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Roller Derby This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

I'd never in my life viewed the words Roller and Derby in a sentence together until the promotional event for the talented Drew Barrymore's latest film “Whipit.” For those who are not familiar with the term, imagine the toughest, most ruthless contact sport, then add in some tattoos, neon blue fishnets with a tear in the knee, vintage Barbie roller skates and you've just defined Roller Derby.

As I stood under the monstrous pastels and intricate watercolor masterpieces at the Art Epicenter in South Boston, I felt small and unnoticed. The magnificent artwork was not the only thing on display tonight. Miss Drew Barrymore would be making her entrance any minute now, and the air was thick with anticipation. As I allowed my eyes to wander around the congested room, Roller Derby teams from all over the country veiled my pupils. I had never witnessed anything quite as hardcore in my lifetime. The girls on skates seemed to make the geometric shapes and pop art hanging on the walls appear bland and diluted. I was in a fantasyland where red and gold dreadlocks, cheetah print tights, metallic tongue rings, and aggression are the norm. The deranged gang of feverent butterflies fluttering their delicate wings violently within the pit of my stomach seemed to soften. The inner badass rocker girl inside of me was in a frenzy. Just when I came to realize that this was not surreal Drew's pleather laced, spiked heels stepped out onto the glazed marble floors through the doorway.

She was dressed for the part in a mini skirt, plaid trench coat, a matching black and crimson plaid tailored shirt and funky fresh knee-highs. It's always nerve wracking when you first meet as gifted an actress and as successful a person as Drew. A selected bunch of celebrities are nothing more than divas and pre-madonnas, whose noses are sky high and personas plain disappointing. Still, I anticipated that Drew would be outgoing and fun to interview, but she turned out to be much more.

Drew, who became a starlet almost immediately after leaving her mother's woom, is one of the most real, down to earth people that I have ever encountered. She grew up in the limelight but has never taken the “good life” for granted. In fact, giving back to those less fortunate is something that Drew knows well. Drew is a proud member of the World Food Program, an organization that fights to end starvation and malnourishment in foreign countries. Drew donated 1 million dollars out of pocket to WFP in order to provide more children in need of a hot meal with a nutricious, balanced diet, as opposed to scavenging for scraps of anything that they can get their hands on, sometimes eating nothing for days at a time.

When asked about her personal past she did not hesitate to reveal her dark side. Not many people can speak with such ease when discussing tender subjects such as lethal drugs and numerous failed attempts at rehab. Ironically, Drew held back nothing. Every last word that fell from her lips was sincere, intimate and full of life.

A piece of advice that she had given me was to always surround yourself with wonderful compassionate people. And when you get to thinking that for whatever reason, your life has come to an end and that nothing could possibly put things back together again, think twice because, whatever it may be, as excruciating as it may seem, it will get better. Life goes on.

Personally, I could not have possibly chosen a more worthy candidate for Teen Ink to interview. Drew's outlook on life has inspired me to live juicily and to never doubt that certain intense passion that I have for writing.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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This article has 15 comments. Post your own!

Art94 said...
Oct. 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm:
I've always been a fan of Drew Barrymore, Because, unlike most actors, she can play a ton of different roles. My favorite was Fifty First Dates, she pulls off any acting job thrown at her. I find taht an incredible talent!!! :D :D 
 
sunshine replied...
Dec. 9, 2013 at 2:42 pm :
me to super cool hu..........lol........
 
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Lola_Black said...
Jul. 29, 2011 at 6:58 pm:
Wow! I'm official converted into a Drew Barrymore fan! By the way, I've never heard of roller derby before, but it sounds incredibly fun!
 
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WishfulDoerThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jul. 5, 2011 at 10:09 pm:

My stepsister is the captain and founder of her roller-derby team, and she's one of the coolest people I've ever met.

 

I admire Drew Barrymore, a lot. 

 
ValWiggin replied...
Jul. 29, 2011 at 9:23 pm :
wow.  you certaintly made roller derby more well known - and the people who do it seem awesome.  now, what i want to know, whos gonna do the same for lacross girls? cause, we got sticks.  
 
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smarsh said...
Jun. 5, 2011 at 11:51 pm:
Agreed, this movie while fun and entertaining does not show what derby is really like. I play on a hugely competitive team in Texas and it is like playing a professional sport. We practice at least 4 times a week, we watch what we eat, we have trainers, etc. Most of the time we're too exhausted to party a ton too.
But it's the most fun and rewarding thing I've done and I recommend it to everyone!
 
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VanityKills said...
May 22, 2011 at 5:32 pm:
Woohoo for roller derby! I also started roller derby by watching Whip It! I wanted to be badass and find myself, and myself some new badass friends! But I came to realize I had a family, and a sport that made me happy. I hope you stay in derby for a long amount of time, I know I will! It saved my life, and I couldn't ask for anything better. I skate for the LA Jr Derby Dolls, one of the most-known banked track roller derby teams. The girls are amazing & coaches are the best I could ask ... (more »)
 
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GreenEyedGirl14 said...
Jan. 10, 2011 at 6:50 pm:
Wow! I loved reading this! Drew is one of my favorite actresses, and Whip It is my fave movie! I just started junior roller derby very recently and love the hardcore, rock-n-roll, fishnet-wearin aspect of it all. My friends and I are a bit strange and it really allows us to show it! Good job, and I am so jealous that you got to meet her!!!
 
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starstruck15 said...
Jan. 10, 2011 at 12:16 pm:
I loved "Whip it", and always wondered if they portrayed it right, and now my answers are well. answered,
 
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SickImage said...
Dec. 19, 2010 at 11:18 pm:
Whipit was a good movie and I love Drew B. but it does not at all display how hard the training is. Sure, they show Ellen Page skating on the street and practicing a bit, but it is WAY more than that. It's not something you get good at quickly. Just sayin. :/
 
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Luminescence said...
Oct. 2, 2010 at 12:09 pm:
You spelled 'fervent' and 'womb' wrong, but otherwise, good job!
 
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Macx14 said...
Sept. 19, 2010 at 7:53 am:
Drew rocks!!I'm a fan of all the movies she makes whether she acts or directs or both, she's great!
 
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ramones_loverThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jun. 24, 2010 at 10:19 am:
Every since I was 4 I am now 13 I grew up as a roller-derby brat.My mom plays so I grew up with punk rock badass lifestlye loving it every-moment.
 
wilden-lover$$ replied...
Feb. 1, 2011 at 8:11 am :
u got dat rite i love roller derby
 
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Darley said...
Feb. 27, 2010 at 5:05 pm:
interesting article; very nice! :)
 
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