Actor Donal Logue once said in the 2000 film The Tao of Steve, “Everyone is good at something, just figure out what you’re excellent at.” Personally, I hate that movie -- but I love the message. It doesn't mater what your "thing" is or if you look stupid doing it --no skill is inconsequential ... even a something as arbitrary as whistling.
I can't lie. I've never been a fan of whistling or, to be more specific, listening to others whistle. To me, it's on par with other irritating noises, like humming, lip-smacking and Steven Tyler's mouth. But, I shouldn't talk -- my best skill is the uncanny ability to find fantastic cat gifs. Eh, whatever. Everyone's gotta have their thing.
This is Joey McClellen. He can juggle and whistle at the same time.
Meet Orem, Utah, resident Joey McClellen, a Disney-obsessed, whistling juggler who is hoping to make it big in the highly competitive, professional whistling circuit. Yes, I used the word "circuit" on purpose. If you've never heard of the World Whistling Championships, then prepare to have your whistling-related-knowledge base expanded by 200 percent:
Currently, McClellen is a ways off from becoming the next big Japanese sensation. For now, he's just looking for a few other professional whistling types who can hang with his daily warbling. "It would be great to whistle alongside a band, to create my own CDs, to find other whistlers who would want to harmonize -- like a barber shop quartet."
If you're wondering if he's any good, he is. When he puts his lips together and blows, it sounds like he has a tiny fife in his mouth. Also, his resume includes whistling onstage at Disneyland in 2002, making it to the third tryout stage of last season's America's Got Talent and even paying dues as a whistling trackless-train conductor at a shopping mall.
Obviously, this is a serious business for McClellen. So, to find out what it takes to be a great whistler and to see if he takes any requests, Mike and I met up with Utah's best whistler at Fashion Place Mall last Thursday:
Check out more flicks from The Secret Handshake Show here.
To book Joey McClellen for an event or for more info and videos, check out his site MagicWhistler.com
Photos and Video by Mike Fuchs