Meet Alex – Reader and Yoyo Artist Extraordinaire
One of the very best things about blogging is the people you “meet”. Most of the time you meet other bloggers, but sometimes a reader reaches out, sends a quick message and you build an email based friendship. It’s really nice and I love that I get to meet people from all over the world who are doing all sorts of interesting things.
So when Alex got in touch a while back ago we discussed project ideas and whatnot I eventually learned that this reader has an amazing talent. He’s great with a yoyo. And while I joked that I had a killer ‘around the world’ it would appear that I didn’t really get what he was saying.
When I saw the video I’m sharing here, I kind of had one of those “oh my goodness” moments where I felt like such an idiot. I’m talking about walking the dog and this guy is a yoyo artist. Seriously watch the video and see what he does and you can scratch your head along with me wondering how he doesn’t just have a big old wad of knots in his hands.
What age were you when you became interested in yo-yoing?
I started yo-yoing when I was a freshman in high school, I was about 16 years old then, it lasted about a week with my friends and everyone brought their old yo-yos to school that they had laying around at home.
When everyone quit and moved on to other things I didn’t stop throwing. I have been yo-yoing since 2005 and it has been a part of who I am since.
How did you learn about competitive yo-yoing? What encouraged you get involved and begin competing?
I first heard about competitive yo-yoing in 2008. Up until that point I spent hours watching low quality youtube videos at home of yo-yo legends and my favorite players while trying to mimic their awesome moves and tricks.
When did you enter your first competition? How often do you get to compete?
I started competing in June of 2009 at the Indiana State Yo-yo Contest. I got last place in my first year, but I loved yo-yoing so much and I pushed myself even further after that first contest. I go every year to Indy States and have just started traveling to other state and regional contests when I have gas money.
I’ve seen that yoyos can cost up to $100! Why are they so expensive and what makes them different from the plastic toy store versions?
Yo-yos today have come a long way from the ‘up and down’ ‘walk the dog’ style of play, they are machined from high grade aluminum and spin a lot longer to do the technical tricks you see at contests. Even though some can be expensive you can still find yo-yo’s that are fun to play with and don’t cost as much.
Does your hobby of yo-yoing ever intersect with crafting?
Yes! Very much so! To me yo-yoing is an art form, from tricks to videos, even painting yo-yos and making them takes a creative process that always sparks my interest, the possibilities are endless.
Any tips for someone interested in learning to get into the more advanced type yo-yoing like you do?
The best advice I can give to someone who wants to pick up yo-yoing is just that. Pick it up, play with it, and have fun, it’s a toy, but with practice you can do some fun things with it! If you want to get into the more modern yo-yoing I would advise starting out with any regular yo-yo that you are use to seeing play with that and then buy one from YoYoExpert to do modern tricks.
Anything you’d like to say about the past, present future series of videos?
The ‘Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow‘ series began in the fall of 2011. I wanted to create a video series in one year intervals to see myself grow not only in my yo-yoing but as a person. I have come a long way since ‘Yesterday’ which was filmed in 2011, ‘Today’ was filmed a year later and it is still probably one of my best yo-yo videos. ‘Tomorrow’ will released in October this year to complete the series.
Anything you’d like to say to the readers of Dream a Little Bigger?
If I had to say anything to the readers of Dream a Little Bigger it would be keep doing what you enjoy most in whatever it is that you enjoy doing! Creativity is a special thing to have, and everyone has it big or small.
If you or someone you know has any questions about yoyos or competitive yoyo-ing, you can hit Alex up via Facebook or Twitter. He’s a super great guy and I have no doubt he’ll help you out in any way he possibly can.
And if you didn’t get enough yoyo video action, check out his yoyo series Meatball Crew where you can watch videos of other talented yoyo-ers!
Thanks again, Alex! Happy Saturday everybody – and as Alex would like to add, Do it Big!!!