If you chart the frequency of commonly asked questions you see on yo-yo boards, near the top of the list is “Who is your Favorite YoYoer.” 9 times out of 10, you will see Guy Wright on the list of answers. This mystery man has almost no online presence, but is known by so many and adored by yo-yo fanboys world wide. It was by lucky coincidence that I got in contact with Elliot Jackson. After forcing him to watch “Can’t Hardly Wait” and “Legally Blond 2” (My wife’s, I swear) with only a box of Shasta Orange Soda to sustain himself, he finally cracked and told me where to leave the X Symbol to get in contact with the elusive Guy Wright. I finally drew him out with a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and asked him a few questions. For your reading pleasure, here is the Guy Wright YoYoSkills.com Interview.
Chris: A lot of people have been clamoring to ask you a few questions, Thank you so much for sitting down with me.
Guy: No problem
Chris: First off, lets start how you got started. What got you into YoYoing?
Guy: It was about August of 2005 and kind of like a “One Random Afternoon” thing. I was hanging out at my house and I was working at a child store, and one of my other buddies that worked with me got a hold of the Duncan Viking Tour Promotional DVD.
Chris: So it was the Duncan Viking Tour DVD then?
Guy: Yeah, I think it was sent to our toy store because we carried a few Duncan’s. My buddy Mike said, “Oh man, you gotta see this crazy Yo-Yo stuff on this DVD” So I was like “Meh, I know what yoyo-ing is, I’m cool”. But he basically hassled me until I would watch it. It was Steve Brown doing 5a, and after about a minute into Steve’s segment, I was like “Yup, This is what I am going to do. I can do that. ” Later that afternoon I went to Target and picked up some FH2’s in the clearance bin for a few bucks, and used that promo dvd until I got it down.
Chris: So you Started with 5a then?
Guy: Yeah, I would watch Steve Brown and try to imitate that movement. Day after day I would hit the demo and FH2 and that’s how I got started. Bee Stings, Reverse Bee Stings, E-fans, and that stuff. Didn’t know anything about response systems so I started noticing how Steve would do a bind after ever trick, so one my stickers wore out, I learned that.
Chris: Guy Wright, birthed unknowingly by Duncan!
Guy: Yeah, my first yo-yo was an Orange Fh2 with the weight rings.
Chris: So 1a? How did you transition over?
Guy: When I ran out of tricks on the Demo that I could do, I went online and found the Worlds Trick Ladder webpage. I saw Iron Whip, and I pretty much became obsessed with slack tricks. Suicides and Slack Tricks really made me drool. Steve did this thing on the Viking Tour DVD where he hit a suicide on his pinkie while doing Rock Devil horns. It sold me. I was determined to be as cool as that.
Chris: How did that go?
Guy: It was an experience. Suicides were painful on a responsive yo-yo, knuckle bashing but yeah, the other reason I moved to 1a was because I was looking for a higher quality yo-yo. I found H-Spins website with video’s of Doctor Popular and Takeshi, and seeing “Thumb Grinds are Easy” and totally fell in love with grinds. I swore I could do anything if I could get grinds down. I was determined on a G&E2 but could not find one. I was determined to buy an H-Spin because Doc Pop and Takeshi used them and they could thumb grind and that is what I wanted to learn. The Pyro was coming so I pre-ordered it on the H-Spin website.
Chris: How was that transition from a 3 dollar clearance yo-yo to a $100 dollar yo-yo?
Guy: It wasn’t a big deal. I had a job and not really any bills, and I was convinced that I needed this yo-yo to do the tricks I was seeing. I also thought that was the only yo-yo I would ever need. I actually ended up buying two, just cause it had the serial numbers I wanted. I still have them.
It was a totally different experience using the Pryo. It was so big, heavy, and aggressive but I just started learning every slack trick I could find online. Any whip I could do, I was addicted. All day, every day, getting in trouble at work.
Chris: But it was a toy store right?
Guy: Yeah, and I tried that line, but they wanted me to be filling stock and pricing stuff, not staring at my hands all day… (laughs)
Chris: Well, these days, now that you are beyond your first metal, what do you look for in a yo-yo?
Guy: Pretty much, well, I fall into a category of people who get something new, love it, obsess over it, but then try something else and have to have it. I was kinda wishy washy, but what I look for right now is a floaty yo-yo that focuses more on smoothness than speed.
Chris: So a heavier floaty throw then?
Guy: Yeah, there was time where I saw Augie Fash’s freestyle at Nationals 05 when he was going blisteringly fast, and decided that all I wanted to do was go fast, but then I saw a few videos where people were going super slow but super stylish and fell in love with that so I am kinda all over. I love with the Peak because it had so much personality. You had to work with it to make it do what you want, and it was so floaty and had so much personality.
Chris: Do you rotate the yo-yos in your collection depending on mood?
Guy: Yeah, definitely. I eave a “Work yo-yo” and an “Always in my pocket yo-yo” but definitely on weekends I have “Hang out and have Fun” yo-yo. I love the PGM for that, just walking around and having fun. Something less serious then a metal in my pocket all the time.
Chris: What about Yo-Yo String? Have a preference?
Guy: I was all about the Brazilian Mondo string, and used them for a log time, but whenever I switch to another sting I love it. Over all, Yellow Highlights are what I use because they are the right feel and color and the price is right. I am a Yellow Highlight man right now.
Chris: What inspires your tricks, and how do you think that your tricks have grown?
Guy: I feel like I am rounding off my style a lot more recently. When I look back at my old video’s, I think I am choppy and always pick up stuff that I don’t like where I was forcing a whip or a suicide into a trick that didn’t need it. I feel like my older video’s don’t really have a style…
Chris: Older video’s, like, “The Letter Blue?” which is basically the Academy Award winning trick vid floating around right now?
Guy: (laughs) It is so funny that everyone flipped out over that video because when it comes to my own style I don’t think I am very good at all and I hate watching my videos because I pick it apart and am worried that everyone is seeing it the same way I am picking up little misses or slights. I am really hard on myself when it comes to my own style, but I feel that I am getting much more consistent working my personality into tricks. I never feel like I can legitimately take credit for a trick since there are so many vids that inspire me.
Chris: So you ARE online then. Guy Wright, such a well known name, seems to have very little online presence…
Guy: (laughs) I think that mystery works for me. I have this reclusive edge that works. (laughs) No, I am shy. I still feel new to it and everyone is so serious about how things should be, that I don’t feel like I can really add anything. So many people have been doing this forever, so I fell like I can only really add a random comment or a video.
Chris: Well, it must be working, because whenever people list there favorite yo-yoers, Guy Wright is on the list..
Guy: Yeah, that is like the biggest ego booster for me. (laughs) Whenever I am down I will go to YoYoNation and search my name. “Hey Look, People like me” (laughs) I have this minor fear in the back of my mind though that one day everyone will realize that I suck and will communally say “Wait a Minute! He doesn’t know what he is doing! He has been fooling us this whole time!”
Chris: When inventing a new trick, what do you go through?
Guy: I have been doing a lot of repeating tricks lately. I spent a lot of time at Worlds watching Sid yo-yo, and he just looks like he is having so much fun doing what he is doing had all his tricks have this “Sid” style to them. When I come up with new tricks, I try hard to have a consistent style to them that is really my own kinda like Sid does. I want to stay Guy Wright, but “New”. The most important thing I try to do is be enough like myself so that when I come up with a new trick, it has a Guy Wright feel to it. I just want to be true to myself.
Chris: Do you find yourself favoring a specific kind of mount?
Guy: Not really, I mainly just try to force myself to try something different from the end of a trick. I’ll watch other peoples video’s and just try to figure out why something wow’ed me and try to replicate that same feeling.
Chris: What goes through your head as you watch video’s where yoyoers are doing your tricks?
Guy: Ultimate Flattery. (laughs) I feel that my tricks are not that great so when I see people do my tricks it always takes me by surprise. Like when Wonderland came out, people would ask me to do Wonderland and I would be like “What, that old thing? Really?”
Chris: Any chance we will see you compete in the future?
Guy: I don’t really have anything against competing, and I’ll go to a contest with the intention to compete, but I have so much fun hanging out and just trick swapping that I don’t want to stress out or HAVE to practice. I competed at a state division a few times, and it was so tense that I got 21’st and, bleh. I competed again this last year at the state contest and just messed around and got 4th, so that was interesting. Really, I just want to hang out. I want to have fun, not work. Once you start “needing” to win, you lose some fun, and it becomes something you have to do, and I always hate that. I would rather just have fun, and express myself, being happy, playing with a toy.
Chris: Is that why you chose Spyy?
Guy: Yeah, It is funny because I mainly used YoYoFactory yoyos for a long time. The Aqua Blue 888 was my go to yo-yo for a long time. I wanted to be sponsored and be on a team, but I needed a team that I felt like I fit. When Spyy got JonRob and Ed, and then invited me, I felt completely at home. Jon is so smooth and stylish, and Ed’s yo-yoing just makes me so happy. Steve from Spyy emailed me and my jaw hit the floor, the feeling of the team was so great, and I love Spyy’s yo-yo’s so it was such a perfect fit. It was the perfect fit for my style and I think my style fits into the team perfectly.
Chris: I remember reporting on Spyy picking you up. It was like Spyy got the Number One Draft Pick!
Guy: Well it has been a perfect fit for me, JonRob is the ultimate 5a personality, Ed is Responsive to the core, and I think I fill the 1a slot nicely. The feeling of the four of us hanging out at Worlds, it was like finding my home.
Chris: How did the Punchline come along?
Guy: I gave Steve a list of things I wanted. I wanted a bigger, rounder yo-yo that didn’t look so aggressive. Bubbly, rounded off, bigger profile but not too heavy. That and Large Bearing and Silicone. Steve pretty much delivered, and man, I love my Punchline. I saw the CAD yo-yo, and knew immediately that this was the yo-yo I had to have. I think I sat there and just stared at the computer screen image for like 20 minutes. It is so floaty and light, I am so happy with it.
Chris: When is it coming?
Guy: Soon, I think soon. I think we are doing a really light silver with Pad printing. I am hoping for the symbol to be a small black bow tie. I am a sucker for subtly.
Chris: Where did the name Punchline come from?
Guy: I have a tattoo that says “I told myself a joke and didn’t remember the punchline” so that is kinda where it comes from.
Chris: This is a little strange, but I received got a lot of questions concerning your hand size…
Guy: (laughs) Let me put it this way, I am a tall guy (6’4”) and I have never met another guy with hands like mine. I have this running joke with Elliot that I should make tricks that only enormous hands like me can do.
Chris: What do you see coming in the future of yo-yoing?
Guy: I have no idea. A few years ago, I thought tricks have peaked, but now we are at a whole new level.
Chris: Do you hope the industry swells like it did in 98/99, or do you hope that it stays how it is?
Guy: It would be nice to see more people yo-yoing, I am just hoping that it sustains. I am definitely down for some mainstream yo-yoing. More people starting also means that more people will like my tricks and not know that I really have no idea what I am doing (laughs)
Chris: A lot of people are Guy Wright fans, but who is Guy Wright a Fan of?
Guy: A lot of people. Danny Severance is one of the most underrated throwers, but he is so good and has so much personality in his tricks that if I saw just his hands , I could tell it was him. He just has this one set flavor permeated his tricks that you can just tell that a trick was a Danny trick.
I love Sid and Takeshi and Jenson. Jenson just slays me, His speed and Ping Pong style just is amazing. John Higby is probably the most awesome person that I have ever yo-yo’ed with. YoYoing with him was such an experience.
Jake Bullock’s video’s kill me. I don’t know how anyone can like my stuff with him yo-yoing. I taught Elliot Jackson how to yo-yo, but he created his own style and he floors me all the time.
Tyler Severence and Jon Rob are just pure style and blow my mind whenever I see them yo-yo. I just wish I could capture JonRob’s confidence when he yo-yo’s, it is so pure and his style is over the top natural.
Chris: About how long do you yo-yo every day?
Guy: Well, I still work at the Toy Store, so I get a good number of hours in each day. If I get the right atmosphere, I’ll put my iPod on and listen to Ratatat or the Beatles, or pretty much any happy music. I like upbeat happy music like OK Go or Death Cab for Cutie. If I get into a groove, I can yo-yo for hours with a few coffee breaks. I have a guilty pleasure listening to Regina Spektor “Cute Girl” music. I don’t know why it works for me but it does.
Chris: Last question, and probably the most important. In a fight between Ed Haponik and Jon Rob, who do you think would win and why?
Guy: I think that Jon would come on strong, but Ed has those kids who tackle yoyoers, so I think I have to give it to Ed on this one because he has Hard Core backup.
Thanks Guy, and thank you to the readers who submitted questions.