Video Blog 3 – Creative Ventures of the Road

Posted in Adventures, Cameras, Players, crew, juggling on September 16th, 2009 by Emil Lamprecht

Well guys, we’ve already covered several cities and number of venues since our last video so we wanted to post some more clips to show you what we’ve been up to. The best parts of the most recent leg have been our interaction with players and the amount of creativity that’s taken place. Whether its ridiculous juggling stunts, hilarious yo-yo competitions, or road challenges we’ve made sure to push the limits and have a great time doing it.


Video Blog 3 from Emil Lamprecht on Vimeo.

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Reflections of the Midwest

Posted in Adventures, Clubs, Players, Yo-yos on September 16th, 2009 by James Buffington

Hi, Lord Buffington here, also sometimes known as James. Emil was nice enough to ask me to pop in here and give some thoughts, stories, antidotes, and so such of my time on the tour. It was a great time with so many great moments it’s hard to name just a few, but here are some of my favorites from the Wisconsin and Minnesota part of the trip.

The night that we arrived in Wisconsin turned out to be fun. Aside from the clerk at the hotel being a yo-yoer and his plan to show up at our demo the next day, we met a bunch of cool people. After checking in to the hotel I had to run back out to the van since I forgot some of my stuff in there. When I arrived I found a women admiring the awesome art that Whip had done. After talking to her about the van and what we did, she invited Emil, Nate and I to a wine and cheese tasting party she was having with her coworkers. Turns out she worked for Ford who was sponsoring an Iron Man Triathlon in Madison that week. When Nate and I showed up at the tasting we met some cool people and did an impromptu yo-yo performance for them. Some of the ford workers were form L.A. and had some great stories of being extras in Hollywood movies. One guy in particular was in Oceans 13, which I happened to have on my Ipod. The next day as we were walking around the capitol building in Madison, Nate and I saw a few tents set up a block away. As we walked over to investigate what was going on we were promptly greeted by are new friends from Ford. Throughout the day we ran into them a few more time. It was great to have some new friends while in Madison.

The next story is one of the funniest moments that happen to us in Minnesota. The second day we were there turned out to be busy. We originally had two demos at the Games By James stores in two different malls. As a late addition we were asked to appear on String Burn Live. Now the String Burn Live show is done at a studio in Josh Parkers house. He has two dogs that were running around the house when he arrived. When the show started Josh put them in his kitchen and put up one of those child safety fences to keep them in. The show started and for the first few minutes the dogs were making noises in the background. Both Nate and I started to pet them in order to keep them fairly quiet. Emil went on and talked to Josh about the tour for a few minutes and afterward the show went on break in order to set up for Nate’s trick tutorial. At this point Emil went to the bathroom, that was right off the kitchen, and Josh went into the kitchen to fix some peanut butter balls to keep his dogs quiet. Nate then went on and started the tutorial with his awesome trick the “Sutter Copter.” About a minute into the tutorial Emil came out of the bathroom and saw Josh fixing those peanut butter balls. He then yelled PEANUT BUTTER BALLS!!! not realizing the show had come back from break yet. He soon realized the show was back on and felt awful about his little outburst. If you watch the replay of the show from a few posts before you can hear him yelling in the first minute or so of Nate’s tutorial. For the rest of the day, as well as the next, we would occasionally yell peanut butter balls and get a good laugh from each other.

Later on that day we started our demos at the Games By James stores. Duncan had contacted Dazzling Dave Schulte to join us for the two demos, and the time spent with him was great and very educational for me. Dave has been a professional yo-yo demonstrator for over ten years and knows his stuff. He has done many many many store demos, school shows, and performances throughout the years. He has his teaching style down to a science. Watching him interact with both kids and adults was great, and I learned a bunch of tips that I was able to incorporate into the rest of demos I did on the tour. Next time Duncan does a tour they should definitely have Dave do a seminar for the demonstrators on how he teaches; his methods and skills are an incredible asset.

Finally at the end of the day we showed up at a meeting of the College of the Easily Amused, Minnesota’s oldest yo-yo club. It was great seeing and meeting all the local yo-yo players. One of the greatest things that the club does is freestyle training. Any one who wants to can go up on stage and do a freestyle, which is then judged and broken down by the other yo-yoers to find the best way to improve the performance. It’s no wonder that Minnesota has some of the best up and coming players on the scene, the training session were great and helped everybody out on what they need to improve on. Clubs everywhere should implement this method as it is a great way to further the skills of everybody involved.

My time on the tour was great and I’ll remember all the experiences for a long time. I want to thank Duncan, Emil, and Nate for letting me join them on the Midwest leg. Emil and Nate are great guys and it was an honor to become friends with them. If they show up near you it would be an absolute shame if you miss the chance to meet them.

Thanks Guys,

James Bufington

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Day 19 – Last day in Minneanapolis

Posted in Clubs, Daily Post, Players, Yo-yos, crew on September 14th, 2009 by Emil Lamprecht

Phew, today was fast and furious. We basically ran everywhere and things went by so fast that when we ended gigs around 5:30 we couldn’t believe the whole day had disappeared!

Our first gig was at a Toys’R'Us.  They were very laid back and willing to work with us however, and when we arrived they had already cleared an area for us to be (near the yo-yo end cap), so we set up and got to throwin’. After our second hour we actually got a good group of kids circulating, trying our yo-yos, learning tricks, etc. In the end it wasn’t a bad demo at all.

Our second gig was a short sprint at Air Traffic, another branch of the same store that hosted us a day or two ago. 3A Alex as well as Sean and Dan from String Burn Live! were all waiting for us already and though we barely had enough time to set up, get settled and then break down, we did manage to hold the best competition ever: Number of claps under an Eli Hop. Sean and I went head to hate with a world class introduction, commentary and reffing by Nathan Sutter. Check it out:

Eli Hop Competition from Emil Lamprecht on Vimeo.

After that hilariousness, we finished off our day at a Hub Hobby of which there are two of in this area. The manager and staff were very cool people and in the end we set up a station both inside the store and outside with the van. As always hungry to be outdoors I opted to bake in the sun while attempting yo-yo tricks in the humid breezy weather and had a blast playing music and making faces for passing cars; while Nate and James met the in-store crowds and taught some kids how to throw. Our local buddy Jack showed up again which was cool thought its too bad he couldn’t hang out longer, and an old school player who had been out of the loop but was a really awesome dude.

Gigs done, and everyone exhausted we went and got the car cleaned and vacuumed as we did inventory before dinner and retiring to the room for laundry, email catch up, etc etc. I must say Minneanapolis has treated us really well, and I want to throw yet another shout out to players who made this leg of the trip so awesome and fun. Thanks guys, can’t wait to run into you again in the future.

P.S. Not a lot of pictures today because we mostly took video.

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Day 18 – Minnesota Part 2

Posted in Clubs, Daily Post, Players, Update, Yo-yos on September 13th, 2009 by Emil Lamprecht

We’ve continued our busy streak today and as a result are both happy and dog tired. James and Nate are both snoring so loud right now the lamp shade next to me is vibrating. Its hard core! Case in point, we’ve been running around and I’m ready to pass out but want to share with you how cool today was first.

We had a total of three gigs today. First was our appearance on the internet streaming yo-yo show, String Burn Live! I got to meet Josh last night who is super cool and met Sean (the co-host) when we arrived at the studio this morning. It was a really fun morning despite (if you were watching) the little trouble getting broadcast going. They brought me on to do the interview and then Nate taught Sean his very own Sutter Copter for the tutorial segment.

When we were done with our segments on the show we ran out of there and rushed to the Southdale Mall for our first demonstration of the day. Our second was at the same store brand but this time the Burnsville mall. Both of today’s demos were at Games by James stores and though the two malls they were in were reasonably close to each other, they were very different demos and stores. Both went well however and the staff at both were cool people. Again I was pleasantly surprised at how many players showed up! We had a different crew of players to hang out with at both gigs and they, as always, added a lot of pizzaz to our presence and made it REALLY fun for us.

Today we also had Dave Schulte with us, who when it comes to random interaction in hallway malls I’m not sure you can get better than this guy. Super outgoing, on point and driven the whole day through, it was nice for us to have someone we could feed a little energy off of when we felt sluggish.

Our last stop of the day was the College of the Easily Amused, a big yo-yo club that meets in a cafe in the South West quadrant of Minneapolis. Here we saw again pretty much every player we had run into the past couple days plus some more. It was a great time just hanging out, taking pictures, video, playing yo-yo, juggling, etc etc etc. Great finish to a long active day, check out the pics!

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Day 17 – Hi Minnesota, Your Mall is HUGE!

Posted in Daily Post, Players, Update, Yo-yos, crew, juggling on September 12th, 2009 by Emil Lamprecht

So after a couple hours of sleep we checked out of the hotel (with the same person we checked in with, they were shocked) and got on the road again towards Minneapolis and the largest mall in the Northern Hemisphere. We had been drilling so hard that we actually got there a little early which gave us some time to get breakfast-namely coffee-and walk around a bit. I have to say, seeing multiple roller coasters running between shops like Forever 21 and Best Buy is a bit intense.

Come demo time we headed over to the Games By James on the third floor and met the manager there, Bow, who was a really cool dude. James, myself and Nate geeked out over board games and then set up in front of the store for a couple hours. Mall traffic that early in the day was inconsistent, but using our iPod speakers and announcer voices we got some attention and laughs. We definitely drove a few yo-yo sales for the store too which was great! Then 3A Alex showed up!

As someone new to the scene I had never heard of or seen this guy before but Alex ended up hanging out with us for most of the day and was totally cool. He’s blocked off the few days that we’re here to come hang with us which is awesome, and by the end of the day he had taught me two new tricks!

From Games by James we had lunch with Alex and then wandered the mall up and down for an hour before setting up the next gig. Air Traffic was on the other side of the mall from Games by James and though there is some cross over in products their specialties are different. As a juggler, I totally geeked out a Air Traffic. They had a ton of skill toy stuff including a lot of really high-end juggling equipment, namely clubs (which I prefer to juggle but haven’t been able to for a while since mine were stolen :-( ). Anyway, since it was now after school hours we also had a group of players show up, and in the end had quiet the crowd of people throwing. Demo went awesome as a result, and everyone had a really great time.

I have to say that the players that have been coming out and meeting up with us are making this tour AWESOME. If we’ve met up with you already, Thank You; and if you’re planning on meeting up with us I can’t wait to meet you. Its been so cool to find people everywhere we go who are just cool and want to throw and hang out. I dedicate a lot of the tour’s success to having more players around as it keeps us awake and excited and really shows the world how social and communal the Yo-yo world is.

After packing up we ended the day by taking a little time to rock climb before dinner. It put us in a GREAT mood and then we met up with Josh of Sting Burn Live for Juicy Lucy burgers of deliciousness. Overall a really successful day, which I have to say we’re getting good at now. We’re constantly gaining momentum and I’m moving so fast I think I’m slightly blurred wherever I go. We’re now setting up our light speed capabilities. Jump on, and buckle your seat belt.

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Day 16 – Madison, WI Rocked My World

Posted in Clubs, Daily Post, Players, Update, Yo-yos, crew, juggling on September 12th, 2009 by Emil Lamprecht

Talk about an incredible story. Ok first of all, day 16 of this tour (the 10th) was my Birthday. I turned 22 years old and while I’m not much of a birthday celebrator I managed to have an awesome day on tour with my friends and people we met along the way. Once we started the day we headed into downtown Madison to check it out and drive the van around, play yo-yo etc. We ended up walking down State St. which is the big avenue with stores and restaurants that is basically the village for UWI which is a truly humongous university. Anyway, we got ourselves some squeaky cheese, which we had been waiting for since Takeshi told us about it (you bite it, and it squeaks, its pretty hilarious), some Jamba Juice (one of my personal favorites) and wandered down towards campus in the beautiful weather.

So check this out, we’re walking onto the actual campus, we’re about 10 yards in and walking straight at me is Elliot! Elliot is a juggler who I met at the European Juggling Convention (EJC) in Spain a couple months ago. Though we ended the convention super friendly, he and I haven’t talked since and I completely forgot that he was a grad student at UWI; and there he was!! At a school of tens of thousands it was so incredible to run into the one person I knew. Not only that, but the juggling club was later that evening and our gig for the day ended with perfect time for us to come join it.

So we went and did lunch, I did some accounting, etc. We packed up and headed off to our gig and at first we were a little skeptical because even though the store was really nice and there seemed to be nice people working there and signs about our coming… the mall was deeaaaaad. For the first 15 minutes or so Nate and I kept meeting eyes worriedly, but low and behold after that things picked up quiet a bit! Not only did after school foot traffic pick up but suddenly a whole bunch of players appeared on the scene. Not only that, but the guy who does all the international ordering for Duncan at the Bariboo, WI Flambeau offices stopped by! Super super nice dude who I chatted with for probably 10+ minutes straight.

I’ll now relate to you another coincidence. The night before this gig when we were checking into the hotel the clerk at the Best Western spotted what Nate’s shirt said (Duncan, duh) and was like “No Way!”. It turns out Zach had just started playing yo-yo himself and was planning on coming by the next day to join us, which he did! So we had Zach, and then a total of 3-4 more players that showed and a few people who had planned to come watch. It was great. To top it off nicely I did some juggling to warm up for the club later and came up with some more new crazy tricks I hadn’t done. I’m having a really good time juggling and learning new yo-yo tricks at the moment, its fantastic.

Ok, Ok (as if this post isn’t long enough!) so we left the gig pretty pleased and headed straight to the juggling club. We were a bit early so we did some pics and video stuff but then people trickled in. It turned out to be a ton of fun, and even Jame and Nate really enjoyed it though they don’t juggle much. We showed off yo-yo, Nate and James learned a lot of juggling stuff, I TOTALLY geeked out for a couple hours. I even got to meet Luke Emery (a legendary club passer) who I had never had the pleasure of throwing things with. We did a bunch of cool brain-pain patterns and I learned some group pattern stuff which is not something I’ve done much of. By the end of the night I was back to trying just the craziest most random 1-3 club tricks I could think of and had an AWESOME time.

We ended the night with one more coincidence. We left the club finally to go to dinner before starting the drive north and ended up in a little Italian restaurant up the street. About 5 minutes after we sit down our waitress looks at me and says “are you a professional yo-yo player?”. Keep in mind that for once we hadn’t brought out yo-yos since entering the establishment, so we were a little surprised that my Duncan shirt triggered this question. Of course we responded yes, and it turns out that she was the girlfriend of one of the players that hung out with us at the gig! Not only that, but that same guy is now equipped with a brand new shiny MayheM! It was just too funny.

To finish the night we got on the road to Minnesota, but it got dangerous because we were so tired and just booked what ever we could find about half way through the drive. We slept about 4-5 hours before jumping out of bed, back on the road and heading out to the Mall of America, which is where our next post will take us.

Admittedly, we’ve been so busy and active that taking pictures sometimes isn’t priority so there aren’t as many of them as usual, but some cool ones none the less. Check it out!

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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!

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Day 14 – First day in Chicago

Posted in Cameras, Daily Post, Players, Update, Yo-yos, juggling on September 8th, 2009 by Emil Lamprecht

Hey guys,

I’ll keep today’s post brief and let some of these cool pictures speak for themselves. We managed to do a brief walk around down town Chicago and see some of the classic monuments of the city. We took a good number of pictures and some video before heading off to today’s gigs. As today was the first official day of school for a lot of places (though I believe Chicago has been in session for a week already?) things were quiet during the day, but we had some foot traffic at Building Blocks later in the afternoon.

I think the best part of today was the creativity that took place. Both in yo-yoing and juggling. So many cool crazy tricks were come up with and executed with style by the end of the day, it was just great to be part of skill toy innovation at its finest.

To cap it off we had two awesome guys drive into town to hang out with us at Building Blocks (an excellent little toy store just north of Chicago proper, thanks for having us guys!) and they joined us for dinner as well. The 5 of us had a great time and I think they might even join us tomorrow for part of the day.

Tomorrow we meet up with Lord Buffington again and hit the Meijer’s in Bowling Brook, just south of the city. 4-6pm. Should a good time, so stop by and throw with us.

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Day 11 – Oh Michigan How We Love You

Posted in Clubs, Daily Post, Events, Yo-yos, crew, juggling on September 6th, 2009 by Emil Lamprecht

I may have left the house stressed this morning, but wow what a good day. After quickly getting yesterday’s blog post up we jumped in the van and shot off towards Genuine Toy Company in Plymouth, MI. Genuine Toys is a new mom-and-pop toy store that’s only been open a few weeks, and let me tell you, these are awesome people. The owners, the staff and everyone who stopped by to interact with us were fantastic. For what was predicted as a quiet Sunday morning turned into an action packed fun 2 hours that blew by.

We were having so much fun we almost lost track of time and had to pack up in a hurry to take off for the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, which is essentially another awesome children’s museum. Our contact there was afraid it would be really slow because it was such a beautiful day outside, but between PA announcements and attracting attention from being near the entrance we gathered crowds for two 15-20 minute shows.

We got a lot of milage out of having Jake with us. A local, a great player, and 7+ minute of organized presentation was perfect for the start of the show, followed by exploring the five styles with Nate, and 5-10 minutes of juggling presentation from myself. It was all excellently well received, and we left the museum tired and happy.

We left the museum and started brain storming ways to infiltrate the GIANT crowd headed to the first University of Michigan Football game of the season. We ended up driving around and admiring the mayhem until we found this great drag where everyone was walking down towards the stadium. We drove down it twice blasting music, and the second time I had the guys walk on either side of the van looping and interacting with people. It was rowdy, and silly and fun.

To finish off our day we decided to go back to Genuine Toys. Why? Because we had a ton of fun there! The best part was the sign they had on the door when we got back, check out the pictures! We casually set up again upon arrival and though the evening did not supply much foot traffic, we hung out with the staff again, and I had possibly the best juggling practice since EJC in Spain this summer. Truly awesome.

After a home grilled meal at the Maloney’s we’re now trading tricks, editing vids, and hanging out. Michigan is treating us well. Tomorrow we hit Detroit for a few hours in their Science Center (1-3pm) come join us if you can.

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Day 10 – Good Bye Indiana

Posted in Adventures, Daily Post, Update, Yo-yos, crew on September 5th, 2009 by Emil Lamprecht

Hey guys,

sorry this post goes up a little late. We ended up without internet once we arrived at our new location. But now you’ve been waiting with baited breath for 4 hours while I slept and its twice as exciting! :-p

Anyway, yesterday was our last day in Indianapolis. I can’t thank Takeshi enough for showing us such a great time. Not only do I feel like I learned a lot from him, but it was great to be sleeping in a house instead of a hotel and have someone who knew the area well enough that Nate and I weren’t struggling to find locations, good food, or people. He also taught me a few new tricks, and I’m happy to say I can actually hit them!

I spent the morning working but wrapped up quickly so we could attend our gig from 12-3 at the Indiana State Museum. It was a calm demo, but we were out on the canal boardwalk and would get spurts of 5-10 people every few minutes. In the end we actually spoke to a LOT of people and I was surprised by the end how tired we were from demoing almost constantly for 3 hours. It was also really nice to be outside enjoying the great weather. Overall a pretty great demo! Of course, we were additionally graced by the presence of Lord Buffington himself, and its official folks, his grace will be joining us for Illinois and and Minnesota.

Perhaps the best part of yesterday though was Mary! Mary is the sister of our Czech Republic crew leader, Korda. Both Takeshi and I new her from various time spent in Prague and she’s now studying in Indianapolis for 5 months. It was so great to see her and meet some of her friends. We all caught up over post-demo milkshakes, a definite two-thumbs up.

Demo and milkshakes done, we ran back to Takeshi’s to exchange various files from our time in Indy, wash the bug juice off the van, pack up and then head north to Michigan. We finally got to meet Takeshi’s wife too! Super cool lady who can make a mean late, whoa. In the end, saying goodbye Takeshi was really sad, we had such a good time, and couldn’t leave without taking some farewell pictures. See below.

We’re now at Jake Maloney’s place (awesome house, I slept in a n awesome bed) and prepping for our two gigs today – Genuine Toy Company in Plymouth from 10-12, and then the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum from 1-3. Its a beautiful Saturday so stop on by and show us some Duncan Love!

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