The Outfit On-Screen


This past month, Outfit skaters have had the opportunity to be involved in activities that make our presence known throughout various forms of multimedia. Early on in the month, about 10 skaters showed off their finest moves by participating on the local dance show, Chic-A-Go-Go. The following week, the Chicago-area roller derby community came together to participate in a fundraiser for an upcoming horror/roller derby film entitled The Storm. I made sure to be part of both of these activities, because why not combine my favorite activity (skating) with my favorite cable-access show and movie genre? We’ll start with a Chic-A-Go-Go recap. Chic-A-Go-Go describes itself as a “dance show for kids of all ages,” and is modeled off of music and dance shows past, i.e. Soul Train. Musical guests are invited on the show to lip-synch a hit song while a group of audience members dances on camera. It airs onChicago’s cable access station, CAN-TV (channel 19 for those of you that live in the city). They also have their own You-Tube channel that showcases some of the show’s performances, so people who live outside of the city can experience the magic as well. Since two shows are filmed consecutively, Outfit skaters were filmed dancing (skates on!) on two separate episodes and were interviewed for one of them.

Skating down the El Train Line

Being a part of Chic-A-Go-Go was fun from start to finish. Skater The Big Lebekski brought her three-year-old son, who loved every second of dancing on television. He danced for a full two hours, and everyone who was there would agree that he could really bust a move. Three musical acts play on the two shows, including children’s singer Mr. Stephens,Ireland’s Autumn Owls, and local rockers Bully in the Hallway. Later, the Outfit skaters were interviewed by hosts Miss Mia and the sock puppet Ratso, where we told viewers a little about the league and roller derby in general. However, the best part was skating down the “El Train Line.” Much like on Soul Train, all of the dancers got into two lines and danced up to the camera in pairs. The Contorquetionist impressed the entire audience by walking down the El Train Line on her hands, feet in the air, skates and all.  Tune into Can-TV on Tuesday, May 29 at 8:30 PM (and again on Wednesday, May 30 at 3:30 PM) to catch the episode featuring The Outfit interview and El Train Dance. The episode that features us dancing in the background will air Tuesday, May 22 at 8:30.

Skaters with Ratso

This past Saturday, The Portage Theater held the Roller Jam event, a fundraiser for a soon-to-be-made horror film called The Storm. Director, writer and producer Tony Walsh provides us with the synopsis:

Storm is an action/horror film about the Antonio Bay Bombshells; a roller derby team pitted against slug like creatures from outer space that have crash landed in meteorites throughout the region the evening of their championship game.

Walsh, a Chicago-area film-maker, invited the entire Chicago-area roller derby community to be a part of his newest creation. He met with representatives of the Outfit as well as The Windy City Rollers and theAurora88’s in order to familiarize himself with the sport. Then, he invited skaters from each of the leagues to either perform stunts in the film or to be members of the opposing team. The response from the leagues was overwhelming, and the Roller Jam event this past weekend allowed him to get closer to making this movie a reality. It also allowed The Outfit, Windy City Rollers and Aurora 88’s to promote their leagues and the sport of roller derby to horror movie fans.

Those involved in the making of the Storm adorned the Portage Theater lobby with gory movie props and promotional merchandise. A behind-the-scenes reel featuring the teaser trailer of The Storm played in the background. Finally, we were invited into the theater to view a teaser trailer for The Storm and Walsh’s previous short film, A Chance in Hell (about-what else- Nazi zombies). Prior to showing the film, makers thanked the roller derby community for welcoming them with open arms. They discussed how the filmmakers were impressed with the similarities between themselves and the roller derby players that they met- how each activity is built completely upon the passion of those involved. The trailer and the film were both filled with over-the-top blood, guts and gore...exactly what a great horror movie should include! The trailer and film got viewers eager for the upcoming film, but it still needs to raise $100,000 by June 6 in order to begin filming this summer. The Storm has a Kickstarter account set up where you can check out more about the movie and donate to help fund the project- Help Walsh’s dream become a reality and give some exposure to theChicago roller derby community! Every little bit helps.

Outfit fans- be sure to watch our Chic-A-Go-Go episode to watch your favorite skaters on small screen. If The Storm is able to reach their Kickstarter goal, you may even get to see Outfit skaters on the big screen!