Anyone who writes off modern teens as Twitter-obsessed slackers has yet to meet the unique and extremely talented Kohel Mintz. Sure, we thought we were pretty dope in junior high because we had regular babysitting gigs, but Kohel puts our youthful entrepreneurial spirits to shame. He just turned 13, and he’s already a staple near the corner of Roncesvalles and High Park (and periodically on Queen West and Niagara) on the weekends, where he busts out his yo-yo tricks and busks for his spending cash. To top it off, he often invests his hard-earned money in new yo-yos for his performances, and this summer he made enough to pay for a flight to Edmonton for the yo-yo nationals. We can’t say the same for our babysitting money from the ’90s.
This coming weekend, Kohel won’t be in one of his usual spots because he’ll be showing off his yo-yo skills at the 2013 Scotiabank BuskerFest on Yonge Street. We’re checking him out because not only do yo-yos trip us out in a good way, we’re hoping he can maybe give us some career advice. We caught up with Kohel recently to find out how a 13-year-old starts busking and paying his own airfare to begin with…
When did you start busking and what gave you the idea to start doing it?
My step uncle Chris bought me a yo-yo and I said I would pay him off by busking. I went out and made a lot of money and I realized how much money I can make, so I kept on doing it.
What are some of the best yo-yo tricks you know and how did you learn them?
When I learn a trick, I either use YouTube or my fellow yo-yoers. Some of the best tricks I know are combos I made up.
What kind of yo-yos do you have right now?
I have 17 yo-yos right now and my favourites are yo-yos made of high-grade aircraft aluminum in Canada. The company is an all-Canadian company called CLYW, which is short for Caribou Lodge Yo-yo Works.
How do we find you at BuskerFest?
I’m not sure where I will be yet – they are having a pre-party this Wednesday, so I will find out then.
To check out Kohel Mintz’ yo-yo skills, be sure not to miss BuskerFest this week.