We had the good fortune of connecting with Pavel Kozlov and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Pavel, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Taking risks, or if I can rephrase it as “step out of your comfort zone” is extremely crusial if somebody wants to be successful in life. It is very comfortoble to just relax in your “bubble” where you have everything and doing things that you already used to. But if you have a desire to achieve something that is on “another level” you have to have an ability to break that “bubble” and make this very hard step out of your comfort zone. When I was 20 I decided to jump into unknown and move to America. Just because I was following my dream of becoming a professional wrestler. That was my only reason to move from my country. I had everything in Russia, my family, nice place to live, was studying at the University, had a job. I had a good life there. My “bubble” was extremely comfortable. But at the same time I had that “burning desire” to achieve my goal whatever it takes. I had to move to America to start training and make my dream a reality – to become a professional wrestler. I had no relatives, no friends there. With a basic English and just a 2000 dollars in my pockets I was on the plane to America in 2007. I did not know when I can visit my family again and what my future will be in a new country but I was proud to make that first step towards my goal.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a professional wrestler and an actor living in Los Angeles, California. I was born and grew up in Moscow, Russia. When I was a teenager I was into different martial arts and loved to play with lot’s of action figures. One day I saw WWF wrestling show on a Russian TV. It was a short “European version” of it but that was enough for me to fell in love with it. It combined everything: the action, fighting, stories.From that day I could not think about anything but to become “one of those guys from TV”. My parents were a Math professors and to give me a very good education was an essential for them. Nobody thought that I could show interest in any professional sports. I understood that if I want to become a pro wrestler I should move to America. At the age of 21 I left my University, a potential career of becoming a Journalist in Russia, my family and everything what I had. I moved to the USA following my dream. Little I knew how hard it will be for me. With no immigration documents, money, English and friends in the USA. 12 years went by and I am the USA citizen, fluent in English and established professional wrestler. I am an actor also since 2004. I had lot’s of challenges on my way but I always knew that I will be successful. Your friends, relatives and even parents can loose a faith in you but never loose a faith yourself. That is very important. Believe in it, vision it and conquer it!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in California, in Calabasas. It’s a great area for hiking and outdoor sports activities. I would recommend to go to Malibu – walk by the ocean, enjoy the time there. Grab a drink at any restaurant by the Pacific Coast Highway. Santa Monica mountains – a great place to hike and enjoy a stunning views. I have a different favorite spots to dine in. It all depends what kind of food you like. Los Angeles got so many awesome food spots, bars and places to hang out!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There is a good quote: : “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” I had some trainers, mentors, teachers who not only taught me but also inspired me and built me who I am today. I am grateful to so many people who helped me on my way and taught me something new. Either in sports or in acting. I always learning, that is on going process. It is hard to name everyone here so just a few shoutouts. “Team 3D Academy” in Orlando, Florida, WWE Hall of Famers Bully Ray and Devon Dudley and a creator of “American Gladiators” show Dann Carr – these people not only gave me a tremendous wrestling knowledge but also prepared me for my other career in entertainment. “Playhouse West”, the acting school in North Hollywood, California – thankful for that place. It changed me as an actor and I am constantly growing creatively there. “Hayastan MMA Academy”, MMA Hall of Fame Gokor Chivichyan and his son Arthur – thankful for helping me to get on “another level” physically and constantly inspiring me.