It’s paved with Ricola wrappers, lozenges, and water. Lots & lots of water.
There are no action shots of me. My name is Elle Beaux, and along with Sweet Willy T-Bag, we bring you play by play, insight into the game, and hopefully a little fun during bouts here in Atlanta.
I started out as a skater- I was on the first incarnation of the Apocalysptix, and skated for the next 5 years. I’ve seen roller derby grow from a few women teaching each other how to skate forwards, into a fast, athletic, complicated game.
When I retired about 3 years ago, I just couldn’t say goodbye to my derby family! It’s hard just being a fan when you’re used to being in the middle of everything. In my real life, I’m actor and improviser, so when the league needed a fill-in announcer, I jumped at the chance. I got zero training- I simply got on the mic and talked derby, straight from the heart. I’m a bit of a silly girl, so you can bet I inserted some “wit” into those bouts as well. I’m also a die-hard Apocalysptix fan, and in those first few bouts, I broke the number one rule of announcing- you NEVER show preference for one team over another. Not even for a second, just to see how it feels.
“Wait, wait, wait,” you’re saying. “There are rules to derby announcing?”
You betcha! The Association of Flat Track Derby Announcers (AFTDA) was created in 2008 to promote the art of roller derby announcing, maintain standards and a code of conduct for announcers, and promote the education and development of derby announcers. That’s a huge mouthful that basically means you have to be a member of it to announce at WFTDA tournaments.
Recently, my cohort Sweet Willy T-Bag and I went through the rigorous testing to become a member of AFTDA. Sashion Victim, an announcer from Virginia, AFTDA board member, and super cool person, offered to help us get certified. We studied up, hopped on Skype and took a verbal test covering everything from basic derby rules and referee hand signals to announcing procedure. I got all the rules right (it helps that I played under them for years) but missed a few of the others…. Did you know that the official job of a third announcer during tournament play is to plug all the sponsors? Now you do.
So what now? This certification means you’ll be seeing a lot of Sweet Willy T-Bag and me on the mics at the WFTDA Championships, hosted by your own Atlanta Rollergirls. Shoot, I may even make a road trip to one of the Big 5 Tournaments and grab a mic, just because I can. The sky’s the limit!