we are asking a few of our previous competitors their thoughts on the subject. This episode brings you Erik Ittar aka Erich Hacker also known as
the Meryl Streep of Portland's air guitar scene, known for his ever changing outfits/hair styles (once shaving lines into the side of his head), unique routine concepts and varying degrees of music. We are not sure if his accent changes with his roles but we wouldn't be surprised if it did.
What is it about air guitar that makes you want to compete in it?
I did gymnastics in high school and really just liked jumping around a lot. I was planning on continuing with rhythmic gymnastics in college, but with my bum knee and all, that wasn't going to happen. Cheerleading was out of the question because I couldn't lift any of the girls. So, with my love for jumping, flowing to music, and downtrodden life, I went to a bar. It was there that I came across my new love: free bar tabs that sometimes accompany air guitar.
Where do you find inspiration for your competitive air guitar routines?
Unlike those who just go on stage and try to "melt faces" or "rock out", I try to tell stories with my routines: an emo kid that comes to the realization that his girl Delilah needs to get lost, or an awkward, overweight teacher who finds his inner hotness while playing Van Halen.
Is there a difference between your air persona and your real-life persona?
Of course...hence the need for a pseudonym. I changed my first name from Erich to "Erik" so that Bjorn* could pronounce it.
Do you have any advice to anyone who is thinking about competing, if so what would it be?
I will try to make you look good.
How would you describe your air guitar career in one word?
*Bjorn Turoque aka Dan Crane has been an Emcee for many Regional air guitar competitions over the years and continues to do so at the Semi-Finals, National and World competitions.