We start in ernest Friday morning with a full schedule of portraits. These are removed from a lot of the previous portraits that I’ve done in that there’s a lot of time scheduled for them and a lot of location options, Lorraine is a scheduling professional and it shows. Typically I’m photographing at practices and having to make due with five minute breaks and whatever locations happen to be nearby. This is luxury. On top of it, Lorraine’s has added various breaks and stoppages throughout the day so that I eat and have time to put together mini slide-shows of the work we’ve done so far. The whole day is something like a party with thirty rollergirls that just wanders from place to place.
Some time in the afternoon author Joan of Dark (knits) shows up from Indiana with her husband Dill who’s one of the announcers for tomorrow’s game. I’ve “met” them on line and they’ve tried to help me before with the derby portraits project. It’s great to meet them in the flesh. Dill is really funny and humble and we get along famously from the very first. Joan is quiet and friendly with pink hair. They have matching hats and sunglasses.
The day winds down and I’m very happy with the work I’m doing.
Sometime around midnight, the quiet Joan of Dark has been replaced by the not-at-all-quiet Joan of Drunk who, among other things, encourages the rollergirls still lounging about the kitchen to take off their clothes and join her jumping on the trampoline in the back yard. This in no way is the most outrageous thing Joan of Drunk says in the evening, and it inspires the Twitter hash tag “ShitJoanOfDrunkSays” – when I complain that I don’t want to use profanity Joan of Drunk admonishes “You can’t keep a family friendly Twitter-feed and hang out with rollergirls.” I throw up my hands in resignation.
It’s wonderful watching Moxie interact with these women, hearing them talk about strategy, finding out that different things have different names in England. I learn about a derby strategy called “killing the baby seal. I’m amazed at how in depth it is, how it’s not just skating around in a circle and trying to be faster than the person next to you, that it’s as complex as a football playbook. Moxie’s beaming but I’m fading.
By 1:00 a.m. Joan of Drunk has convinced many of the remaining rollergirls, including Moxie, that they need to get up early tomorrow and get matching tattoos. I go to bed before anything drastic happens.
The next morning as many of these tales are being recounted, Joan of Dark will say: “I love it that my alter-ego has an alter-ego.”