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RapidChat: Emily Hammes of Grand Raggidy Roller Derby

Emily Hammes, otherwise known as "Bidi Bidi Bang Bang," is a lighthearted, charismatic woman who is no stranger to putting herself out on a limb. As a staple team member in the Grand Raggidy Roller Derby, it's clear that she is composed of equal parts strength and confidence.
Emily Hammes

Emily Hammes, otherwise known as "Bidi Bidi Bang Bang," is a lighthearted, charismatic woman who is no stranger to putting herself out on a limb. As a staple team member of the Grand Raggidy Roller Derby, it's clear that she is composed of equal parts strength and confidence.
Rapid Growth Media: As a part of the Grand Raggidy Roller Derby you are known as "Bidi Bidi Bang Bang." How did you first come into that name?
 
Emily Hammes: Growing up, I loved the singer Selena, and one of my favorite songs to this day is "Bidi Bidi Bum Bum." I thought that Bidi Bidi Bang Bang was a good mix of the song, hence the Bidi Bidi from the song and Bang Bang from banging into people on the track.
 
RG: How many years have you been skating with Grand Raggidy?
 
EH: I have been skating with Grand Raggidy for a little over four years. I joined the team to spend more time with my best friend, Mortan Assault Girl, and have been playing since! 
 
RG: What is your most memorable experience with the team?
 
EH: Traveling with the team is always really fun! One of my favorite tournaments we travel to every year is the Midwest BrewHaHa in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It’s three days of derby featuring teams all around the world. This year we even played a team from Berlin, Germany!
 
RG: The most painful?
 
EH: The most memorable hit I can think of was actually at practice. When you’re first learning to skate there are many “wow” moments of the do’s and dont's of derby. During my first year, one of the longtime skaters known as Freakin’ C, and for the tagline “turn your head,” hit me while I wasn’t looking, hence the importance of turning your head to see what might be coming next. Well, I successfully knocked the wind out of myself with my own elbow. From that day on I try and turn my head more and make sure my arms are out of the way!
 
RG: Sounds painful! Are there any rules in the sport that prevent any more serious injuries from happening?
 
EH: Yes, there are rules that allow blocking to and with only certain legal zones. Here is a cat graphic that shows the zones!
 
RG: Are you involved in any other out of the ordinary past times?
 
EH: Inspired by the very funny, very awesome, and very beautiful co-worker of mine, Lissa Marques I decided to give improve a try! I took classes at the Civic Theater this past spring and have been performing with Plant Parenthood, a local improv troupe since!
 
RG: Improv! So based on your hobbies, I take it that you are pretty good at thinking on your feet (pun intended)?
 
EH: Hah! I try my best! The things I love about derby and improv is that you never know what to expect! Team to team, show to show, everything changes quickly! Thinking quickly and going with your choice confidently apply to both!
 
RG: Any embarrassing stories to tell during your experience with Plant Parenthood so far?
 
EH: I’ve only been in two shows so far. Luckily nothing too bad yet... but I am sure I’ll have some moments.
 
RG: You really need to put yourself on the line during your skits. How do you maintain your confidence through that?
 
EH: Until this spring I had never done anything improve related ever in my life. I was never into theater or acting growing up. I was really self conscious about myself when I started and I still get self conscious, but if you’re self conscious during a scene people can tell. If you own what your talking about then people believe it, if in reality you have no idea. Sometimes it makes it even funnier when you don’t know what you’re talking about and you just make it up as you go! 

Jenna Morton is the RapidChat correspondent for Rapid Growth Media.
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