Wednesday 4/27 | Works & Shoots

Top of mind:

There is a specialized vocabulary in the world of professional wrestling. Two of the terms within this terminology are:


Professional wrestling is scripted, and the outcomes of matches are predetermined. In addition to this, the wrestlers are performers, extremely acrobat storytellers who use their bodies to portray characters and tell stories as those characters. To do this, the actors have to make their interactions with one another appear as if they are natural, normal, and real.

This is the same thing any actor does on the stage, television show, or film. The narrative is contrived, but the actors strive to make it appear that the character is a real person experiencing real events and emotions.

When actors perform this story, they are "working," work is the act of doing something and making it appear plausible to an audience.


A shoot is when something unplanned and unexpected happens. Some examples would be:

  • Someone getting injured.
  • Someone forgetting the script and making something up on the spot.
  • Someone losing their temper and actually putting some real force behind a strike.

In short: A work is when the wrestles are "working," when they are telling the planned story and things are going as they are expected to go. A shoot is when something goes wrong, or when someone dievates from the plan and this dievation has the effect of throwing off every one else who is involved.

Why is this top of mind?

Psychoanalysis is interested in what does not work. Perhaps this means that psychoanalysis is interested in what shoots?

I think that the ego, the identity we create and try to play is a version of a work in real life, and I think that the unconscious is what always shoots.

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