Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Roller Derby Rockin' Northern MN

by Doug MacRostie. 

Justin Bieber couldn't get a room full of tweens more excited than I am the day before the debut of The Women of Roller Derby, an audio documentary I have been working on since August 2010 that airs tomorrow morning at 8 during Culturology on the 91.7 KAXE Morning Show, featuring interviews with Bemidji's Babe City Rollers and the Iron Range Maidens.

Women's Flat Track Roller Derby has exploded in Northern Minnesota with leagues in Bemidji and the Iron Range. Derby has a reputation of being a very physical sport with hard hits and scandalous clothing. I wondered, ‘Who are these derby girls and what draws them to the sport?’ The answer might surprise you...

What drew me to the topic was the conflict. Not on the track, but of the people. Who’s playing derby? I heard about girls with Masters Degrees in Peace Education rockin’ the track; lawyers, opera singers, community organizers. WTF would draw these women to a sport like Roller Derby?

For The Women of Roller Derby, I met with Olive Mayhem (Shannon Murray), Vroom Vroom Kaboom Boom (Karissa Korbel), Piece MakeHer (Brooke Wichmann), and Nenookaasi (Megan Treuer) of the Babe City Rollers. And their referee R.-Sin (R. Beyer) who tried to explain the sport to me. I also talked with Ingrid M. Hulk (Sarah Bignall), founder of the Iron Range Maidens.

The countless hours spent on this documentary have been the most rewarding time I have spent "working". There isn't anything much more inspiring than sitting down with someone to talk about their passions, and after all the time editing/producing it feels like I know each of them intimately. My wife told me that the look in my eye when I talk about WoRD is similar to when I tell a sweet story about our son. Yeah, it's like that.

I started off searching for the short skirt wearing dominatrix of the game and instead found the true women of roller derby :) Tune in online or on the radio on Thursday, Jan. 27th at 8a on 91.7 KAXE.

You can read more about the Women of Roller Derby on Doug's blog "Talk Derby to Me".

Photos donated by:
Preflash Gordon of the North Star Roller Girls

Jimmy Digital of the Sioux City Roller Dames
Cruel of Thirds of the Fargo Moorhead Derby Girls and Rock City Riot

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