Tuesday, July 5, 2011

All the World’s a Derby Track

Every entry in The Rollergirl Project is a small glimpse into the life of a derby girl. This entry is by Painbow Brite who is currently on hiatus from Rollergirls of Southern Indiana to attend school. More pictures of her can be found at Cory's website.
All the world’s a stage,
And the men and women on it merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
-William Shakespeare

IMG_3159Through my high school years and on I loved and pursued theatre. I was in plays, musicals, and speech team in high school and went on to college to acquire a BFA in Acting. I was drawn to the drama and spectacle and the thrill of entertaining others. When I moved back to Evansville after graduation I was initially a little sad that I wasn’t able to pursue my love of performance. At least, that was, until I discovered Roller Derby. In derby I found the drama and spectacle that I had been missing. Did I also mention that I love sports too? At the same time that I studied and performed theatre I was also indulging my love of a physical challenge. Cross country, dance, gymnastics, rock climbing, and even the circus arts were among the sports I enjoyed. When derby came into my life I was overjoyed. I had found a sport that also fed my love of the theatrical! Derby, as I see it, is theatre on wheels. Every derby girl, as soon as she hits the floor, is playing the character that she created for herself. Some characters are more vibrant than others, but they are all equally entertaining. Each character includes their own costumes and performance. Everything from the iconic face paint of Hard Knox Roller Girl Goblynn, to the trademark tutu of Bleeding Heartland's Tijuana Mama , and even the simple signature salute from my team mate Sailor Scary are all a part of the characters they play on the track.

IMG_3057Even myself, Painbow Brite, prepare for my role by slapping on some rainbow stripe socks and a star on my cheek. That is just the external, however. For me, the character of “Painbow” is a combination of my inner child and the two warring parts of my personality; the lovable and the aggressive. Rainbow Brite was one of my favorite childhood icons. She was bubble and sweet like I felt that I was, but when a threat was imminent she knew how to throw down and get shit done. When it came time to choose a derby persona for myself, I knew that I wanted something that was representative of myself and my interests. I know that every derby girl does, but as the roster grows longer by the day, it's difficult to find a name that represents you and isn't already taken. I finally came up with “Painbow Brite” and have loved it ever since. Painbow starts out sweet and friendly during her intro and in all her interaction with fans and other skaters.  However, once that first whistle blows she is ready for a fight.  I suppose the main difference between Painbow and myself is that Painbow is willing to beat the crap out of people if need be, and tries to never hold a grudge. Both myself and Painbow have never been one for dirty trick or foul play and always try to be fair and even and I would prefer to resolve conflicts without violence. And, in case you're wondering what exactly a “Painbow” could possibly be, I figured it out for you. You know those bruises that you get that are so intense that they seem to be every color at once? That's a Painbow! :D I know I've both given and received a few in my day.

From friendly to fierce, wholesome to harlot, every girl brings her own special brand of spectacle to the track. Every character makes the show that much greater.

I am honored to be among these characters; these athletes. I hope that we can all continue to thrill audience for years to come. Remember ladies, the show must go on!