● Where are you from and describe where you grew up?
So I am from Bloomington Minnesota. This big suburb had many of my close friends growing up, and living about a mile from the sweets shop definitely helped my progression
● Where are you currently living?
I currently live in Minneapolis Minnesota attending the University of Minnesota studying Communication Studies! Fun fact when I moved to Minneapolis in 2017 from Bloomington, Sweets moved with me from Bloomington as they found a warehouse in Minneapolis. So I just cannot escape Sweets.
● When were you first introduced to kendama?
I was first introduced to Kendama by a good friend Luke Leetch. He brought it into my science class almost everyday in freshman year of high school and I thought it was silly. Little did I know when I picked it up it would alter my trajectory in life.
● How were you introduced to Sweets?
I was introduced to Sweets by going to Ken club every Saturday. This guy Sal ran the retail and thought of hosting a ken club to have kids come from all over to progress their skills. Luke and I made it a plan to go to every single kenclub, and continued for quite some time. After quite some time of just going to kenclub every week Sweets hosted the +1 kendama contest and it has been history from there!!
● What players did you look up to / inspired you at the beginning and now?
One player that has always inspired me from the beginning to now is Cooper Eddy, as he has upgraded his film game and his technical creative tricks. He is definitely a player I look up to in most regards
● Who are your current favorite players?
Hahah this list is going to be SO long if I name all of them. The entire sweets team are some of my closest friends and favorite players! Carer Justice for sure as he has always supported my endeavours and dama play. Teodore Fiorina, Markus Lander, Luke Leetch, the ENTIRE Minneapolis squad! Those are some of the big ones!
● Favorite competition?
NAKO and KWC hands down. NAKO is always fun for everyone is there and I don’t have to pay for traveling since I can practically walk to the shop. KWC has the best style of competition in my opinion and it’s in flippen JAPAN like the best place ever.
● What's your favorite style of play?
Casual, the grind for a banger, freestyle, competition? GRIND for a banger!! I mean that’s what I am known for haha but that and casual play where I am just chillin with the homies. If I am going to film it HAS to be a banger/technical/creative trick.
● What trick was the most satisfying grind? / took the longest to lace and film?
Oh definitely my around the border flip in 2015, that arguably got my spot on the team. I remember making it to the second round and KNEW I had to go for a trick that would blow peoples minds. I was messing around with border and thought that I could maybe do around the border flip. So I set my camera up and tried. Probably took me close to 15 hours to lace, but was worth it in the end of things as it got me on the team.
● Favorite edits?
Favorite edits are definitely the 2017 pro videos for Sweets. The new Josh Grove Pro edit, so so so so good Coop’s room Teo Pro video Skol Sol Vibe edit by Carter Colin Sander practicing dama
● Favorite wood type?
Maple!! It is a heavier wood and I like my damas heavy and also the sound is unmatched.
● Cushion or sticky clear?
Depends on the specific dama and what I am in the mood for! Some cushion has a little too much grip for lighthouse/juggle tricks but on the other hand sticky clear might be a little slippery for the lunars. It really depends on the dama, but I think I prefer sticky clear but not by much.
● How many kendamas do you own?
Oh wow um I definitely own like 150 or so. There is a big box of them in my closet. I would give them away but they are all absolutely SESHED, for those who really know me I absolutely destroy all damas until they are unplayable.
● What has been your favorite kendama trip?
KWC 2017, I went the previous year but only a week, this year I went for 2 whole weeks with some of my closest friends. We went to Tokyo and then Osaka and it was truly unforgettable. If you can and have the money to go to KWC, please go! It is truly an amazing experience that I suggest to absolutely EVERYONE.
● Bad habits?
Oh I definitely leave my dishes out in random places and it’s a GNARLY habit that I gotta kick. Haha it’s not out of control but I will leave a glass somewhere forever. When I am at events I like to try peoples kendamas but I accidently walk off with them, completely forgetting that I have their dama. Oh and I def have a ton of ideas for things but I just don't follow through.
● Where do you want to go with kendama?
I would love to spread the love that I have found to others. In terms of travel I would love to go to Europe and explore the scene there as I have been to the birthplace of Kendama (Japan) and the hub of Kendama (USA).
● What are some of your other passions besides kendama?
My biggest passion outside of Kendama would be photography. I have really started enjoying taking photos of people and subjects, and have landed a gig as a photojournalist for the University of Minnesota newspaper the MN Daily with my photography skills. I hope to transfer these skills into a real job.