07 April 2018
How to go pro?
A meticulous and insightful article, typed by a non-pro.
There's a really good chance that once you've picked up your first kendama, it's likely thanks to watching a professional kendama player (yes, this is actually printed on a name card and resumé), and there's an equally good amount of chance that you want to be as famous as that player is.
So then, the question arises - how do i become a pro kendama player?
You're in luck, as i happen to know how.
Any professional kendama player worth his or her salt will tell you that there are 5 stages - a tried, tested and proven system, commonly called AHURA, on the long road to joining them in the ranks of the elite few.
- The Admiration
- The Hard Work
- The Undying Love
- The Rise
- The Acceptance
1. The Admiration.
Of course, every player starts out by admiring a company, or a professional player, representing a certain company.
And pick a professional player you shall. Follow said person. Follow everything he/she does. And i mean everything. Start an Instagram account called bonzatron_official for example, decorate it with images and videos of Bonz doing tricks, gain many followers and get verified, and reply to comments and messages, as if you are Bonz, take the time to even dismiss people who think the account is fake, and you are not Bonz.
Then, own one used Krom kendama, since you're most likely to be broke when starting out, but be sure to get that particular kendama signed by Bonz (or your favorite professional player), because this is a very important step, since owning a kendama signed by a professional player not only immensely increases it's value, but also your street cred.
At the same time, use your personal Instagram account to comment on every single one of your favorite player's (or players) posts, like every single one of their posts, and even if you get blocked, know that it's a good thing, since you're being noticed by your favorite professional player (isn't that amazing?). Take that as a sign of love, since no one else gets this rare opportunity, but you.
Continue with the conviction that you are the player you set out to be, make yourself noticed, and you will be on your way to the professional life you seek.
2. The Hard Work
In the many, and countless conversations i have had with professional players, this might be the most daunting task of them all - putting the hard work where it counts.
Professional players absolutely love it when you follow them around, and act as mini-extensions to themselves. So follow your favorite professional player, everywhere they go. Go meet them at every single event, buy them some soda pop, stay uncomfortably close to them, ward off other players who are trying to do the same (they're most likely competition), say things like "JAKE WIENS IS MY IDOL/HERO", or "HALEY BISHOFF ACCEPTED MY FRIEND REQUEST ON FACEBOOK, DID YOU KNOW?!?!!?", or "COOPER EDDY'S TIGHTROPE IS BETTER THAN YOUR MOM'S" - statements that will flatter your favorite professional player, in hopes of getting their approval.
If they're home, be home with them, watch TV and play computer games with them, crack open a cold can of Coca-Cola® with them, jam with them, share a bed with them, take their spouse/partner out on a date, and get them flowers or something.
I mean, you need to really embrace their lifestyle; literally step into their shoes and see what life really is like for professional players, in the hopes that you too, can be ready to live the life when your time comes.
3. The Undying Love
This next stage serves as a transition, for when you start to become independent, and begin to build a name for yourself. By now, you'd still have that one, signed kendama that has been through all hell, and just wants to be retired, so it's probably time to start supporting your favorite company (like as though you haven't already), with getting a brand new kendama from them. If you’re confused at which company to support, put up a post on the Facebook Kendama Community asking either Nick or Zack Gallagher about your choices. They'd be happy to answer at an undetermined date.
Take Grain Theory for example, they make pretty nice kendamas, and getting one serves as sort of a status symbol in the kendama world. So arm yourself with your mom's (or dad's) credit card, and wait earnestly and eagerly at 5PM PDT to grab a brand spanking new GT-E5 for $555.55, some tees and a basketball jersey, even though you don't play basketball, or beanies, even though you live in South East Asia, where the weather is upwards of 100ºF (that's 40º+ C in non-retard measurements), because it's not your money or credit card, and most importantly, you really wanna support the company you love, in hopes of becoming a pro for them someday.
So then take a nice snapshot of your purchase order, and put it up on the Facebook Kendama Community, with the phrase "WHO ELSE COPPED?" and let either Jake or Matt Rice notice you in the shadows, as you proclaim your love for the company, and the ability to purchase something from them, and repping them in turn. Wait some few days for your kendama to arrive, and then gloat a little more on social media, and use excessive amounts of hashtags and mentions to attract the attention of company owners and notable figures, even if they have nothing to do with the post at hand.
It's time to move on to the next stage.
4. The Rise
By now, you'd be thinking about why companies are still yet to notice you. You should probably think of several ways to boost your chances to be accepted into the company you love.
One of the most effective and popular solutions available to you, is to improve upon your playstyle and trick vocabulary. You need to discard everything you know about kendama tricks, and start by learning the easy stuff, like juggle taps, tightrope flips, multiple taps, and yanks. Chicks dig yanks. I'm sure you've seen countless comments about juggle taps and such tricks to be "ez", and i am convinced that these tricks are just that.
Don't bother with the basics at all, stilts and bird over valleys are for old people, and Speed Trick B is just childish banter. 12-tap juggle taptaptaptap jugglejugglejubble tap lighthouse insta lighthouse insta bird in, is where the money is at. And a yank at the end of all that. I told you, chicks dig yanks.
Post those tricks on Instagram, and if you're good, add unnecessary clips in front to puff it up and make it look cool, some lens flares (i just paid KUSA $2 for saying "lens flares" twice), some good new age mumble rap, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, multiple slo-mo recaps (no matter how blur), so that you can make your 4-second trick look like a feature length YouTube edit. People love that shit.
And speaking of YouTube, one way to go is to put clickbaity titles to videos like TJ Kolesnik's "100 Yanks in 2 Minutes", or TJ Kolesnik's "2 Tricks With TJ Kolesnik", which is really just one trick with 2 endings. By then, i can assure you that companies will take note.
5. The Acceptance
You've made it this far in the journey. Companies have been endlessly knocking at your figurative and literal door to look for opportunities to get you on their team, buying you fancy dinners at Applebee's with business suits, making you feel like kings and queens. They want you to sign multi-hundred dollar contracts spanning over several years, flying private jets on Economy class, and assigning a manager to you, and also the added bonus of your name being printed on their company card (i'm still not joking, these actually exist), and also supply you with boxes upon boxes of kendamas whenever you so please, and also begging you to design a beautiful kendama, filled with your favorite things, colors, woods and your signature.
The process is now complete. From the lovingly annoying teenager begging for a signature, you have now become the professional face of a company. YOU, are now the one that lovingly annoying teenagers aspire to be. Life is good.
By azleonhart on Apr 6, 2018 at 10:37 PM