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Wheelchair Sports Camp

February 16, 2012

Photo: Photo Roadies

Introduction by Tim Davids

Wheelchair Sports Camp is saxophonist/vocalist Abi McGaha Miller, her brother, drummer Issac Miller, and lyricist/founding member Kalyn Heffernan, who’s not exactly the spitting image of the cliche that appears in your head when I say “rapper,” other than the “crip life” inked across her stomach and her predilection for cursing and graffiti. Not so much different as she is unique in hiphop culture, Kalyn is a white lesbian, 3 and a half feet tall, 53 pounds, and in a wheelchair. But every article about the group starts out that way, and it works as a hook, as much as an MC with Osteogenesis Imperfecta can be one, but the truth is that it doesn’t matter much. What matters is Kalyn’s skill on the mic- and she’s the real goddamn deal.

Named after a week-long youth disability program, WSC started making big moves in 2010 and have leveraged that hype and talent into invites to SXSW, an opening spot for legends Salt-N-Pepa, a write-up in Spin and a cover story/feature profile in the Village Voice. And all of it is part of Kalyn’s master plan – to push boundaries and comfort zones, starting by working in an artistic culture whose mainstream is, in many ways, defined by an archaic overblown masculinity – one with no room for outspoken women or homosexuality, much less an outspoken politically active homosexual woman in a wheelchair with a rebellious streak.

1. What is your hometown?

Isaac

Fort Collins, CO

Abi

Fort Collins, CO

Kalyn

Denver, CO & Burbank,CA 

2. With what fictional character do you most identify?

Isaac

That is a really tough question since I absolutely love books, comic books, and movies, so I have a lot of characters I really appreciate. I will go with Spider Jerusalem from Warren Ellis’ Transmetropolitan. I really appreciate his undying tenacity, and that just when you think he’s too hyperbolic in his behavior, he shows a human side.

Abi

Asher Lev

Kalyn

TIMMMY!

3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.

Isaac

I’d like it to be Jason Segel. He’s absolutely hilarious, but I’ve really enjoyed his work when he’s had the opportunity to be a bit more serious as well. Forgetting Sarah Marshall was a brilliant movie, in my opinion.

Abi

Drew Barrymore when she was in her 20’s.

Kalyn

:-/ i guess mary kate or ashley olsen when they were 5 6ish

4. What work of art speaks to your soul?

Isaac

Anything written by Richard Brautigan. His writing is so simple yet beautiful, he’s truly breathtaking.

Abi

“Blue Nude” by Henri Matisse

Kalyn

“Starry Night” by Van Gogh, “Idoteque” by Radiohead (Paul Lansky)

5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?

Isaac

I’m in-between books right now, but I am hoping to pick up Haruki Murakami’s new book 1Q84. I recommend his books all the time.

Abi

Read “Water for Elephants.” The book is far better than the movie, as is usually the case.

Kalyn

The last book i finished was 33 Revolutions Per Minute by Dorian Lynksy.  Fantastic!!

6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?

Isaac

Minus the Bear and Portugal. The Man’s discographies are always on heavy rotation with me. I think Portugal. The Man’s “In the Mountain, In the Cloud” is my album of the year.

Abi

I’ve been kind of obsessed with “A Night in Tunisia” lately.  Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, and Ella Fitzgerald all do killer versions of this tune.

Kalyn

I’ve been listening to this AT LEAST 50 times a day… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZCHIEUuOSA&feature=youtu.be

7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?

Isaac

I don’t typically outwardly cry at movies, but I can feel my heart sink and be on the verge. The first 10 minutes of Up was genius…it presented a delightful but sad love story with little to no dialogue. I think everyone in the theater choked up at that.

Abi

I recently saw “The Shawshank Redemption” for the first time.  If Brooks Hatlen doesn’t make you cry, you might want to get your tear-ducts checked.

Kalyn

The Muppets got me a little googly inside, but the last time I really cried was probably the last time I watched Set It Off.

8.  Cat person or dog person?

Isaac

Dog person absolutely, but I can respect a cat’s independent streak.

Abi

Dog person for sure.

Kalyn

I’d say dog person, but after raising this kitten from a bottle, i’m pretty attached.

9. What is more important, truth or kindness?

Isaac

I would say truth. I don’t like feeling like I’m being coddled or having my hand held through life…just shoot it to me straight!

Abi

Both have equal importance in my mind.  It’s a matter of knowing which is appropriate in any given situation.

Kalyn

Truth.  The only thing more important than truth to me is humor.

10.    How do you define sin?

Isaac

Knowing that you are about to do something that betrays yourself/your morals and doing it anyway.

Abi

Sins are conscious decisions or choices made even though they are wrong or potentially harmful.

Kalyn

Having fun, or Las Vegas

11.    How do you define virtue?

Isaac

Choosing to do something to make yourself a better person or to benefit others.

Abi

Doing something of virtue, in my opinion, can’t be easy.  To be virtuous is to overcome expectations and adversity in order to do what is right.

Kalyn

Mother Teresa

12.   Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?

Isaac

I don’t really want a headstone. I’d rather have my body/ashes shot into space!

Abi

I’d much prefer to be cremated rather than buried, forcing my family and friends to go on an epic road-trip to spread my ashes.

Kalyn

It says “Come closer” and then my recorded farts will play loudly!

Bonus Question: Who would you like to see answer these questions?

Isaac

Donald Glover/Childish Gambino. That guy is fascinating to me.

Kalyn

The Gaslamp Killer

Connections:
Wheelchair Sports Camp
@wcsportscamp

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