Nachdem man dieses Video gesehen hat, stellt sich die Frage: Was macht dieser Mensch im echten Leben – außer Yoyoing? Und wie kam er dazu, sich professionell die Hände zu verknoten? Dies und noch mehr verriet uns der Kanadier im Interview.
How old are you?
I just turned twenty-two in June.
How long have you been playing yo-yo?
I’ve been throwing on and off for about thirteen years. I quit for the duration of high-school, (’03-’06) but I got back into it and starting thinking on a larger scale about yo-yo around the autumn of 2007.
How long have you been competing in contests?
I’ve been competing on and off for about a decade. My first contest was Canadian Nationals in 2000; I placed second. I won the title the following year, but the Canadian scene was dissolving. So I stopped competing and focused on performing. I returned to the contest circuit in 2008; I failed to make finals at The World Yo Yo Contest, but I did place top five at the International Yo Yo Open in New York a week later. Since then I’ve won International titles in three continents, including 44 Clash in Tokyo, Canadian Nationals in Calgary and The World Yo Yo Contest in Orlando.
How were you introduced to yo-yoing?
I initially received a yo-yo from my Grandma for Christmas when I was around eight or nine. Like most people I couldn’t really work it, so I used mine as a hockey puck. It wasn’t until a few years later when I found a yo-yo in the school-yard that I realized how much I enjoyed it. I had an uncle who was a local champion and he taught me the basics, which kick-started my interest and later I was taught by performers and demonstrators that would come to my city. From the knowledge I’ve collected over the years, I used my own ingenuity to create what I’m doing now.
How much time do you spend yo-yoing?
Last year before International contests I would spend about six hours a day yo-yoing. Since then I’ve cooled off, now I might throw a couple hours through-out the day.
How long do you need to make a new trick?
Making a trick really isn’t dependent on time. I try not to force the creative process. Most of the time I stumble upon a trick by mistake and reverse engineer it until I can repeat it from memory. That particular process of internalizing tricks and string segments is an art and I don’t think can ever be mastered. The smoothness and fluidity of tricks from the very simple to the most complex is something that I’ve worked on for over a decade and I still feel that I have room for improvement. I’d say making a new trick can be instantaneous, but the polishing for presentation is an ongoing process.
Did you invent any tricks of your own?
I have many of my own tricks. I wouldn’t call them my inventions, but I’ve discovered and rearranged hundreds of tricks that now make up my style.
Do you earn enough money to live?
Currently I don’t earn enough from yo-yoing to make a legit living, but I’m out to set precedents.
What is your ‚real‘ job?
I do a lot of freelance design work, but I’d like to go back to school for illustration degree next year. I chose to leave the design program I was enrolled in last year for a yo-yo tour in Europe.
What are your favorite bands/artists?
I love Hip-Hop. Some of my favorites include Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, MF DOOM, Gang Starr, Jay-Z etc… All time favorites of all genres have to be The Beatles, Nirvana, Philip Glass, Biggie Smalls… there’s lots more.
Do you have any idols?
Yeah, I’ve had a few over the years. Jim Carrey was a big one growing up. I always wanted to be the funny guy. John Higby was another big influence on my life. He let me do 30 shows with him at the Edmonton Street Performers Festival when I was twelve. He showed me it was possible to make a living playing with toys; it’s been a dream that has stuck with me over the years.
What do you do in your free time besides yo-yo?
I enjoy making music, drawing, riding bikes, philosophizing haha.
What’s the coolest thing about yo-yoing and why do you play it most of the time?
The best thing about yo-yoing is the endless self-expression in a completely unique medium. Yo-Yo technology has excelled in the past few years and along with that comes a blank canvas for creative minds. The only decent analogy I can find is that yo-yoing is that it’s like visual music and the best part is finding nice melodies in the strings.
What is the most interesting aspect of the yo-yo community?
The most interesting part about the yo-yo community is how big it’s getting. It’s awesome to see people from around the world sharing the love of yo-yoing.
What’s a cool story that is currently happening to you?
A lot has been going on lately. Since I won the World Yo Yo Contest the hype I’m getting right now is incredible. I’d the say most exciting part is that my freestyle video from the contest is almost at 1,000,000 views on youtube!
What’s the most important thing in your life?
Deep down inside I know it’s my family, but I’m going to say fun anyways.
Where is your favorite place?
I really like Tokyo and Prague, but I’m a homebody. I gotta say I like Edmonton, Canada the most.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
The unemployment line.
Nah, I’m just kidding. I see myself writing and illustrating children’s books and designing my own house.
Is there a website or a band or something you think everyone should know about?
And shout out to my Grandma!
What is your message to the world?
It doesn’t matter how obscure or unlikely your dream is, with enough time and effort anything is possible.