Ian Fried’s day job is in communications, but in his free time he’s professional wrestler Orion Dove.
The star of The Ballad of Orion Dove, Vice Sports’ newest documentary short, was discovered in the last place anyone at the Brooklyn-based media company would think to look — down the hall.
By day, Ian Fried is Vice’s deputy communications director, but in his free time he likes to put on white leather tights and moonlight as professional wrestler Orion Dove.
When word of Fried’s secret identity began spreading through the office, the sports division decided to train its cameras on one of its own. The ensuing video, which premieres online on April 12, follows Fried as he competes as part of an independent professional wrestling league, complete with hundreds of fans, over-the-top theatrics and blinged-out belts. “The storytelling aspect is something for which my day job in comms is helpful,” says Fried, 28. “That’s how you entertain an audience.”
The Hofstra University-educated trumpet player says that he spent his childhood watching wrestling matches with his older brother. In adulthood he has traveled to wrestling hotspots Tokyo and Mexico City to watch competitions. But it wasn’t until after he left his job in the economic development branch of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office that he decided to step into the ring himself.
Fried, who trains twice a week at a gym in Brooklyn, doesn’t have plans to quit his new day job at Vice anytime soon. But he says he hopes to one day compete at Tokyo’s legendary wrestling venue, Korakuen Hall. In the meantime, he’s ready to share his double life with the rest of the world. “Vice is used to interesting content, so I don’t think I’m going to get funny looks from my colleagues,” hopes Fried. “But I do suspect I will get some random messages on Facebook from friends I haven’t seen since high school.”
A version of this story first appeared in the April 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.