It is summer. Time to kick back, lay on the beach in the sun, listen to the waves, and go mermaid spotting. Lucky for you, we have just the mermaid you have been looking for. She goes by the name Sinister Siren, and if you aren’t careful, she will enchant you.
Name: Sinister Siren
Home Team: Machine Gun Kellys
Travel Team: Brawlers
Years Skating: 1
Meryl Kreep nominated you as June’s Featured Skater, and she wanted to know when you will finally wear a pair of shorts.
That will continue to be a mystery.
People often note that they found roller derby at a pivotal (haha) point in their lives. What brought you to roller derby?
I grew up as an athlete; unfortunately, adulthood hit meaning college and work became my focus. After years without a team sport in my life, I realized how much I missed it. A friend of mine used to play with Hard Knox and randomly brought it up to me one day and encouraged me to go try out (even though I’d never skated before).
What have you found as the biggest takeaway from your time playing derby?
My biggest takeaway so far would be how truly challenging this sport is and how much I love a good challenge.
You said you grew up as an athlete. Tell me more about that.
I’ve been playing sports since I could run. I played soccer for 6 years, basketball for a year, coed football for a year (that was my favorite until they took away the coed part), and was a varsity swimmer for 4 years. All my years of being an athlete has definitely benefited my derby game. My skills on skates might not be the best yet- but my communication, mental awareness, looking ahead, and being a good sport with a happy attitude are things I portrayed as an athlete since I was a kid. I also have taken Jiu Jitsu and Krav Maga, so I love to wrestle, fight, and be rough. I’d say that’s been helpful for this sport as well.
What has been something you have gained from your derby experience that you did not expect?
I’d have to say a best friend. Starting derby with no experience and not knowing anyone was intimidating... but on that very first day Kreep was there to pick me up, and we’ve been picking each other up ever since. This exhilarating game truly wouldn’t be the same for me without my “derby wife”.
How has playing roller derby impacted your off-the-track life?
Well, I get lots of questions about where all these bruises come from, callused blistered toes, and a smelly car from time to time. Other than that, it’s just a time management balance on my part. I’m always very busy, so adding a sport can be hard at times, but it’s so worth it.
What are your goals for this season?
My goals are just to keep growing all of my skills, be there the best I can for my team, and stay positive. This is a hobby for me so having fun while doing it is an absolute must. I also love to continuously learn and grow as a person, so listening to my teammates and absorbing all their constructive criticism will always be a goal for me in this sport.
Do you have any pre-bout rituals or anything that gets you mentally ready to play your best game?
Sleep. I love to sleep. I don’t do anything the night before- except hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Then just sleep in, listen to my favorite tunes, eat a hearty breakfast, and get ready to have fun. Oh, and put my Siren face on!
Do you have any advice for someone considering playing roller derby?
JUST DO IT! At least come out and give it a try. My first day of fresh meat was literally the first time I ever put on quad skates... if I can do it ANYONE can.
I am always interested in people’s chosen names. They can say a lot about our personalities and such. How did you pick your name?
Well I’m part mermaid, so “Siren” was just a given. There’s no better derby name for me then an evil mermaid.
You enjoy traveling. What is your favorite place you have been? Where would you like to return to? Where would you like to go that you haven’t yet?
Wow, what a loaded question. Traveling is my number one passion: I’ve been to 10 countries and over 30 states. My favorite place I’ve been would have to be Switzerland. I want to return to just about everywhere I’ve been, but I like to check new places off the list first. The top places on my dream list would be New Zealand, Thailand, Greece, and Borneo, but the real goal is to go to every continent... and I WILL.
What is something unique about you that people would not expect when they first meet you?
Hmm, honestly I would have to say the fact that I love contact sports and adrenaline. I’m such a calm happy hippie, healing people for a living, surrounded by crystals and plants, outside hiking in the mountains or swimming in the lake. The fact my “siren” side loves to wrestle, play roller derby, and jump out of airplanes really throws people off. It’s all about a balance. 🌙✨☀️
What is your gear set-up?
Being so new to derby my gear is pretty basic. Just a Riedell skate, Halo wheels, and the biggest toe stops I could find- also the biggest knee pads I could find (I fall a lot).
Well, here we are at the end of our interview. Now is the time you get to pick who we learn about next. Who would you like to nominate as the next Featured Skater?
I nominate Stormageddon!! Stormy, you inspire me as a Momma bear being so devoted to this sport. After you had your first sweet baby, did you consider not coming back? What kept pushing you all these years to keep playing?
Thank you, one and all, for joining me in getting to better know Sinister Siren. She is rather enchanting, after all. Join me next month as I get swept away in the Storm: Stormageddon, that is. Also, summer is a busy time for Hard Knox Roller Girls. Join us June 8 for our next home bout and June 29 for the one after that. All of our bouts are being held at the World’s Fair Exhibition Hall, and tickets are available on brownpapertickets.com or from your favorite skater. We will also be at the Knox Pride Festival on June 22. So many wonderful things happening this month. I can’t wait to see you there!