(Post Originally written May 2018)
So I did a thing.
Yesterday at the Canadian National Yoyo contest I competed in 2 divisions. I defended my 4a Championship title (and lost to the Amazing Terrance Wang) which was fun. I also caved to peer pressure from my friend and a Canadian yoyo hero and the organizer Wayne Ngan and competed in 1a. I wasn’t going to because a couple years ago I stopped practicing 1a. I still do it and am constantly making up tricks, but I’m not doing the repetitive practice of specific tricks that makes competition work. So I told him I’d do it, but if I make finals I’m not going to take it seriously.
Initially I was just going to do something stupid like get on stage, throw the yoyo and stare intensely at the audience, making uncomfortable eye contact with as many people as possible before the yoyo spun out or the 3 minutes ran out.
I ended up going a little more creative and basically did a half-arsed AP (Art and performance) routine. The idea was basically to take each of the Rain City Skills yoyos and do something ridiculous to match the theme of the yoyo. For the showgirl yoyo I attached the little feather boa that they came with to the string and acted surprised when it unwound, did a couple tricks then wore it around my neck. For the Hipster Highlife I used the beer shop edition. The plan was to stop, pour root beer in it and do a shot before going on to Yoyo. Unfortunatly I forgot the root beer, lol. Finally I pulled out 2 gamers that were stuck together with an elastic band as the soundtrack to Mortal Combat came on and I mimicked playing a video game before taking them apart and playing with one. The routine culminated with me pretending to hit myself in the head and fall to the stage when the “Finish Him” was announced on the soundtrack.
Why did I do this? Beyond just not wanted to do a 3 minute routine this is part of my ongoing frustration with yoyo contests. With a few exceptions they are boring as snot to watch. I stopped actually watching the stage at contests years ago because most of the time its just a person on stage staring at their hands twitching. Occasionally you get a true performer who can make their routine interesting to a point, but the limits of the scoring system don’t reward that enough to make it a priority.
The Mountain Dew cup at the 2018 World Yoyo contest was in part the inspiration for what I refer to as my “stupid yoyo” routine. It was a minor event as part of the contest that was a way to thank their biggest sponsor, Mountain Dew. Anyone could enter. You were given a cheap plastic yoyo that didn’t even have a ball bearing that you had to use. You had 30 seconds to yoyo to this really cheesy pop song that I think was written for the event. Initially it was a challenge of “What can I actually do with this yoyo”. It quickly evolved to “How ridiculous can I get with this yoyo”. The best part was who won. A kid who walked on stage, strutted around, pointed at the sponsor logo on the stage then threw a sleeper while he chugged a bottle of Mountain Dew.
It was fun. It was fun for the players and it was fun for the audience. It was accessible to everyone. I wanted to channel a little of that, give the parents and audience something fun to watch and give the judges a laugh. I think that ended up being the most important part. The judges are the unsung heroes of any yoyo contest. They sit at that table and concentrate hard all day long. I tried it once, it was exhausting and I never want to do it again, so in this act my hats were literally off to them.
The big question now is…should I do the work to turn this concept into a legit AP routine and submit to worlds for 2019? And if so, what do I do with the DUCC? Might be fun for a chuckle.