WWE NXT Superstar Velveteen Dream was recently profiled by Washington City Paper at this link. The piece includes comments from Dream and some of the people from his indie wrestling days in Maryland and the Washington, DC area.
It was noted that Dream used pro wrestling as an escape and a way to block out the drugs & violence in his Northeast DC neighborhood. Wrestling then became a way for Dream to create a positive legacy, a way to dissociate himself from the troubled world that killed his father when Dream was just two years old.
"Wrestling gave me something outside science, which was my muse before this," Dream said.
Dream became a standout on the Forestville Military Academy wrestling team. Former coach Rio Thompson told City Paper that Clark was innovative on the mat and was always looking for alternative ways to escape contemporary holds. Maryland Championship Wrestling owner Dan McDevitt was interviewed for the article, and he noted that Dream and Lio Rush were the first two talents waiting in line when the MCW wrestling school opened in 2014. Dream and Rush carpooled together from the DC area to Joppa, MD and slept in the car before early morning training sessions. When they couldn't drive, the two Superstars would hitchhike the hour-plus trip and stay as long as they could.
Dream dismissed comments from media and fans that describe his WWE character as gender non-conforming and androgynous.
"I can't make anything of those descriptions of Velveteen Dream. I don't consider myself either of those. It's very hard for a performer to take that outside look. I'm a very introspective individual. It's hard for me to label myself or characterize myself," Dream said. "I do believe that current performers in WWE, more specifically in NXT, we have more freedom to be ourselves. I can say the people you see on TV are real-life individuals, not just people playing a role, myself included."
Source: Washington City Paper