Featured Profile: Getting Weird With Andy Parry
Andy Parry is one half of the Traveling Circus and as a whole, responsible for some of the most creative rail tricks on the scene today. The Rochester, New York native has been filming with Meathead Films since 2007. Currently, he lives in Salt Lake City, Utah and spends his time traveling the country in a van, filming for the Line Skis sponsored webisode series. I caught up with him over the phone to see what he's been up to. Here's what he had to say:
What have you been up to this season?
Just traveling with the Circus and filming with Meathead Films primarily, been having a gay old time. Way, way too much traveling for me but it's been better than sticking around one place for months, on months, on end.
In December, you travelled to Europe with Traveling Circus, which was just released in the most recent webisode, which countries did you travel to? What was it like?
We skied in France in Val d’Isère with one of the Line riders Leo, it was freaking awesome, Leo was crazy, very good at skiing. We went to Austria… Mayrhofen and stayed at Bene Mayr's parents house, like, some crazy country house. That was pretty awesome too. Basically, Europe was just like traveling around the U.S. except it was a different language and the food was different. Other than that, we met up with people that were all like minded like us so it was like just hanging out with friends, just in a different country.
Who had a tougher time with the language barrier, you or Will?
Both of us. Will has like 5 years of French except that he could barely understand anything still, so essentially his learning was useless… like Will is.
Speaking of traveling, you guys do that a lot, hence the name, Traveling Circus. What is the toughest thing to leave behind while you're out on the road?
Probably Call of Duty, the girlfriend and Erik Olson.
In that order?
Umm. (pause) No, not in that order, I'm not going to put it in order.
If someone was looking to head out on their own roadtrip, what are 5 things you'd recommend they bring?
Other than the obvious? Like the skis and everything?
Quizno's gift card. A cooler… to put food in. Lots & lots of sleeping bags 'cause sh*t gets real cold at night. A GPS if you have one, or a map, and then definitely music with some kind of iPod convertor so you can listen to music when you're in the middle of Nebraska doing nothing.
I think that was five, was that five?
Yeah it was five, I counted.
In this season of Traveling Circus, you guys are rolling around the country in a pretty sweet van. Can you tell me a bit about it? Are there any van specific stories that haven't been featured in the series that you should tell us about?
The van is a huge Dodge Sprinter with some bunks in it. We've been sleeping in it a lot lately before we went to Europe and when it gets down to 5 degrees in the middle of nowhere Idaho, pretty much everyone freezes. I put one of the Yowie, the tubey things all the way over my face to stay warm at night. Will was basically using it [the van] as a refrigerator for food, eating like, frozen… pretty much frozen spaghetti that had been left for days… that was really disgusting. We haven't had too many adventures in the van yet, I think the most adventures to come will definitely be on our road trip out East starting sometime next week.
Speaking of which, you've been back a couple times this season already, but what's it like to back on the home turf? Are there any local spots you're looking forward to visiting while out here?
Going home is always fun, it'll be sweet to go back to Mountain Creek, Ski Sundown. We might head down to Mount Snow or even Killington. Pretty much anywhere on the East Coast is like home. The West Coast is so big and the East Coast seems so small to me because I grew up there and that traveling around filming, even if I'm in New Jersey or Maine, you know, it might as well be like I'm in New York just a few hours away from my house 'cause everything… everything is relatively close and I know the area pretty well so it's like being back home. It's sweet.
Crisscrossing the country, you've probably seen a bunch of weird things. What's the weirdest roadside attraction, or weirdest place you've eaten?
[We've] seen some weird things like cats in semis with truckers… we've been driving down the road at 2 in the morning and seen a tractor trailer pretty much obliterated… like the whole back end of it blown up, that was kind of crazy. I've seen hay bales on fire, for some reason, on the side of the road in Colorado. We've been to some places, like really weird towns where if you pull up… at 7:30, 8 at night and you're in the middle of this little town and there's no one around literally… it's like a ghost town and you're like "What the Hell?" Or, seeing hundreds and hundreds of elk in the middle of nowhere, like in Idaho, being really scared you're going to run into them. Not too many crazy things, I mean, nothing like Parker's story having a woman knock on his window in the middle of the night saying that these guys were trying to rape her from some Indian reservation, nothing too sketchy like that yet but you know, we still have a lot of traveling to do so I'm sure that something messed up is going to happen.
And that was Parker White?
Yeah, that was Parker.
I've never heard that story.
Yeah, it was, basically he was traveling across country, like sleeping out in some Indian reservation and some lady, all bloody, came up to him, and like, "Help, help, these people are trying to hurt me." And he was like "Holy sh*t" and Parker was like freaking out, like "What the hell is going on?" and umm, yeah, nothing like that yet… but we've been to cool roadside attractions like corn mazes and pig racing.
Switching gears back to skiing in general, your Line Skis team colleague Eric Pollard is pretty creative and has been helping to design both the construction and graphics of a number of Line's skis for years. If Jason Levinthal approached you for your own pro model, what would it be? Construction? Graphics? The name?
It would definitely have a sidewall like the Chronic does right now… it pretty much be the Chronic… maybe even a mix between the Chronic and the Step Up, those are my two favorite skis right now. Graphics would definitely have dragons and outer space and stuff like that… kind of weird things. I'd probably have Shane [McFalls] and Erik [Olson] help design it with some weird outer space, medieval dragon creature things and what would it be called? I don't know, it'd probably be called the Jabberwalker or… maybe even the Hippy Killer, that'd be pretty sweet, you know, it's starting to become a recognizable name, doing the most to kill hippies.
Focusing on your creativity a little more, you're the force behind such rail trickery as that Hippy Killer and Beowulf, and when we were traveling together, you said that there are two ways that urban features are heading: Big or Weird. You said you were on the weirder side. How much weirder (read: creative) can you, and as whole, the scene get?
There's so many possibilities for weird things… you just have to find them. Weird things, like running on posts or bringing around 2x8s, I don't know, there's just a bunch of weird sh*t you can do. You can go big and steezy or you can go small and weird or any combination of the both, I think the possibilities are endless, you just got to f*ck around with it.
Speaking of that 2×8, do you want to expand on that a little bit more?
No I don't. That's for next year's movie.
Alright (laugh), finishing up, what are some of your goals for the remainder of the season? What are you looking forward to as the spring shoots and events start to appear on the calendar?
I'd like to make one more trip back to the East Coast to finish filming with Meathead, that's one goal. Try to get a few more weird trips on tape for next year's movie and… finish up Traveling Circus as fast as possible so we can have some time to do whatever we want to…just go to Mammoth and Squaw and just hang out in the sunshine, I think that's what I'm looking forward to the most. Hanging out in California in the springtime.
Any last minute shoutouts?
All the haters…'cause they be hating.
About the author:
Dan Brown is a photographer who lives just South of Boston with a dog named Frank.