. Leahy and MuchMusic host Matt Babel.
It all started in July of 2001, when Foley bought a dot com (www.bruteman.com) while wrestling in regional bouts across Northern Ontario. His campy comedy during the matches and on the web brought him to the attention of TV stations such as the New RO, CTV and Rogers. Answering the demand, the Bruteman stepped out of the squared circle and became a regular on the Ottawa comedy and nightclub circuits. The Bruteman handle itself dates back to 1996, during Foley’s days as a high school footballer.
“Their equipment was really low budget and I got a pair of really stinky pads,” he says of the team. “I didn’t want to play in the other guy’s stink so I took them home and cleaned them. The smell wouldn’t come out no matter how hard I tried. So I threw the pads in the bathtub and poured four bottles of Brut onto them and let them marinade overnight. Finally the stink was gone, and the teammates started to notice how great I smelled. So they started calling me Brutman. I added the ‘e’ on the end because of the savage meaning.”
Foley learned skills as the Bruteman that allow him to be his own boss today. Currently a freelance web and graphic designer, costume outfitter, and video producer, he says he has always met any challenge with a D.I.Y. spirit.
“There’s always a solution to a problem,” Foley says. “People who have lived way before us have found it. You just have to have the patience to sit down, focus and learn it. When I started sewing my own outfits, the first few were okay, but as I practiced they got better. Then I got a variety of experience, the IT stuff, the web stuff, under my belt with the same approach.”
Foley says he doesn’t put on the tights as much as he used to, so in the meantime his fans can await the release of a best-of DVD collection next May (tentatively titled Brute Tyme) and catch his video archives on his site. But does this mean the Bruteman is gone for good? Definitely not.
“I like doing it because it makes people laugh. It makes them happy,” he says. “And that’s what I want to do.”