Will Young always amazes us with his handstick releases and manipulation. It's time to watch his video again!
Name: Will Young
Nationality: United States
Place you are living: Plumtree, NC
Your job: I went to college at Appalachian State University and graduated with a degree in commercial recreation & tourism with a minor in business. I work with my family as the GM of our mountain resort. I am also the head brewer for our nano-brewery operations at Blind Squirrel Brewery.
How many years have you been juggling with devilsticks?
Nearly 19 years at this point.
Number of devilsticks you have: 10-12 sets
What other juggling equipments do you play with?
I got started with yo-yo's around the age of 8 and then toss juggling around age 10. After that I kept adding new props and now spin poi & staff, contact juggle, unicycle, and love to mess around with other balance tricks as well. My friend Michael Glenn created a prop called a Zenowbe which is a grooved staff that you can roll a sphere on. This was the hardest prop I learned to play with and one of the most rewarding. I think one of the things about object manipulation that has always intrigued me is the fact that any object can easily become a prop. Any given day you will see me manipulate at least a dozen items whether it's chest rolling a bowl while working in the kitchen, or chin balancing a hammer while working on a construction project.
Are you member of any team/group/club/association?
The community I live in is rural and I typically work at least 60 hours a week making it quite difficult to get away to the neighboring cities of Asheville or Boone to meet with any clubs. Every once in a while I am able to get a small group of friends together to play.
Please write some sentences of yourself in general:
When my family started our project here in Plumtree I was only 12 years old. We moved from Greenville SC when I was 15 after working on weekends in the mountains for 3 years. After graduating high school I went to Appalachian State where I would have most likely moved into the performance arts arena if not for our family business. I met my wife Edie shortly before graduating college and I had a choice to make in regards to my future and realized that I could still have my juggling and work for the family. I have been in Plumtree since then and plan to be here for the rest of my life. I don't get to juggle as much as I would like, but feel that it is something I will always do. Juggling does not define who I am, but like all of the experience and skills we attain in life, it has shaped me to become who I am.
Where did you first meet with devilsticks?
I first saw sticks at a trade show for the outdoor recreation field. I was inspired to learn more and was quickly on my way to become one of the more skillful players in the US.
Where did you learn playing with devilsticks?
I took my sticks with me everywhere I went for the first 3 years of play. I have moved in and out of play with various props since I began manipulating at the age of 8.
Which trick did you find the most difficult to learn?
I would say that some of the most difficult doubles transfers (complete transfer of control stick and baton to the alternate hand) were the toughest. There is so much going on there that some cannot even see what is happening. This can be frustrating for technical jugglers as the less difficult maneuvers can be more dazzling for spectators..
What are you practicing at the moments?
At the moment I am practicing being a better husband and father. Life is a "juggling act". I am not in an expansion phase in my juggling right now. I am in more of a "holding pattern" so to speak.
Do you have tricks that you invented?
I have invented numerous tricks. I am most well known among my juggling friends for control stick releases and manipulation. My love of various props created a desire to combine these disciplines in such a way that my style comes forward in a similar way no matter what prop I am playing with.
What are your favorite tricks?
My favorite tricks are the new ones that you stumble upon by accident and go WOW, now I have to learn to do that on purpose!
What is the most difficult trick that you would like to learn?
I am still trying to get good at manipulating 3 batons. It's a real head trip.
In what style do you play and what other styles do you like?
I really don't know how to define my style as it is a compilation of so many pieces of other peoples style and bits of my own. I always love to see others play and observe things that I didn't think of.
Do you play with firesticks as well?
I love fire props and own many. There is something primal about fire play that will always be appealing for me.
What do you do on a normal day, how many hours do you practice?
In the peak of my practice during college years I would play around 5 hours a day between 6 or 7 disciplines. These days I play 2-4 hours a week if I am lucky. I am a full time business owner, father, and husband. These things have taken priority in my life now, but I do look forward to a time when I can play more. I am also an avid disc golfer and try to get a round in once a week. We have two private courses on our property that I have access to right out of my front door.
Do you perform with devilsticks?
Not anymore. I used to do about 6 gigs a years for various venues.
Do you teach juggling?
I am willing to teach juggling to anyone willing to learn.
Why do you like devilsticks?
I like sticks for the same reason I like all object manipulation. I have always been fascinated with the movement of objects through space and the recurring patterns within all of them that resonate a deeper understanding of life and the world around us. This is a truth for me personally.
What kind of devilsticks do you prefer to use?
I prefer flower sticks because of the slower flowing play vs. true devil sticks that give a faster/choppier style.
How is juggling life in the USA? Are devilsticks popular?
Juggling in the US moves through fad stages, but there is always a core of die hard jugglers that exist. If you are looking for people with similar juggling interest they can always be found with a little searching.
Tell us a funny story related with devilsticks.
There was the one time, at bandcamp. Just Kidding! (hint to the movie "American Pie")
What is your goal related with devilsticks? What is a challenge for you?
At this point in my life, my goal is to have fun. When I started juggling I think I had a severe case of middle child syndrome. Look at me! See what I can do! As I progressed in life and in juggling, this drifted away. One of my good friends Adam Dipert taught me great things in juggling but even greater things in life. Thanks Adam!
How do you imagine yourself when you are old? Will you still juggle?
I will juggle as long as my body and mind allow me to.
Can you imagine not juggling devilsticks any more?
Why would I want to even try?
Who do you recommend devilsticks for?
What do you advice to beginner/advanced devilstick players?
Remember that there are not any rules and that the goal should be to have fun. The first week or two might be a little frustrating at times. If the frustration is greater than the fun, set them down and come back later. Learn at your own rate but still try to push yourself. Close your eyes and imagine something cool to do with the sticks. Now do it!