Posted on Leave a comment

Pop Arts back in stock and an upcoming responsive 5A workshop

Howdy y’all. Just a quick update to say that Pop Arts are back in stock. The Pop Art is a machined delrin yo-yo I designed with the folks at Rain City Skills. I believe it is the first modern responsive yo-yo designed specifically for counterweight play. Most counterweight yo-yos are designed for long sleep times, but this is designed for snappy response and high walls for string stalls.

I’m also teaching a 5A workshop on Saturday July 3rd from 3-4pm PDT for those who want to learn the basics of modern responsive yo-yoing with a counterweight.

If you can’t make it, or just want to get a head start before the livestream, you can watch my ongoing responsive freehand tutorial series on Youtube.

Posted on Leave a comment

Nerdcore, KnifeTank, Beefy, and me

One thousand folks have asked me “Who’s that rapping on your Kickstarter video?“. I produced the beat and hired a death-metal singer to scream on the hooks, but the real star of the song is Beefy, a legendary nerdcore rapper from Kennewick, WA.

Beefy is one of my oldest buddies in the nerdcore rap scene. We’ve made dozens of songs over the years including “Ball Pit”, “Tub of Tobasco“, “Tilt“, and “The Sound“, but our KnifeTank collabs are some of my favorite projects.

Ten years ago, when we were working on a point and stab adventure game called KnifeTank: The Hauntening, I reached out to Beefy to add hist talents to that soundtrack. His verses for the “Crimson Dreams” perfectly captured the silly/scary/metal vibe of the KnifeTank universe. You can check out the full album, which was co-produced by Crashfaster, here or check out the 8bit Betty remix of “Crimson Dreams” here:

https://knifetank.bandcamp.com/track/crimson-dreams-8bit-betty-vs-doctor-popular-vs-crashfaster

Beefy and I still collaborate occasionally. In fact I recently appeared on Beefy’s new song “Tag Team” along with MC Frontalot, ytCracker, Glenn Case, Mikal Khill, and Lil Jordo. That song just went live this morning as part of the Nerdcore VPC 6 challenge coming later today.

Posted on Leave a comment

Linda Sengpiel, the First Lady Of Yo

Linda Sengpiel (1944-2001) was a National Treasure. She is considered the first female yo-yo pro and was a fantastic performer. She was an incredible performer and trick creator and I’m lucky to have been able to meet her early on in my yo-yo career.

i was recently searching for some videos of Linda and came across this broken page on the Found Footage Festival’s site. I reached out to the festival’s organizers and sent me a copy of this wonderful video of Linda Sengpiel doing her thing. Huge thanks to the FFF for archiving this footage and sharing it.

Posted on Leave a comment

Trick Battle: Me VS Ed

This month was 5A May, the time of the year where yo-yoers celebrate the wonders of using a yo-yo with a counterweight attached to the end. I released a special episode of my PopCast yo-yo vlog, a 3D file for a counterweight, and a bunch of videos on Instagram, but I also took part in a “battle” with Ed Haponik on a livestreaming app call Livee.

Ed and I both competed using responsive yo-yos with counterweights attached to them. The crowd voted and I won! It was great to chat with Ed afterwards and I’ve been really stoked to see how quickly he’s learned 5A and carved out his own unique style.

You can watch the video here.

Posted on Leave a comment

Responsive 5A workshop streaming on Livee tomorrow

Word up, y’all. Steve Brown has been working with the folks at Livee, a live-streaming app for iOS, to do a series of 5A workshops all week long. I’ll be teaching a Modern Responsive 5A workshop tomorrow at 5pm PST (8pm EST) and I hope you can make it. If you have the app installed, I believe you can click this link to find the stream.

I’ll try to do a screen recording for later viewing which I may post on Youtube later if it feels like good enough content.

If you can’t make it, or just want to get a headstart, I have a big playlist of Modern Responsive Counterweight tutorials on Youtube. You can watch those here.

Posted on Leave a comment

PopCast #47: Astro Counterweight Style

I’m really excited to finally feature Astro counterweight in this new PopCast video. Astro is a sub-style of counterweight that uses two weights instead of one. One of the weights slides around while the other is tethered to the end of the string.

The goal for Astro was to still be able to do all the normal 5A counterweight tricks, but occasionally throw in a sliding trick to really keep things fresh, but recently a bunch of players have been taking the style and really developing it into it’s own thing. Seeing the work they were doing really motivated me to come back in and share some of the basics I’ve found along the years.

Along with the video, I’ve also released a set of 3D printable Astro designs that you can print out at home. The licensing on these designs is really wide open, so I hope that manufacturers start playing around with them and selling their own versions.

There is a ton of great Astro content going up on Instagram too, so be sure to check #astrocw for tricks and ideas.

Posted on 2 Comments

What yo-yos did Don Pettit bring to space?

An astronaut named Don Pettit brought a couple of yo-yos with him on his trip to the International Space Station in 2012. The resulting video is fantastic!

A few folks recently shared this on a yo-yo messageboard and asked which yo-yos Don was using in zero gravity. I know Don through ORDcamp, so I asked him about his yo-yo arsenal. Here’s his reply:

I brought a number of Yo’s to ISS, most of them Kuhns; Silver Bullet II, Roller Woody, Pocket Rocket, Tom Cat, and YoYo Factory DNA. I took one of my TomCats and reworked the innards on my lathe and made it into a non-responsive with a 10-drop bearing. I made hubstacks and then had it anodized at a local shop that developed a color called “NASA Gold” that is used on Robonaut and our lunar rover prototypes. It is a deep gold hue that I really like. The DNA came with hubstacks, is non-responsive, and came anodized yellow.

For zero gravity use, hubstacks are critical to get an in initial fast spin so that subsequent tricks can be done, all in slow motion. Obtaining a fast spin through simple throw is difficult and yields a nearly uncontrollable yo.

-Don Pettit via email on 4/6/2021

Don is a rad guy and I hope to have him on an episode of my PopCast Yo-Yo Vlog sometime. Once this COVID situation is under control, I’m hoping visit Don in Texas and take him up on his NASA tour. So stay tuned.

Posted on Leave a comment

PopCast Yo-Yo Vlog #45: Rick, Mark, and Coffin

This 45th episode of the PopCast Yo-Yo Vlog is a special one. It’s a chat with three yo-yo legends: Rick Wyatt, Mark Montgomery, and Coffin Nachtmahr. So sit back for a special hour long conversation with these influential yo-yoers. We talk about how they got into yo-yoing, their predictions for the future, the state of diversity in yo-yoing, and much more.

About the guests:

  • Rick Wyatt was a yo-yo pro during the big yo-yo boom in 1998. At one time he set a world “sleep” record of 13 minutes 5 seconds.
  • Mark Montgomery (aka Markmont.) has been a pro for most of the big yo-yo companies. Now mark has his own brand of yo-yos, string, skilltoys, and coffee. You can find his shop at https://www.markmont.shop/ or find him as @markmont on most social media sites including https://www.instagram.com/markmont/ and https://www.facebook.com/markmont
  • Coffin Nachtmahr is the founder of OhYesYo!, a yo-yo and art company. http://ohyesyo.com/ https://www.instagram.com/theohyesyo/
  • Doc Pop is a yo-yo pro, vlogger, and a recipient of the National Trick Innovator of the Year award. He sells yo-yos on http://doctorpopular.com/ and you can support this PopCast vlog on https://www.patreon.com/docpop
Posted on Leave a comment

Lessons learned from a slightly viral TikTok user

YouTube is where I go to see yo-yo clip videos and vlogs. Instagram is where I go to see people showing off their newest yo-yo tricks. So what would I use TikTok for?

That’s what I was asking myself when I first signed up for TikTok last year. The first videos I posted were basically just taller versions of what I’d post on Instagram. Then it suddenly clicked with me, TikTok is a great place to share yo-yo videos that tell a story. Here’s an example (TikTok link/YouTube link):

@doctorpopular

“Show me something cool” #yoyo #yoyotricks #funny #comedy

♬ original sound – Doc Pop

In this video I got to show off some of my favorite tricks, while literally telling a story. I lucked out with this video and it ended up getting in front of many users. Most of my TikTok videos at this point had less than 200 views, but this one has reached around 127,000. With nearly 25,000 likes and 400 comments. That’s a pretty high conversion rate. Plus I don’t think there’s a single negative comment there, which is unheard of. I mean, if I post a youtube video that gets 100 views and 3 comments, 1 of those comments is guaranteed to be something awful.

Despite the one video doing well, it didn’t bring a lot of new followers my way, but it did at a small increase to the views on some of my other videos and it encouraged me to keep exploring more narrative trick videos, like this melancholy video about one of my all time favorite tricks (TikTok link/YouTube link)

@doctorpopular

Why did I give it such a terrible name? #yoyo #yoyotricks #slowmotion #comedy #funny

♬ original sound – Doc Pop

Although “Pony Farts” 99% less popular than “Do something cool”, I’m still really proud of it. Believe it or not, I hired a composer to create the original score AND a sound engineer to mix and master my narration with the music.

I’ve heard from several people who finally learned this trick thanks to this video. But “narrative trick video” doesn’t specifically have to be a skit or short film. You can use TikTok replies as a centerpiece for your story (TikTok link/YouTube link)

@doctorpopular

Reply to @yellowcum1 does this count? #yoyo #yoyotricks

♬ original sound – Doc Pop

Or you can try to be educational (TikTok link/YouTube link)

@doctorpopular

Quick Tips: How to Make a Heart #yoyo #yoyotricks #valentinesday #valentinesday2020

♬ Valentines Day – Romantic Dinner Party Music With Relaxing Instrumental Piano

I think the key is to keep trying new things and see what works. Don’t just share your Instagram videos to TikTok. Keep your video short and entertaining, get to the point quickly, consistently release videos, and try to keep your eye on other TikTok-ers to get some ideas and play off of memes. That’s how I ended up making this highly relatable bit of content (TikTok link/YouTube link)

@doctorpopular

Tiktok is hard, y’all! yoyo

♬ original sound – Doc Pop

I have a ton more videos on TikTok that you might get a kick out of, but most of my favorites get posted on my YouTube page as well. If you join TikTok and are looking for some other creators to follow, I’d recommend:

@doctorpopular

22 years of yo-yoing. Here is how my 🪀 tricks have evolved over the years. #yoyo #yoyotricks

♬ Up Down (Do This All Day) (feat. B.o.B) – T-Pain

Should you join TikTok? I don’t know, maybe? I like how the platform has encouraged me to get more creative with my content. At the moment it’s a very positive and exciting place, but it still has it’s downsides. The app sucks. Most folks still prefer other media (did you click the youtube links or the TikTok links?). Many platforms still don’t support TikTok video yet.

I’m not trying to give you a hard sell on adding another social media platform to your list, but I will say it’s worth experimenting with now because I think the lessons I’m learning on TikTok can easily be applied to other media as well. I’ve been on the platform for two months now and I’ve steadily grown up to 1,000 followers (compared to 15k on IG, 2.5k on YT, and 8.6k on Twitter). One more note, some of the videos I created for TikTok did far better on IG or Twitter, than they did on TT. Sometimes it just seems like dumb luck, so you might as well increase your odds by making more content and sharing it more places.

Follow me on TikTok