Entries tagged with “WI-State-Fair”.

I have reached a new plateau in my semi-fame. This is even better than when a kid put my photo on his birthday cake.  I got a facebook message and a photo text telling me about it last night.  My buddies Takeshi, Jack Ringca, and Drew Tetz are on the road right now with the Duncan Heritage Tour and yesterday a kid showed up to their demo in Brookfield WI in his Halloween costume, dressed as me.  Fake glasses, cool-guy shirt, hat, and a markered-in soul-patch beard to boot.  Just to make sure everyone knew who he was, he was wearing my current trading card like a name tag.  Awesome.  I am so honored.

He saw me at the Wisconsin State Fair this summer, and has gotten really into yo-yos lately.  Apparently I gave him a trading card at the fair.  Here is the photo he was working from:

The back of my new trading card:

and here is the front:

It was a little cooler yesterday so my audiences were a little happier than they have been, and that was good.  No other crazy stuff to report.

The count so far:

  • 3 ears of corn at the fair
  • 1 giant State Fair brownie (plus some mangled extra brownie bits that one of the other performers scored)
  • no deep-fried cheese curds or cream-puffs yet… I’m not sure what my problem is.

I saw the first night of the Shoebox Tour (sponsored by threadless) last night and it was really, really good.  Of course there were the expected first-night minor problems, but all in all it was an amazing show.  I really like the casual feeling that the guys created, and the Japanese guys are incredible.  Do everything you can to get to one of their shows.  I can’t wait to see it again in Pittsburgh.

Behold the Mega-Wagon!!!

I saw these guys last year too.  Maybe next year I’ll have the patience to actually talk to them and find out what the story is here.  That HAS to be heavy and hard to pull.

Today is the start of the Shoebox Tour!  I hung out with the guys last night as they were rehearsing, and I’m REALLY looking forward to the show.   It starts at 7:00 tonight at the Nicolet High School theater here in Milwaukee.  It goes to Madison WI next for a show on Sunday night, and then off to Chicago on August 14th.

Yesterday we finally had a great weather day at the WI State Fair, and happy fair-goers mean happy audiences and better shows.  Last night I hung out with Marcus and we ended up at Kopps for a late-night snack. (see photo below)

We do love our cows in Wisconsin.  Look closely and you can kind of see the one black cow.

That’s right… it’s a giant, living pickle.

It’s been going well so far, with only a little rain. Today is overcast again, but at least it’s cool, and there’s not supposed to be any rain.

The tally so far:

  • 2 ears of corn
  • 1 giant State Fair brownie

No cream puffs or deep-fried cheese curds yet, but that will come with time. The Shoebox Tour is coming to town in a few days and I plan on making the Japanese guys eat State Fair food until they are sick.

I was performing up at the Wisconsin State Fair last month and after my show I was handing out my new super-hero themed trading cards. One kid got his, took a few steps away, and stopped to look at it. After a minute or so he came back over to me and said,

“In this picture it looks like you are wearing a cape.”

“Yeah, I am.” I said.

“Ok… then why aren’t you wearing a cape now?” he said.

It took me a second to suppress my smile and come up with the right response.

” Well, sometimes I like to keep a low profile and just go out in my civilian clothes.”

“Oh, ok.” he said, and walked off.

It did make me wonder though, of all the people who see my show, what percentage of them would actually think the show was better if I was wearing a cape?

Get your own Mark Hayward trading cards here.

I had a near catastrophe at the Wisconsin State Fair this year. The last routine that I do in my outdoor show is a combination trick where I do a whole bunch of stuff at once. I juggle two balls in one hand, do Loop-the-Loop with a yo-yo in the other hand, spin a top on a helmet on my head, pump a foot-pump that is attached to a squeaky balloon with my foot, and blow a party horn with my mouth. Not surprisingly, I need some help to get the trick started, so I always ask for a volunteer.

When I select my volunteer I usually point at them and mention what color they are wearing, or if they have a hat or glasses or some other distinguishing feature. Then, especially if they are unsure who I’m talking about, I sometimes say, “Yeah you, the one with the head… and the arms.”

I was doing a show for a really big crowd at the Wisconsin State Fair, and when it was time to pick a volunteer I picked a little Asian boy who had his hand up. He hesitated, so I started to say my standard thing, but since he was partially obscured behind another kid I said, “Yeah you, the one with the head… and the arm.” It was a good thing that I switched to the singular because when he stood up, everyone could immediately see that he only had one arm. The crowd got nervous.


For the first time in my life I am actually enjoying being in a parade. Every day at 3:00 there is a parade at the WI State Fair, and they like for all of us entertainers to be a part of it. I don’t really have a good parade act. Basically I just walk along yo-yoing. It’s ok, but it’s not great. But this year, with the help of my friend Rob Summerbell I’ve got a great parade bit.

Rob is the world’s only Wacky Wheeler. Along with his wheel he usually also brings along his monster cruiser bicycle… and at State Fair he lets me ride it. It’s awesome. It’s a cool classy lookin’ cruiser bike, but it’s extra big, and it has 36 inch wheels!

It’s a little hard to ride at the slow speeds of the parade, but it makes a big splash. I ride with one hand and yo-yo with the other hand while doing circles and figure eights around the other people in the parade. Sometimes we have some pretty close calls where we almost run into each other, but usually we miss. It’s a lot more work than just walking and yo-yoing, but it’s a lot more fun too.

I got to go to one of my favorite restaurants with some of my performing friends from the WI State Fair tonight. Izumi (2150 N. Prospect, in Milwaukee) is a great sushi place… especially if you are a vegetarian. They have a great selection of non-fish sushi. I realize that sounds odd, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious! I don’t have this restaurant up on my list of favorites yet, but you can check out the rest of them here.