Posted by: nancykenny | May 20, 2009

Roller Derby Saved My Soul

Give me a girl with some bruises on her butt and that killer look in her eye.

– Uncle Leon and the Alibis

Some of my followers (look at that, I’ve got “followers” now – ain’t I special?) on Twitter and Facebook may have noticed that I was in Red Deer this past weekend attending a Roller Derby Boot Camp, hosted by the Canadian Women’s Roller Derby Association. First off, yes, Roller Derby.  Yes, that sport on roller skates.  Yes, it still exists.  It’s actually experiencing a pretty strong revival.  We good?  Can I continue?  Thanks!  Now, contrary to what you may be thinking, I haven’t suddenly picked up a new sport (though after this weekend, I’m seriously tempted – apparently I’m quite a natural on quad skates). You see, a few months ago, when I began toying with the idea of creating my own work, I was looking for inspiration to hit. I was sitting in my office (Westboro Branch) and noticed a community paper on the seat. I flipped it over and, on the cover, saw something that sent light bulbs exploding in my brain: Roller Derby.

Since that day, I’ve been avidly researching the game in order to create a one woman show that I would like to tour on the Canadian Fringe Circuit next year. You see, the revival of this sport goes far above and beyond anything you could possibly imagine. Every week, I hear of a new team popping up somewhere across the country and the rest of the world. Even our fair Ottawa is working on getting it’s third (yes, third!) team. From the Ottawa league, I heard about the Boot Camp happening in Red Deer. Of all the places in Canada where this weekend was taking place, it happened to be in the city where my sister currently lives… So, I jumped at the chance to go. And I do not regret it. I’ve now made a ton of connections which will serve me well on tour. You see, every city that has a Fringe Festival also has a Roller Derby team (or two or three or five – Hi Toronto!).

This is a really ambitious project for me, one that really pushes me to my absolute limit. I’m scared like you would not believe, but I am also incredibly excited. As usual, I will be posting my show developments here on my blog. Until then, I leave you with an awesome little music video for Roller Derby Saved My Soul by Uncle Leon and the Alibis. It will give you a good idea of the athleticism and theatricality involved in the sport.



  1. Looks fun. And painful! Great concept for a show. I look forward to reading more about it as it develops.

  2. I am thinking you are awesome, seriously awesome!

  3. […] greatest of all my news: I received a creation grant from the City of Ottawa to develop my piece on Women’s Roller Derby!!! A piece I hope to get off the ground with the help of my ultimate Fringe Crush, of […]

  4. […] you may know, I’ve been working on a one woman roller derby show that I would like to tour cross-country next year on the Canadian Fringe Festival Circuit. […]

  5. […] I’ve started writing my Derby show again and it is going fairly well. I’ve been reading through all my old notes and I chuckle. […]

  6. […] few nights ago, I was writing a couple more pages of my Roller Derby script. It’s a one woman show but with multiple characters and I was going over a bit of […]

  7. […] enjoy reading up on his adventures,  I’ve managed to technically finish a first draft of my Roller Derby script, I’ve got agents working for me, and I’ve got new headshots thanks to the fabulous […]

  8. […] Festival. Whether I get in or not – lottery is tonight at the Raw Sugar Café – my Roller Derby show is a go!  The first draft is done (mostly), I’ve been applying to every grant available to […]

  9. […] didn’t know what I wanted to write about until much later, but at some point before then I contacted Brigette to get her advice. We had tea and talked about […]

  10. […] a show at the Ottawa Fringe Festival called Roller Derby Saved My Soul. What you may not know (unless you’ve been a longtime stalker reader of this blog) is that the show title was taken from a song by Uncle Leon and the […]

  11. […] am scared. I feel like a marathon runner less than a kilometer from the finish line. After all this time, after all this effort, could it be that I’m almost there? I sure as hell can’t stumble […]

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