Perfomance and audience interaction

Whats people’s thought on ways to improve the way yoyo comes across as a performance art? How do you get the crowd involved?

Im new(ish) to the yoyo world, but not being on stage performing.
here is my thoughts on the matter. just my humble opinion mind you…
Take the speed and tech away. Replace with smooth flowy easy to follow sequences. Smile alot, look around, make it look SO easy that it look like you dont even have to think about what your doing. Flashy things like boingy boing, eli hops, gondola, a few towers. These, while not complex or advanced really, are tricky enough for a non yoyoer to know your skilled, having fun, and hopfully inspire them to do it too!
If a muggle sees a speed run, there is no hope of keeping up, its all a blur to them, after a very short time they will lose interest knowing that the are unable to keep up or comprehend whats going on and will move on to something else. Sure they know the player is skilled but I doubt that the inspiration of a muggle thinking to themselves “hmmm maybe I can do that!” is very high when the player was simply moving too fast. Frantic, looking rushed, jerky movements, very robotic. nah.
Find the flow, follow the rythem, play into the music. Have a routine DIALED. Have basic choreography and make the run the same every time you practice it. Dont start over if you mess up, but just hit the next cue on point. Drill it so hard that it becomes second nature.
Make it fun for them by letting them know that YOU know they are there (via eye contact). Sunglasses look cool and all but are very uninviting and can create a severed feeling of performer and viewer.
Move around. Use the whole stage. Dont be afraid to milk it and gesture for applause from time to time. They eat that kinda stuff up.

^^^^^What Dust just said and one more very important thing>

ALWAYS…use music that you feel the Audience will enjoy.

DO NOT… use music that is so bad that the Audience will Hate you!

I don’t go to Yoyo Contests year round like others(wish I had the time) but I have gone to Contests since 1998.

And one thing I always dread(seriously) is knowing that more than half of All contestants, use really horrible music.

Remember when on stage; your primary missions are to impress judges and entertain those taking the time to ‘watch’ your performance.

It is not an attempt to show the crowd that no matter how terrible your music selection is; that they have to suffer through it because you are so good that ear torture is a free part of the Show.

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I’ve done a yoyo demo for a kindergarten class. I wanted to show them some of the harder tricks I knew at the time (my best was Kwijibo mind you) but kept a lot of it simpler, did a few flashy things that they most likely haven’t seen like Boingy, Gondola, Eli Hops, Boomerang, and Matrix. The one that blew their mind (and seems to blow any of the general public’s mind to this day) is a Gyroscopic flop.

While it’s fun to throw in some intricate things in (and I would encourage some), I would rather show them ones that look kind of flashy, keep them short and sweet, something that looks flowy and “pleasing to the eye.”

A good audience interaction trick is “Magic Trick” where you could get the audience to count down before you finish out the trick with the disappearing tangle of strings when you clap your hands.

This is the trick I speak of.

I’ve done a few performances (speeches and a talent show) in front of people (12 times?) but have never competed. These are things I have found that people like:
-behind the back
-A little bit of hardcore speed combos
-slacks/ whips (revolutions works well)
-cool binds
-Eli hops
-boingy boing
-Paul kerbels p.a.o.b.r.s

I have two more speeches coming up in a week and a half :wink:


What a coincidence that you used Ann Connolly as your example because I think that she has the best stage presence of all the yoyoers I’ve watched. When she’s performing in a contest she uses her whole body, she dances with the yoyo. I love her sense of style and flow.