AD: First of all, let’s paint the picture of the beginnings of “The Traveling Circus” what
were the thoughts behind creating a webisode series? Were you trying to resemble any other crews from other sports or was this fully your own idea
WW: We took some inspiration from the Nimbus Crew who had just started doing "Webisodes" the year before. Around 07/08, annual ski movies were king and very few had experimented with web series. Most videos on the internet consisted of stand alone edits. We met with Jason Levinthal and said we want to make a relatable park skiing based series for skiers like ourselves. Reality TV was also huge at this time and we wanted to work some of that into our edits by showing off-hill antics and developing a small story or theme in each episode in addition to the skiing action and music.
First ever "Lines Traveling Circus
AD: The first seasons you guys were traveling around in Andy’s Subaru, when did the van come into play and how did that change the game.
WW: After the first two seasons and way too many miles on Andy's car, the series was doing pretty well and Line asked us what we needed to keep it going strong. A communal vehicle was the unanimous answer. We got super lucky and in a sort of hand me down situation, we inherited a 2005 Sprinter Van with 50,000 miles on it in the fall of 2010. A different company at K2 Sports stopped using it and we were in the right place at the right time with TC. The van made road trips a lot more affordable as we could sleep in the van on the way to places and whenever we didn't have couches to crash on.
AD: What would you guys say is you’re favorite episode, content wise and fun to film.
WW: It's really hard to pick one, but our first trip to Japan was pretty memorable on many levels, skiing-wise and off hill. Every day was just full of new surprises and we had no idea what was about to happen next for two weeks straight. Also, any DIY episodes are always fun because they take out a lot of the travel time and replace it with skiing. Lots of new ideas happen on the spot and it's very rewarding bringing something new to life even if it takes some shoveling or building.
The First Trip to Japan
AD: I remember when we were young, we all made notebooks of rails to hit and tricks to do. You kept this going at an almost obsessed fashion since then. How many pages do you have drawn out, in your notebook of ideas.
WW: No idea, I actually have three different books, but they aren't full, I just draw set ups or write down tricks when I think of them so I don't forget. Then, when we go to do an episode, I try to look back through and see what might work for that setting.
AD: How do you think you and Andy compare and contrast from each other in your ideas of skiing and what to bring to Traveling circus. Also, how the hell have you guys been able to work so well with eachother to put out the longest running webseries in skiing?
WW: I usually tend to visualize technically difficult set ups or tricks that I haven't seen done before and then try to figure out the safest way to accomplish them, even if it takes a lot of work. I would say Andy does kinda the reverse of that. He starts simple and easy and adds on to make something more interesting or complicated. Both of us definitely go through a lot of trial an error in our trick and set up ideas. Our contrasting strengths and weaknesses in skiing and character help balance and compliment each other.
AD: I could imagine doing this for so many years can get stressful. Was there ever a time where you guys came close to hanging it up out of frustration.
WW: I think the thought crosses my mind a few times a year, usually when I am tired and/or hungry, things aren't working out how I'd hoped and time to film is running low. I think skiing and filming has conditioned me to know that I just need to get past that stage because something will eventually happen that makes the struggle all worth it and it's all part of the process. You don't appreciate the good times without having some bad times.
AD: with all these guys traveling together in a small stinky cramped van, I’m sure the tensions have gotta run high at times. I wanna hear a story of one of your favorite beefs. Have you guys brawled each other?
WW: One time when I was driving, I punched Andy in the head when he tried to change the radio station. I was in a bad mood and I warned him not to change it, but he did anyway. I was aiming for his shoulder, but he moved and I hit him in the side of the head. He wasn't too happy about that, definitely not the best start to a day of skiing...
AD: Yeah, I'm sure that made things awkward for the rest of the day. You have had so many different people appear in the series, if you had to pick one person, who do you think was the most fun to bring along for the shoots, and who was the absolute craziest?
WW: That's a pretty difficult question to answer. Everyone is fun to have a long in their own way, and bring different things to the table, but I'll shout out Sämi Ortlieb for being one of the most versatile and positive. It doesn't matter if he's skiing a 3 feet of pow, a world class park, or a shitty one foot tall tree stump in the pouring rain, he somehow manages to stay positive and come up with cool tricks no matter the terrain or feature. LJ definitely is also one to keep the stoke alive and send some crazy tricks anytime, any place, any condition.
AD: Certainly have seen some insanity from LJ throughout the years in the webisodes, and a great creative feel from Sami. The Traveling Circus is well known for traveling to exotic places to ski and capture the wildest people and sights. What has been the craziest country you’ve gone to film? Are there any new locations for this upcoming season you’re excited about heading to above the rest?
WW: I think China or Russia are both in contention for most different from what we are used to. We're hopefully gonna send it to the Mid Atlantic this year. Stoked to check out an area the average American doesn't associate with skiing!
Traveling circus goes to China and South Korea
AD: How much longer do you foresee Traveling circus continuing, is there any end in sight or is this something that you see lasting well into the future?
WW: I think we have at least a few years left in us. I don't really feel much older than when we started really. Time flies...
Good, glad to hear that there will be plenty more Traveling Circus for us to enjoy in the future. Keep up the good work