Big Day On Tour: Clacker Balls and The Wall of Fame

Posted in Daily Post on November 17th, 2009 by MarkHayward

Today started with a news spot at the very reasonable hour of 8am. That beats previous spots we’ve had that involved getting to the station at 5:30am. Seth Peterson and I were on CBS 3 in Philly with a really great and enthusiastic anchor who just happened to be named Yuuki. He was jazzed to hear that there was a world-famous yo-yo champion (Yuuki Spencer) with the same name. At lunch time the whole gang went out for food and an oil change in the tour van and we met Scotty. Not only is he the owner of the oil change joint, but he’s also the inventor of Clacker-Balls! You heard me correctly. He invented Clacker-Balls. That is so cool.

Me w/the inventor of the Clacker-ball
Me with Scotty, the inventor of Clacker-Balls

Scotty told me that he was trying to make himself a set of bolos (that use 3 balls) but he lost a ball, so he just made a set with two balls. He owned a bar at the time and so he had time to start messing around with his new toy. People in the bar kept asking him to make a set for their kids, and one thing led to another, he got a little news coverage, and suddenly he had a big hit on his hands.

Our demo tonight was at our buddy Yo-yo Joe’s.

Yo-yo Joe's

We knew in advance that this would be a great demo, and we were not disappointed. Lots of people showed up and they had skills! Perhaps the most exciting part (for me anyway) was that Joe let us do the testing to get up on the Wall Of Fame. He has an extensive list of tricks, about 20 or so, and you have to do them all successfully or you don’t get on The Wall. It took some serious work since I had never done several of the tricks before. I knew that I had the skills required, but I still had to do them right. With some encouragement from Joe and a lot of help from a couple of the yo-yo kids I successfully hit every trick. Brandon made it to The Wall as well, and Seth has been on there for a while already.

Wall of Fame Certificate
My awesome new certificate of awesomeness.

Me on the Wall of Fame!
Me in front of the Wall of Fame! I signed the certificate, “I’m the BEST!”

I just realized that part of why this is so cool for me is that this is the first time that I’ve gotten my signed photo up on the wall of a business. It makes me feel like a movie star. That’s not something that happens just every day you know.

c 2009 Mark Hayward
Used by Duncan with permission of Mark Hayward

Tags: , , , , ,

Day 26-27 — A Day at the Circus

Posted in Adventures, Cameras, Daily Post, Events, Yo-yos on September 21st, 2009 by Emil Lamprecht

So there is one particular part of Day 26 that should absolutely be told, but I will leave that story to the Sutter Master to relate to you all. I will say however that we continued to love Kansas City and the people in it. A solid TRU demo followed by an entire afternoon and evening at the Circus… incredible.

Between teaching yo-yo tricks in Clown Alley and then experiencing Ringling Bros first hand both back stage and front… man we felt like yo-yo rock stars. Ringling itself is a production of EPIC proportion that runs like a well oiled piece of machinery and it was awesome to see the cogs lying around or hanging out cracking jokes before all coming together for the massive presentation that is that show.

Important points:
- Elephants are awesome.
- Tigers are scary.
- Motorcycles wizzing around a steal ball of death is SO COOL!!
- Chinese Jugglers are too good for reality.
- Some acrobatic stunts just shouldn’t be possible by humans.

In many ways circus shows have been turning more and more into a glorified form of children’s theater, but honestly, who cares! Its still awesome animals and crazy stunts. Big thanks and props to our friends Aji and Kricket in the clown car for having us along, and if you guys are reading this, can’t wait to run into you again some time!

And day 27? News program, demo at cool store, but the real news? Seth is back on board and with us through to nationals! We might or might not have a box of Mongu Hoodies. Maybe, who knows, it’s just one of those silly rumors.

Next up? Looooooooooooooooooong drive to Colorado. :-)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Day 15 – Chicago, Goodbye and Thank You

Posted in Daily Post, Players, Yo-yos, crew on September 9th, 2009 by Emil Lamprecht

Oh today what a day. Nate and I set off from the hotel this morning to see the city and in particular to walk through some of the more touristy spots in hope of good video, pictures and of course attention! Now that we are post Labor Day, schools are in session and everyone is back at work its pretty quiet during the middle of the day, but we roamed through some nice areas and visited Navy Pier for an hour or so. While the pier was unfortunately subject to an awful Duncan Disaster (stay tuned for hilarious and sad details!) we did find the occasionally interested individual and entertained any kids we did end up finding.

We then departed from Chicago headed south west to our gig today at Meijer’s. Sadly, I didn’t get a picture of me jumping under the back to school sign this time, but that’s because they let us set up outside! I personally prefer to be outside when ever possible, so despite the heat and Nate having some sun burn trouble it was great. We gathered a small crowd during out short demo, and accumulated enough players between Brett, Adam, and two friends of James’ that it was quiet a show for everyone.

From Meijer’s we headed north and I now write to you from Madison, WI. Tomorrow we have a few hours to see Madison (and find ourselves some squeaky cheese!) before headed to our gig at a Toy Store called Playthings. If you’re anywhere near this area you should totally stop by. All the smaller toy stores we’ve done have been a BLAST and the more players and audience the better!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Some New Presents

Posted in Adventures, Cameras, Events, Yo-yos, crew, juggling on September 8th, 2009 by Emil Lamprecht

Jason Lavengood sent along a second batch of edited photos from our shoot in Indiana today! Check them out, and let me know which ones you like!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Day 3 – Kent/Hudson, OH

Posted in Clubs, Daily Post, Events, Yo-yos on August 28th, 2009 by Emil Lamprecht

Today. Was. Awesome!

This morning I was a little worried that we were going to have issues getting momentum through the start of this tour. Today totally confirmed for me that we can rock this tour, and will do so the whole way through.

This morning was relatively uninteresting. Jeff and I were trying to catch up with all the work that was before us. We managed to catch up a bit (though not completely) which relieved a little stress for the day. If nothing else a good start minus a few frustrating interludes.

At 2pm we packed up and headed out to our first location, a little town called Kent. In a plaza down the street from Off the Wagon Toys (our hosts), we set up the van with our speakers out and blaring. I was a little worried we weren’t going to see anyone after the first 15 minutes. However, Off the Wagon had made the point of advertising our presence and a little while later a group of kids and parents show up.

Our second location was for the same people and about 20 minutes away, near the second of the Off the Wagon stores. We were feeling good with the gig so far because everyone had been incredibly friendly, but were bummed by the lack of turn out. However, the second we got to the next location it was GAME ON! Jeff and Nate started demoing so quickly I had to rush to set up the table by myself and sold the first yo-yo before finishing.

In the end we didn’t do much in terms of sales but that was the least of my concerns. We had a huge crowd at one point, and a lot of kids trying yo-yos and parents laughing and joining in as well. Some players from a local club even showed up and helped attract more people. I did a few juggling demos and taught a bunch of kids the basics of 3 ball juggling. It was fantastic, and we ended it all in a GREAT mood. Between just having fun playing and getting applause and signing autographs I think the three of us felt it was easily the best of our three tour days so far and that feeling like a rock-star can be a lot of fun!

The clincher? Smoothies. We packed up, and immediately went and got smoothies… which were baller.

Major props to Off the Wagon for being great hosts. Thank you guys so much!
Check out the pictures!

Tags: , , , , ,