Hey, everyone! It’s that time again. A new month brings a new skater to get to know, and readers, I have just one question for you: Do you believe in Magic? Magically Malicious, that is. Join me in finding out what makes this skater tick.
Last month, Armr’d Rose nominated you as the next featured skater. She noted that people often say that "derby saved my soul," and that it does for some. She wanted to know if you were to say derby saved something for you, what would it be?
Derby didn’t really “save” anything for me, but it did make a big difference. I didn’t have a lot of friends when I moved here, so it gave me a family/friend group real quick and in a hurry, which was nice. It helped me create a path in Knoxville.
So, since you’re not from here, how did you specifically discover Hard Knox, and derby in general?
I discovered y’all at the Punk Rock Flea Market two years ago in Knoxville. Hard Knox had a booth. Black Stabbath and Kitty Twister were working it, and they were like, “Hi, come be a roller girl.” Well, I actually noticed the Lolita logo, and it was really, really cute, so it caught my attention first. But Stabby said, “It’s great exercise,” and I was like, “I like exercise, because I need exercise.” Then Kitty said, “You can meet people and have friends,” and I was like, “I need that, too.”
So it was all in one, everything you need.
Yeah, so I showed up because of them [Stabby and Kitty]. I didn’t know much about roller derby before I started. I knew it was a thing, I knew it existed, but I hadn’t sat down and watched any games/bouts or anything like that.
Of course not, mostly older people recall derby being on TV and whatnot. Every time I’ve gone places, people come up to me and say, I remember when it was on ESPN, and I look at them confused since I couldn’t believe ESPN existed that long ago.
So, since you’re not from here, where are you from, and did you play any sports before derby?
I am from Mississippi. I grew up in Meridian, and then I moved to Jackson when I was an adult. My mom put me in all the sports as a kid, so I have technically played softball, soccer, basketball tennis, and did cheerleading, and probably some others, but I didn’t like any of them.
Haha. I was a fat kid...and I didn’t enjoy exercise until about 8-10 years ago.
I don’t know. I have no hand-eye coordination, so anything involving a ball was really difficult.
Hmm, not your strong suit?
No, not at all.
Tell me about your rookie year.
My rookie year was essentially, just last year, huh? Well, I didn’t play much because I took a vacation, so I only played in 2 bouts. It was confusing as all get out, but it did energize me for this year. I was so lost: I couldn’t skate at all when I started. I hadn’t put on skates since, you know, elementary school birthday parties, and then I was no good at it. So I had to learn everything about skating, and then learn everything about derby, and then try to put the two together. If you look back at pictures from last year, it was pretty awkward.
So tell me about a skill/move that took you the longest to conquer (how long and why did you keep at it)?
Oh my gosh, transitions. I thought I would NEVER ever transition to the inside. You have to do transitions for so many things. So if you can’t turn around to go the opposite direction, you’re screwed on so many levels. I practiced lots of different types [of transitions], like dragging your foot, picking it up, using certain wheels (front two or back two), and jumping. I practiced, and practiced, and practiced. For months, it was my go-to skill to practice during any down time. I had finally gotten to the point I felt decent at them, then we changed floors, and I couldn’t do them at all again. It still kind of stresses me out during warmups when we do turn around stops on the whistle. That still bothers me, BUT I can do it (sometimes)!
Alrighty, switching gears here. So how would your teammates describe you, and how would your best friend describe you?
Depends on the teammate, I would assume. I would hope they describe me as cheerful, because I try to be cheerful, because you can’t do anything if you’re angry.
You can hit people [when you’re angry].
Well yeah, yeah. And determined. I guess I’m very determined. As far as how my best friends would describe me, I think both of my best friends would say I’m determined, which can be good and bad. It can lead to OCD type behaviors sometimes.
Like you’ve said to me before, derby is a learned sport, so your determination is well suited for this activity.
Pre-game ritual: What does it look like, what does it sound like, ...what does it smell like?
I always lay my stuff out the night before, and go through everything.
I’m jealous you’re so prepared/organized.
If I don’t lay things out, I forget things. So I make mental lists and make sure I have everything. I’ve only played, like, 5 bouts, so I don’t really have a ritual. I try to eat something that’s got protein, that also will not give me heartburn. And I’ve started to bring candy for half times.
Yes, all the gummy bears..you’re becoming the gummy bear queen.
Yeah, Lethal (Lethal PathoJen) gave me that idea, and I was like “Hmm, that’s pretty good. I’ll do that.”
If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Herm...that’s hard. For years growing up, I decided I had a theme song, and I decided my theme song was “Having a Blast” by Green Day. And it was my favorite song for a really long time, and it’s only vaguely self-destructive. But sometimes you get just really, really angry, and you know there’s going to be fall out from it. It’s kind of a song about being angry, and if I’m going down, I’m taking all of you down with me.
That is the best life mantra to have.
Yeah, I like that song a lot. It works really well with derby too, because when I fall, I take down everybody.
Yes, your goals for practice are always to not harm others. So even though it was your favorite song as a kid, has it transitioned well into your adulthood?
Yeah, I think so.
Is there any particular skater that inspires you, and why?
A lot of people on the team do, but for individual things. I want to plow like Jen (Pinion). I want that to be a thing that I can do really well, because I can’t and I want to. I want to not move like Bush (Barbara Bushwhacker). I want to hit like Bush and Lethal, because they will knock you down, every single time. I want to have feet as fast as Val’s (Val Killmore).
So you’re literally building a skater right now.
Haha, yeah. In traditional Frankenstein manner.
Ok, so we would have legs like Jen…
Feet like Val, hips like Lethal, and shoulders like Bush since she hits really hard with her shoulders. And since they haven’t dislocated, she’s pretty solid. If you’re building a person, you don’t want to get a broken part.
We need a mouthpiece.
Hmm, you know, Randy (Kilty Konscience) is really optimistic, and he always builds people up. So I would want to be positive like him.
So we would call this a derby transformer…well maybe not since that’s usually just one vehicle.
Maybe a Power Ranger.
Yes! So M’s inspiration is a derby ranger.
Is there any non-skater/derby person that inspires or influences you?
Not to be sappy, but I want to be like my mom. Like, she’s just a really nice person and very helpful to other people. She will always put other people before herself, which isn’t always good, but I want to be nice [like her].
Right, shout out to the nice moms.
I love my mommy.
What is your job outside of roller derby? And how, if at all, has it contributed to your experience of roller derby?
I’m a teacher. I teach the little babies, kindergarten through third grade. Watching kids struggle to learn things all day does remind you that you do have to learn also. And so, it’s ok not to know things and it’s ok to say that you can’t do something, because once you identify what you can’t do, then you have something to work on and then you can do it. Because if you don’t know to work on something, then you never work on it. And on the flip side, me struggling with derby reminds me to be patient with my students, because they are learning things that are hard. Reading is harder than derby, it really is.
Has roller derby taught you anything about pushing your limits, either physically or mentally?
It hasn’t necessarily made me less of a quitter, but derby is definitely something I would like to conquer. At first because of the money I had in it. Once you put money in stuff, you don’t quit. Now I just want to be better for the purpose of being better. I definitely have had to push my body in different ways than I have had to before. I really like doing physical things that are hard, because I love that feeling of accomplishment when I’m done. So, it’s like, I get to do that a lot with derby, every Wednesday and Sunday.
Who do you nominate next?
I would like to nominate Ferociraptor. She’s also “new” to Knoxville, but not to derby. I would like to know what she likes that best about our team and if she’s glad she’s here.
She is Magic. She is Malicious. She is Magically Malicious, and you can see her, the derby Power Ranger, and all her teammates take the track July 7 and July 21 at the Knoxville Convention Center. I can’t wait to see you there! HKRG, HKRG, HKRG!