Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.
"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Roller Derby, Role Play + Giveaway!
But what if our personae can help us FIND our authentic selves?
Yes, spoken like a true Drama Therapist and Writer, but tonight my muses are the women of Roller Derby.*
Over the weekend, I went to my first Roller Derby game in Yonkers. I was invited by the twelve year old daughter of a close friend - who of course is on the verge of finding many versions of herself in the different mirrors presented to her - it would be her "first" as well.
I imagined that Roller Derby would be the ultimate in female empowerment, and would be a much better mirror for girls than beauty pageants and Barbies.
I was just going to bring my daughter, but my whole family ended up coming - none of them could resist checking out the outrageous costumes and tough grrrl energy.
The Westchester Team, The Back Yard Bullies, were playing against New Jersey's Brick City Bruisers at The Police Athletic League in Yonkers. Each member of the team pays dues and supplies her own equipment. The League solicits donations for insurance, travel expenses and space rental.
The team members range in age from 21 to 51. They are all shapes and sizes, gay and straight, choosing outrageous and hilarious avatars like Kickin' McNuggitz, CC PsyClone, Leggy Fleming, Ouching Tiger, Molly Throttle, Shiv Asana, Crash Sprawldisplatt, Lil Eve L (some of The Backyard Bullies' names.) They are bad-ass, and there is no one-size-fits all standard of beauty or worthiness. It's for everyone from misfit outsiders to popular cheerleaders and the rink is the great equalizer.
It was a blast. I had a hard time following the game until the last quarter, but no matter. The energy was amazing, the women sublime.
"I wish I was tough enough to do this. I'm a wannabe!" I said gleefully.
"Why couldn't you?" my friend said. "The toughness is just part of the persona."
Okay, maybe in another life, but she's right.
I have a tattoo of a tiger on my back. It's not that I think I am a tiger, but that I know I need that tiger energy in my repertoire.
So I can channel my inner Roller Derby Maven in other aspects of my life.
After all, that's what art is all about, isn't it? Whether we act, paint, write, we're giving voice to another part of ourselves.
Here's my question, and I would lurve to have a dialogue with you folks. Have you ever been to a roller derby or even better, been part of a roller derby team? (If you're on a team, can I pick your brain?)
And how about a little contest? Indulge my roller derby fantasy by coming up with a cool avatar for me - best name by next Monday wins a signed copy of Edges!
Have fun y'all.
* Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members roller skating in the same direction around a track. Game play consists of a series of short matchups ("jams") in which both teams designate a scoring player (the "jammer") who scores points by lapping members of the opposing team. The teams attempt to assist their own jammer while hindering the opposing jammer — in effect, playing both offense and defense simultaneously. Roller derby is played by more than 1,200 amateur leagues on every inhabited continent.