Get to Know: Freak Hopper Hedy

Photo courtesy of Chuck Fong at Studio 2.
Freak Hopper Hedy is one of SCAR's longer-term players, joining about 14 months ago when the League was just forming.  Playing for the Happy Valley Dolls, she is also a proud member of the Pennsyltucky Punishers. 

We sat down with her recently, and asked her to tell us more about her strategy, name, and more.

Tell us about your roller derby name, how did you come up with it?  

It’s an homage to Hedy Lamarr. Hedy is best know as an actress of the sliver screen, first gaining notoriety for her role in Ecstasy featuring several nude scenes of the actress -- some of the earliest “full frontals” to be included in a major motion picture.  More importantly, she also invented frequency hopping in the 1940’s -- a method of signal transmission aimed at avoiding detection and jamming by enemy combatants during WWII.  This technology is still used in telecommunications today.  

With a background in computer science and engineering, working in the field of data communications, the name seemed fitting.  Like Roller Derby (and I’d like to think myself) Lamarr embodies a kind of ideal for me – unapologetically mixing roles that are traditionally feminine and masculine.  

Plus, we share the same birthday -- November 9th.

What is your athletic background?

Not really any -- I skated a lot as a kid, then later when roller blades were all the rage, I roller bladed regularly for exercise.  So, I have some skating background, but never really played sports.

Off the track, what kind of work do you do?  

I’m a systems engineer, and sometimes I volunteer at the Adult Education Center.

What is your position while playing/participating, and how do *you* approach it?

Jammer/Blocker.  These are very different positions.  Jamming feels natural to me, like shoving your way through a line; it doesn’t take a lot of thought -- you find the hole and proceed.   Blocking is more cerebral and awkward -- it’s like being in a line, but instead of pushing your way through, you’re deliberately in someone’s personal space, trying to knock them over, holding up the whole line -- not the kind of thing you want to do at the grocery store.

What drew you to roller derby?

I thought it would be good exercise during the winter and I love skating.

What’s one thing that you have learned from Derby that you are able to use in everyday life?

Politics are important.  You look like an idiot when you get pissed off.  … actually, scratch that, I think I learned this before roller derby, but if you haven’t mastered these skills before you get here (or anywhere), you’ll need them.