I am by no stretch of the imagination a fan of popular music. I don’t understand it, and frankly I don’t want to understand it. But of all the crap in modern music, I find myself fascinated with Lady Gaga. She is a willing knowledgeable participant in creating a product of the modern music machine. She is an artist who has a complete mental grasp of the game.
I don’t know anything about this woman, yet I have a lot of non factual gut feelings about her. That her band mates and dancers are all her friends and she’s the one that broke out and made it really big and took them with her, like that the House of Gaga is her NYU graduation class or something. I imagine this woman knows how to file her own freelance performer taxes. Lastly why do I imagine this chick doing situps, practicing piano, and hot gluing fancy hats? (Dear lord, Gaga is quite the derby girl?)
As this derby thing keeps growing, no one here expected anything out of it. We joined for the love and that’s about it. So many of us are just along for the ride. And then we began seeing familiar faces, the poster children, certain names of the sport began to emerge. And I got to be one of them. Not a calculated sought out move like the production of Lady Gaga and on the other end of the spectrum hopefully this won’t end a depressing mess like poor poor Elvis.
Fame can be destructive and ostracizing. Fame is misunderstood and lusted over by those that will never have it, and its many times accidental to those that never wanted it. Luckily, “Derby Famous” means you get to be a regular everyday human for most of your life and not worry about any of that mess.
Is Lady Gaga an accidental derby inspiration to me? If you’re going to be in the business, fucking go for it, understand how it works, and do it. Be smart. She is globally the most popular music artist but looks different every time I see her photo. She has crafted a wonderful disguise, a quality I have always adored about Dolly Parton. Take the wig off, wash your face and sneak around like everyone else. Relatively, I have always loved that people rarely recognize skaters without our helmets and jerseys on.
The cliche roller derby magazine article proclaims “By Day! By Night!” We’ve all answered the questions a million times. But isn’t there something wonderful about being regarded as “Derby Famous” in our little Bio Dome of Roller Derby then you can take off your skates, walk on to the subway after a bout, and be no one?
I will always love New York City because it doesn’t care about you. You are insignificant. You are a part of it, but it will be everything it is without you. It is home, because it is honest.