I joined Roller Derby on a whim. I had never played a sport, hadn’t been on roller skates in 20 years, and suffered from chronic knee issues. Yet, it seemed like a good idea. I do enjoy a challenge.
So I bought all the gear. I learned to skate…and to fall. Soon, I was drafted onto the North Star Roller Girls. Then came the unexpectedly hard part: picking my skater name.
A good name is an important thing for roller girls. Your new identity unconsciously shapes how you play, and how you act. What’s more, your derby persona starts to creep into your “real” world. So when you invite her into your life, you’d better be sure she’s the right one.
Being a strategist professionally, I knew what I had to do. First stop: a comprehensive list of requirements:
- Powerful. My name had to command attention.
- Unique. I wanted to stand out, not copy someone else.
- Sassy. Because “mousey” and “roller girl” just don’t mix.
- Clever. I may be a bruiser, but I’m no dummy.
- Clean. The name had to be sedate enough to mention in polite company.
Then came brainstorming. Lots of it. Gwen Igitcha? Te-kill-ya Rose? Keyser Suzie? It seemed all my ideas were not right, too complicated, or already taken. The search became an obsession. The list of rejects got longer.
In the end, I employed another lesson from my professional background – to ask for help. Hey, even tough girls need a hand once in a while. Another roller girl pointed me to the International Rollergirls’ Master Roster, which helped weed out names that weren’t available. Others offered suggestions. When someone casually pitched “Anita Tension,” I knew right away. She was perfect.
This weekend, the crew from Brain Traffic came out to see Anita Tension do her thing. While I was on the track, they came up with a long list of awesome derby names. Just like that. Which is another great lesson: talented writers make the process so much simpler.
Check out this short list of their ideas. If you ever find yourself in need of an alter ego or a smart-n-sassy web handle, it could help you out.
Attilla the Honey
Casey at the Bout
Block n Bomber
Alex P. Beatin’
Death Cab for Judy