Barbie O’Havoc

37 Barbie O’Havoc

Tell us about your derby name/number. How did you come up with it?

I wanted something that blended the girly side of derby with the rougher, tougher side of things, but still hit on who I am personally- No Barb can ever really escape Barbie, so I chose to embrace it. Add a vaguely Scottish sounding “O’” to the Havoc and there it is.

As to why I chose # 37…  Have you ever seen Clerks? Well,  I’d like to think that I could play  37 jams…in a row!


What made you get into roller derby?

One of my college besties is BB Basher from Steel City. She slammed into one of the seats in class one day, shoves this bruised leg in my face, and says with the biggest grin, “Dude look at this bruise! I joined a roller derby team!” That was ten years ago. It took several moves and some bad timing (I moved to Vegas the week AFTER they did their recruiting boot camp!) but finally when I moved back to Johnstown, I got word from a friend that a team was forming and I just about lost my mind spreading the word. At first it was about skating and the silliness of it all, but pretty soon it became out beating my personal bests every chance I can.


What advice would you give for someone thinking of getting into roller derby?

“Break your own rules” is my personal motto. Sometimes you have to do what scares you a little, to better know who you are.  Whatever you’re telling yourself you couldn’t possibly do, do it.


What is your favorite thing about roller derby?

Anytime I’m on skates, all the business in my head goes away. I don’t have to worry about bills or work stress or doing dishes or any of it. I get to close my focus to the wheels on my feet and let my whole world zoom in on the here and now. It’s better than yoga.


What was your favorite derby moment?

When the Sirens hit the track together.  After months of training, ups and downs, fears and successes, finally, bout day is here. Games are the reward for all the hard working, planning, fundraising and volunteerism. The moment that theme song hits and my wheels kiss the track, it’s electricity every time.


Are there any songs that get you psyched up for derby?

A DJ Lobster mashup of “Sabotage’ by the Beastie Boys, and “Whip my Hair” by  Willow Smith. It’s just a great song for wrecking stuff, skating fast, and they say Whip a lot so that’s always nice.


Do you have a favorite pre-game ritual?

It’s terribly unhealthy, but I love getting an iced latte before a game! I tell myself the caffeine helps open up my bronchial tubes so I can breathe better, but the sugar high and coffee addiction are the real reason for it.


When/where was the first derby bout that you ever watched.

A home team game for the Sin City, the HooverDamned vs the Tommy Gun Terrors in Vegas in 2011. I still have the t-shirt! We picked the HooverDamned to cheer for, since we liked their red and black colors, and they lost terribly. It was an incredibly fun game to watch regardless!


If you had a different derby name, what would it be?

Upvote! I actually use it for scrimmages sometimes, it’s a reddit reference. I’m a big internet nerd and making inside jokes like this pleases me.


Is there someone who has been particularly supportive to you either on or off the track?

Nuncrusher and Rayna Tearher! My girls know that I want their feedback and are there to tell me to push myself when they know I can give it just a little more than I think I can. They’re also there to give me reality checks when I need them.  Although I do wish Nuncrusher wouldn’t hit me so much!

My boyfriend Kyle gets huge props too, he not only supports me, he supports the whole team- whenever we need a timekeeper or an extra set of hands at an Open House, he doesn’t even ask if we need help, he’s already there and ready to jump in. He’s awesome. My twin also gets some love, she conspired with Rayna Tearher and Kyle and surprised me for a bout last year, probably one of the best surprises I’ve ever had.


“Boutfits” Pro or Against?

Controversial topic! I think they have their place. I think teams like ours get to have a bit more freedom than some of the higher level teams, because while we celebrate our athleticism, we’re not necessarily as invested in it, we don’t have as much to “prove”.  Showing up at a championship game where a tutu would label you as a joke. Smaller leagues like ours, however, we get to put on the glitter and just have fun.


Do you have a signature or favorite move/play?

As a blocker, Miss Behavin’ and I work really well together, we do this sort of aggressive do-si-do where we just slam into the jammer while rotating around and around and around. Jammers look really tired after we do that.


Do you have a favorite team to play? Why?  

I like going up against The Backwoods Bruisers. We’ve played them a few times now and the scores are always so close! Games where every point can make or break it, they’re the best ones to watch and certainly the most fun to play. We’ll have to see if this August if we’ll finally beat them!


If you could compare your roller derby techniques to an animal, what would it be?

Definitely a cat! Bursts of insane energy that makes no sense, followed by long sessions of napping.


What was the hardest skill for you to learn?

It’s a bit personal to say, but being a good teammate.  It really is a skill! It’s not about being able to do everything and be everywhere and put it all on your own shoulders, it’s about doing your best and trusting your teammates that they’re doing their best too, trusting them to be where you need them.  When you can trust each other to handle the individual parts, the whole machine handles itself.


If you could make up a new derby rule or get rid of a current one, which would you pick?

Official Reviews should be won by dance-off. Who gets to sit at which bench should be chosen by dance-off. Tie games should be resolved by dance-off. Actually, let’s not even use points, let’s just play for an hour and then settle the winner by dance-off.

Panties: Pass them or wear them?

I’m a full-time jammer for the first time at our April 16th bout- so you’ll just have to wait to find out!!!