Chris Kelly | Wyatt Davis Collab + Interviews!

With the release of a new collab between Chris Kelly & Wyatt Davis, I thought it’d be nice to sit down and chat with the guys to pick their brains about the project and go a bit deeper.  Here’s that chat for your enjoyment.

Chris Kelly
Eugene, OR  –  USA

The video opens with you qualifying 5 poi. I heard you opened your EJC open stage act with 5 poi as well. What’s the significance there? People usually save that type of stuff for a finale. Why change it up?
chris-kelly-picOpen Stage was the crazy experience of my life. Ty Roachford and I both almost didn’t get in! Starting with 5-poi was to get people to really “lean in” and see all of my 3-poi sequences. “Oh, now we see you” If there would have been 5-poi sitting on stage during my whole showcase, they would be expecting it at the end. So instead, I had the stage hands set my 4-poi on the stage, walked out with a different set of 5, flashed them in singles, set them down and started my act. I think that was the most memorable moment for many people who watched it. Mic drop moment.
You seem very focused on toss and manipulation aspects of 3 poi in this video. You were also a pioneer of Superman style, though. Is Superman style dead for you at this point?
chris-kelly-picI just like to do stuff that feels new to me. Juggling/tossing is what currently feels new and most interesting. When I first started 3-poi, superman based patterns were very unexplored. There was so much to be done, it was easy for me to achieve the feeling if innovation and creation. Not to say that I was doing anything first, but I had never seen anyone do it, so it felt new. I would watch videos of Goddard doing tricks that I had also been practicing that same day before seeing the clip… it was crazy! Collective consciousness or something. Once Alvarez started with the Superman it was all over… haha. I also started juggling clubs/balls, which helps immensely for poi juggling.
I do love superman/bounce tricks still though. I just can’t get motivated to practice them.
If I recall correctly, this drop was initially a paid release. Do you feel like that model is the future of your more showcase-y videos like these? And do you consider this release using that model a success?
chris-kelly-picYep it was $1. We had planned to give it away for free, but after we filmed it we decided to see if charging $1 would work. I think I wrote that if we can make enough money for coffee and pizza we will probably do it again. We for sure make coffee and pizza money! It is really difficult to get people to pay for content. Especially with IG, Youtube, and Facebook having so many videos available for free! Even for a full length video(Momentum in 2015), it’s still very difficult to get people to pay. I have considered creating a Patreon account that people can donate to for tutorials and exclusive clips. But that’s a whole project that I currently don’t have time for. I think with time people will be more willing to pay for videos. Like Wes Peden’s “Gumball” seemed like it was quite popular. But that was Gumball…
What’s on your radar right now as far as what’s next? Upcoming projects? Tours? Acts?
chris-kelly-picAs of right now the only festival I am confirmed for is Humboldt Juggling Festival where I will be performing my new act “Static Flaccidity”. Maybe Universal Flow Gathering. I applied for Flowshow SF. I also am applying for Kinetic and Flame for vending, and possibly teaching. but I might just sell tickets for private lessons at the event. Classes with only 5 or so available spots so I can make sure that everyone is getting a hands on lesson. This would also make it much easier for me to financially afford the trip, as I would probably fly to those events, rather than doing the 40 hour drive like the passed 2 years. I really want to go to Poi Con in Russia just for fun. Also if Kiev Fire Festival is happening this year I will making that a priority to attend.
In addition to the Poi skills and making/selling Poi through Things On Strings, you run an annual festival called the Prop Gathering. What can we look forward to on that front for 2018?
chris-kelly-picI actually decided to cancel The Prop Gathering… It was just too much for me to manage. This has been a crazy year, I never understood what people meant when they would say that, but this whole year has been wild. I really felt that I was spreading myself too thin between practicing, Things On Strings, and The Prop Gathering. It just all felt like too much. I want to focus all of my energy on the absolute most important things to me: Practicing and TOS. I’ve got an idea for a poi retreat that I have talked to a few people about, but I’m not getting too serious about it yet. I am also trying to start up a juggling club here in Eugene because the University of Oregon took away our juggling club like 4 years ago and the community has slowly gone into hiding. There are no indoor jams in town. It’s a bummer. But, Lane Community College is way cooler than UO, they are open to having the juggling club there for very little costs of even maybe free! UO is all about money, they are partnered with Nike. Money money money. Maybe they’ll be into it if I show them a video of WJF. HA!

Wyatt Davis
Oakland, CA  –  USA

[Wyatt’s responses weren’t long enough to work with the image-wrapping style seen in Chris’s interview. I tried for 3 hours. I wanted it to look nicer. I’m just not good enough coding. Blame me. -Kai]

With a great eye for composition and timing, and a few full behind-the-camera releases, what’s your motivation been to shift gears towards the world of film in the last few years?

My main motivation is just to make more juggling videos. I love watching videos an I really enjoy the different perspective I can show from behind the camera.

If you could go back to and give yourself tips on videography during the Broom Pusher days, what would they be?

I think one tip would be to switch up angles and not be afraid to try something new. Also color correction is a thing.

What does your dream video rig / setup look like?
Looks kinda like this 😜
Upcoming projects for 2018? Tours? Acts? More video collabs?
 I have one more video project I will be filming this year. I have plans for some other collabs but nothing is set yet. I am also currently making my own act and hopefully touring that next year.
Are you officially in business to make video edits for other artists? If so, how can you be reached for ideas and rates?< /strong> Yes! This is something I am wanting to pursue. Either for promo videos or something more artistic. You can shoot me an email at or find me on Facebook.