Q&A with Maiden America
Fans at Whip It witnessed her stunning debut performance as the Belle’s newest unstoppable jammer. Herewith, the answer to the million-dollar question: Who is Maiden America?
Q: Who are you and where did you come from?
A: I am a 23 year-old illustrator for a publishing company. I graduated from Purdue University in 2008 with a degree in Graphic Design and a minor in Women’s Studies. I’m Melissa at work, Missy with my friends and family, and Maiden America on the track.
Q: How long have you been skating?
A: I have been skating for just about as long as I’ve been walking. Maybe around age 5 was the first time I strapped on a pair of skates. I grew up with the Rollerblade generation, so I never actually skated with quad skates until I joined the Naptown Roller Girls.
Q: Do you play any other sports?
A: I played softball throughout my childhood and high school. I was a swimmer and diver for four years, and I bowled in a league for two years in college.
Q: What brought you to roller derby?
A: I saw an NRG bumper sticker on someone’s car in Broad Ripple one day this past spring, and it instantly struck my interest. I missed the camaraderie of playing with a team. I didn’t know what to expect because I had never even been to a bout, but I knew I was fast, competitive, and a team player. It just made perfect sense in my mind to learn more about the team and find out when the next round of tryouts were. Needless to say, I was also extremely attracted to the idea of hitting the crap out of my opponents!
Q: Your first-ever bout, Whip This, was also a bit of an historic event—roller derby’s return to the Coliseum after three decades. Did you have any sense of the significance of what Naptown was doing when you skated out on the track to play?
A: Absolutely. I don’t think any of the founders (Strawberry Jam specifically) ever expected Naptown Roller Girls to evolve into what it is today. I consider myself extremely fortunate to be skating amongst some of the finest female athletes I have ever met. Knowing that this league has grown so popular that we have been given the opportunity to bring derby back to the Coliseum … well, let’s just say I’m overwhelmingly honored to be a part of this movement. I’m very proud of everyone who has made NRG what it is today. Season Four is going to be one that everyone is going to remember.
Q: For three months, you have practiced and scrimmaged only with the other Belles and Sirens on your team. How did it feel to finally be out there banging up against total strangers?
A: Haha, I felt like it was finally my chance to be relentless! I got back-to-back majors in one jam to prove it! I can’t wait until our next home bout. I’m officially addicted to roller derby!