[2014 World Yo-Yo Contest Champion Interview]
2014 WYYC Women’s Division Champion Tessa Piccillo (YoYoJam)
Q1. When did you start playing yo-yo?
I started yo-yoing in the summer of 2009.
Q2. Why did you start playing yo-yo?
I started yo-yoing with my dad’s Yomega Brain (he has had it forever) just on the way to school every day. Then in the summer, my dad got really sick so whenever I would visit him in the hospital I would try to learn a new trick beforehand so I could show him. I started watching yo-yo tutorials on YouTube and then went to my first contest.
Q3. Who are some of the yo-yo players you respect/admire/look up to?
Here are just some of the people who have either helped me with yo-yoing or are some of my favorite players: Grant Johnson, Joseph Harris, Eric Koloski, Ben Conde, Hiroyuki Suzuki, Christopher Chia, Tal Mordoch.
Q4. What made you choose 1A as your main style?
1A is usually the style people start out with, so I was hooked on it pretty quickly. I really love coming up with long tricks and it doesn’t get old.
Q5. How do you usually practice (where, who with, etc.)?
I usually practice in my backyard either with headphones in or I bring a speaker out. I always yo-yo to music, even when I’m just practicing tricks. If I get the chance, I’ll practice with other yo-yoers, like if I can make it to a club near me or right before a contest when everyone’s hanging out.
Q6. How does that change when you are preparing for different types of contests?
I usually practice at least an hour a day, but if a contest is coming up then I’ll be practicing for a few hours. For a contest like Worlds, I try to start practicing months in advance.
Q7. What is the best part of yo-yoing, in your opinion?
Everything about yo-yoing is awesome, but the best part about it in my opinion is the community and all the people. Also all of the opportunities I’ve gotten through yo-yoing, like traveling, performing at events, and teaching people. But the thing I look forward to most when preparing for a contest/yo-yo related event is meeting a bunch of awesome new people and hanging out with friends I’ve gotten close to because of yo-yos.
Q8. Do you have any good stories from before you won last year that you want to share with us?
There was some weird stuff that happened in Prague before I performed but I won’t talk about that.
Q9. How did you feel when you won last year?
I was pretty excited, I was happy with my routine and happy that I hit it clean for the most part. I had such a good time meeting/competing with all the girls.
Q10. Is there anything that changed for you after becoming winning?
Ever since I won, it has only made me practice harder and stay more focused. Also I was surprised to see how much media attention I got locally. That was pretty cool.
Q11. How do you feel going into this year’s World Yo-Yo Contest?
I’m so excited to compete again, it was so much fun last year. I always look forward to seeing everyone and watching all the finalists. I’ve been practicing a lot, and I can’t wait to visit Tokyo.
Many thanks to Tessa Piccillo! We wish her the best of luck at WYYC2015.