Ashley Perrin learned about roller derby while in college, but didn't have the time to join.
When she moved to Los Angeles, she watched a documentary that featured roller derby and then began researching. "For the first few months of living in LA, I lived in a tiny apartment with four guys and needed to make some lady friends. I went to one [derby] practice, and haven't looked back," she said.
Her first derby bout was in January, 2011. She was confident and thrilled to be playing sports again. She was, though, admittedly nervous, but ended up scoring a lot of points.
Perrin's alter ego, Killanois, had arrivedand she is now in her fifth season of competitive roller derby.
"It has definitely been a roller coaster," Perrin said. "There are so many highs and lows that come from this sport. A few highlights are competing at the highest level, being captain for the All-Star team, being chosen as a finalist for Team USA, and being a part of numerous All-Star pick up teams. [Another highlight was] being chosen to skate with Team Vagine, which is an all-queer All-Star team.
"I've met some of my best friends in this community and formed many lifelong relationships. With the highs comes the lows. Most of the lows are dealing with injuries, and I have had many. I also tend to spread myself too thin, and that is always a hard spiral to break."
Perrin tried out for the Windy City Rollers the day she got off the plane in Chicago from Los Angeles. She was drafted to the Double Crossers and made the All-Stars shortly after that. "It was definitely a dream to make the WCR All-Stars after watching them dominate the highest level of roller derby," Perrin said.
Perrin said that she is very much herself on the tracknot a character or persona.
"I have been competing in sports all my life and I always play with the same intensity and drive," she said. "I am very hot-headed on game day, I will admit that. I get very into the moment and become extremely protective of my team. I am a bit of a perfectionist and always want to perform my best and want the same from my teammates and opponents."
Perrin said her parents are big fans of her derby drive. They come to all her home games and watch the away games when they stream.
Derby, though, has been an injury-filled ride for Killanois. She has, for instance, broken her hand twice in eight months, and she is still going to physical therapy in hopes that she can, eventually, have full mobility again.
Her most painful injury was when she chipped the bottom of her sternum.
"I have had plenty of obstacles in my life and though I don't need to go into detail, I will say derby has helped me in overcoming a lot of those obstacles," Perrin said. "Derby and the community have given me more confidence than I have ever had. It helped me have a safe environment to come out in. It's made me try new things and be a part of new experiences."
Neighborhood: Humboldt Park
Orientation: "A queer lesbian"
Relationship status: "Single-ish."
Derby name: Killanois
Job title: Account executive at a marketing and advertising agency
Volunteer title: x
Hobbies: Painting and sketching, television arts & sciences, being active, script writing, and seeing shows of all kinds.
Favorite TV show: Roseanne
Favorite pizza toppings: "I like all kinds of toppings, but absolutely no black olives."
Little-known fact: "You can see my derby name and number in the opening sequence of [the movie] Pitch Perfect."