ALL DAT: From the Big Easy Rollergirls to Chris Trew and Air Sex
Editor's Note: To honor the start of the Big Easy Rollergirls season, March 18th 5:00-9:00pm at the UNO Human Performance Center, we reprint a small segment from ALL DAT’s chapter about sports in New Orleans, followed by the sports Lumin of New Orleans, not Drew Brees nor Unibrow, but Chris Trew.
For my money, and we’re talking ten bucks, the best sports experience in New Orleans is the Big Easy Rollergirls, our female roller derby team. They play home matches at the University of New Orleans Human Performance Center. The matches I have attended were all at capacity with roughly 1,500 people in the stands The crowd was equally divided amongst heavily tattooed and pierced hipsters, families with kids, and rednecks screaming for blood on the tracks.
The music greatly ramped up the evening’s entertainment value. My first match was accompanied by the Egg Yolk Jubilee performing totally bizarre brass band cover versions of Johnny Cash’s "Ring of Fire" and Ary Barroso’s cheezy classic, "Brazil." The most recent time, the music was by bounce superstar, Big Freedia. He/She was there to record his/her music video for the song "Dangerous." If you look closely at the video, you can almost, but not quite spot my daughter in the crowd dancing scenes.
But the main event is watching the Rollergirls skate in a circle of flying elbows and body checks. It looks nothing if not like an R.Crumb drawing brought to fleshy and knee padded life. With players’ names like Chestosterone, Bang Crosby, and Porchop Slamwitch, you kind of know what you’re in for even before the first whistle blows.
LUMINS OF NEW ORLEANS - CHRIS TREW
Chris Trew is the chosen Lumin(ary) for my chapter on sports because he is perhaps the best wrestling manager of whom you’ve never heard. He was named Newcomer of the Year in 2012 by Anarchy Championship Wrestling fans and Manager of the Year in 2013 by The Wrestling Blog. The blog tagged him “a performance artist at the highest level.”
Like Deon Sanders and Bo Jackson, Chris is a multi-sport athlete. He’s been waging an ongoing but so far unsuccessful campaign to be elected owner of the New Orleans Pelicans, the city’s NBA team. Ownership, at this time, is not an elected office.
If “Air Sex” becomes recognized as a sport or gets included in the Olympics, as tug of war and live pigeon shooting used to be and the steeple chase, hammer throw, and synchronized swimming still are, Chris Trew is the odds on favorite to win the Gold. Air Sex was invented in Japan but brought to high art by Chris. Think air guitar minus the guitar plus sex minus a partner.
"While I'm very thankful for the Japanese and their inventing of Air Sex,” says Trew, “I'm extremely confident that we can more than hold our own as a nation. The talent in North America is creative and hungry. America needs Air Sex. It's a release, it's high-brow entertainment, and it's the most important sporting event in the world.”
After this book is written but probably before you read it, MTV will have aired their new series about Air Sex. I’m assuming Chris will be the sort of Guy Fieri host, only far less obnoxious.
Outside of sports, he was also known as Terp2it, his rap handle. Terp2it released three albums: The Freshest Dude, My Wiener Touches the Ceiling, and Half Man Half Beard.
Chris Trew is, above all else, a comedian and performance artist in the f&*^ with you spirit of Andy Kaufman.
He first got into comedy as a student at LSU, but found himself unable to pursue his dreams in his favorite city. But after Hurricane Katrina, Chris and his partner, Tami Nelson, relocated to Austin, where they started The New Movement in 2009. It was a place to teach improv and sketch classes.
“The game plan was always to move back to New Orleans,” he said. Finally, in March 2012, they returned to New Orleans to open their long ago dream, an improv school and comedy theater in their home city.
New Movement has a permanent home (2706 St. Claude Avenue) in the Marigny. Here they teach classes, give workshops on subjects like: Humor Writing for Improvisers, Three Person Scenes, and one called Stare into the Void, and have regular performances. New Movement puts on more than ten shows a week and improv and sketch comedy classes every night.
To complement The New Movement and the growth of the comedy scene in New Orleans, Chris also helped start Hell Yes Fest. It has grown to become the biggest comedy festival in the South with eleven days, non-stop endurance comedy featuring hundreds of national and local acts performing one after another in shows, workshops, and a film festival component.
Splitsider reviewed their work, “Tami Nelson and Chris Trew have shaped their brand by challenging the expectations of what a comedy show and the scene around it looks like.”
Austin Chronicle’s review was more directly to the point, “Chris Trew is out of his fucking mind.”
Kelley Crawford is a professor, writer, mentor, dancer, and constant questioner. If you would like to contact Kelley Crawford, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.