Derby Girls: A Talented Bunch On and Off the Track

By AmericanHurl Doll

Would you believe that in addition to the amazing and noteworthy accomplishment of playing the sport of roller derby some of our ladies actually pursue additional outside interests and hobbies?! As if derby did not consume enough of their spare time, these artistic and talented over-achievers wear many different hats. The call of derby lulls women from everywhere, with varying interests and stages of their careers. I thought it would be fun to highlight a few of our amazing SFV skaters and their artistic talents and hobbies outside of derby.

I spoke with BuckinghamMalice about her unusual talent of making facial and body hair. This is not simply something she does on the side, but is part of her career as a feature film makeup artist. Here is what Malice had to say, “I make facial hair and body hair. I take individual hairs and tie each one into a piece of super fine lace using a very small hook. It’s small, delicate work. The lace is near invisible because of today’s HD cameras and anything thicker would be seen on camera. It takes me about 24-30 hours to tie a beard and 2-3 hours to tie a mustache. The pieces I make are often not noticed because I have to copy the real actor’s facial hair and my piece is used if they have to shave their own during shooting. Did you notice Ryan Reynolds had a piece I made for some scenes in Amityville Horror? I hope not! Or that halfway through American Horror Story, Coven (Spaulding) the butler didn’t have his own beard anymore? I also have made chest wigs, back hair, and merkins. It is pretty specialized and only a handful of people make facial hair here in LA. I couldn’t be happier to see mustaches and beards so popular right now. Shoot! I even made the mustache that Killo Kitty wore and won for the beard and mustache competition!”

Liba Raunchie’s hobby is Cosplay. This is a term most of us aren’t familiar with so I had her explain and tell us a bit about it. Here is what Raunchie had to say on the subject, “Cosplay is short for costume play. I like to dress up like characters from comics, anime, TV and random things you find on the web…stuff that speaks to me really. I would like to think that I have been Cosplaying my whole life, I am that person who takes Halloween and costume parties way too seriously. I love dressing up for events and parties. I have been sewing costumes to wear when I went out at night with friends for years. Although they won’t like me saying this, we are kind of like modern-day Club Kids. I started taking Cosplay more seriously in the past year or so when I attended my first convention in dress up. Cosplay is the perfect way for me to express myself. Cosplay takes up about 75% of my time and it isn’t cheap, so saving money and finding sales and discounts is really important to me. It also influences how I look at things. If a friend of mine says he wants to make a vinyl dress, I have ways to help him achieve that. If someone needs help with makeup to look terrifying for Halloween, I’m your gal.” I asked Raunchie if Cosplay affects her derby world, “I can say that my derby persona is all about the show, the glamour, the eleganza. As Liba Raunchie, dressing up has to be perfect, when I am in costume or character. I can definitely imagine Miss Raunchie walking into the spotlight, becoming the method actress, and living for it. Cosplay completes something inside of me that I can’t exactly describe. It would be wicked rad if I could get paid to do this, but I will settle for the fantasy for now and this is as close to being a drag queen that I can be!”

For our final skater highlight, Philly Sleazesteak explains her side project/business of making and distributing zines, which are independently published material. Sleaze goes further into detail, “The zine world stems from the late 80’s punk rock scene and early 90’s riot grrrl. The whole purpose was to get the word out, to take a stand for something, and I try sticking to that core value in the work that I do. My distro is call EAT Art which stands for Education and Activism Through Art. I’ve actually encouraged a few of our junior derby girls to make zines (I teach zine workshops) and started selling them at fests and in my online store, and it’s been so cool to watch learn the value of their art and their voices.”                 
She’s been actively vending now for about a year and writing her whole life. Sleaze continues, “I knew about zines, but didn’t know the extent of the DIY community until a co-worker invited me to LA Zine Fest. It’s the closest community I’ve found in comparison to roller derby, just the same type of camaraderie and stuff.”  At times, Sleaze has struggled with her own work as a screenwriter and she says that the zine community has reignited her passion for writing. “I love that I can get my voice out there immediately and holding this finished product in my hand, my art, is just the best feeling and a serious sense of accomplishment for me.” Although she has a regular day job, Sleaze tries to fit in her zine work as much as time allows and is slowly, but surely starting to break even as far as profits go. In addition to her zine work, she is developing a fan base by performing in front of live audiences. “EAT Art is also the host of a monthly open mic at Book Show, in Highland Park, owned by one of the moms of our very own junior skater, Ellie Gator. We’re gathering a regular following and have a growing crew of performers. Our first birthday is coming up in May.” Sleaze has been kind enough to donate her zines for SFV fundraisers to benefit our junior league and her first zine, “The Little Fat Grrrl from Philly,” has been made into a series of activity and storybooks which add to her sense of accomplishment.
As you can see here, not only are our derby girls amazingly talented on the track, they are serious rock stars off the track also! They are multifaceted and have multitasking down to a science! The thought process about getting started with something new that interests you was pretty much the same with all the ladies: Do it, try it, whatever it may be. You are the caretaker of your own dreams whether you start slowly and do just a little, or go at it with gusto. You will be amazed and proud of your abilities. I truly feel this same methodology applies to roller derby. 

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