Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz are the mad scientists behind EepyBird. Fritz, is also a professional juggler. Stephen, is also a lawyer. Both of these skills have proven useful in managing EepyBird insanity!
EepyBird explores creativity, and in particular, the ways in which ordinary objects can do extraordinary things. In their laboratory deep in the woods of Buckfield, Maine, Fritz and Stephen and their creative team experiment with Coke & Mentos, sticky notes, paper airplanes, shampoo, and more. They spend countless hours searching for ways to transform these things from everyday life into something new, into something unforgettable, exploring innovative uses of everyday objects.
Creativity and Obsession: Innovation through Art & Science
How do you take what you work with every day and find something new? How do you transform objects and ideas to create something unforgettable? For EepyBird, this is what their obsessive creative process is all about.
It’s a process rooted in EepyBird’s experience in science and in the circus (yes, Fritz has won five gold medals at the International Jugglers Championships). The common threads combine creativity with obsession. This process has led to their series of successful viral videos with Coke & Mentos, sticky notes, and more – videos that have now been viewed over 120 million times and been featured on Letterman, Mythbusters, The Today Show, and more.
In a series of clear steps, EepyBird shows how they take an idea from 1 to 10 to 100. Their process shows you how to take an idea from your first glimmer all the way to something extraordinary.
Explore Creativity and Obsession with the originators of The Extreme Coke & Mentos Experiments for a fun, interactive, and thought-provoking look at new ways to generate creative and innovative ideas.
Advertising Age called EepyBird’s first viral campaign “the most important commercial content of 2006.” Coca-Cola compared EepyBird’s second campaign to “a Superbowl ad at the fraction of the cost.” And EepyBird’s OfficeMax viral campaign saw a time-spent-with-brand equivalent to a Superbowl ad – plus two ads on the finale of American Idol. www.eepybird.com
• Left mathematics studies at Yale University to become a circus performer
• Lead actor and featured solo clown in “Birdhouse Factory” – a touring Cirque du Soleil spin-off
• Winner of 5 gold medals at the International Jugglers Championships
• Set a world record for most object juggled between two people: fifteen
• Board of Directors, Celebration Barn Theater
For the first twenty years of his life, Fritz wanted to be either a designer for Lego or a mathematician. Then came juggling. While attending Yale University, he founded the Yale Anti-Gravity Society, the university’s juggling club. After leaving Yale, he turned to Celebration Barn Theater’s renowned performing arts school where he studied physical theater with Avner Eisenberg, Julie Goell, Fred Garbo and Tony Montanaro.
In 1993, he won the International Jugglers Festival individual championships, the first of his five gold medals at the festival. He also briefly held a world record for juggling way too many objects, bouncing 15 balls between two people.
Fritz was artistic director of the juggling and dance ensemble “blink” from 1995 to 2000, which won both the Dance Portland Professional Choreography Showcase and the International Jugglers Festival Team Championships in Las Vegas. blink toured theatrical venues for five years, including performances in London, Edinburgh, Montreal, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles.
From 2000 – 2001, Fritz served as the Managing Director of Celebration Barn Theater before creating two new touring productions: “Bride and Broom: A Story of Marriage & Messes” with Meghan Strell, directed by Avner Eisenberg, and “The Odd Company” a touring comedy & juggling production with Michael Miclon and Amanda Huotari.
In 2004, Fritz was in the original cast of “Birdhouse Factory,” a theatrical circus created by a group of Cirque du Soleil performers. He appeared in a leading role and as the featured solo clown, touring throughout the United States and Mexico.
Fritz lives in the small town of Buckfield, Maine, where he helps run the Oddfellow Theater. He is a writer and performer in the Oddfellow Theater’s Early Evening Show, a monthly spoof of a late night talk show that has been a sell-out phenomenon since 1998.
• A.B. from Oberlin College
• Law degree from New York University
• Trial lawyer in federal and state courts, winning leading cases in Massachusetts involving discrimination, fraud, racketeering, etc.
• One-man show at San Francisco’s EXIT Theater and Fringe Festival
• Board of Directors, Celebration Barn Theater
Before Stephen grew up to be a lawyer and a responsible adult, he was inspired to become a performer by the vibrant street performing scene that surrounded him as a kid growing up in San Francisco. He taught himself to juggle at an early age and to eat fire when he was a teenager.
Armed with those skills and a few magic tricks, he took to the streets to perform while he was in high school and college. Stephen and his brother John performed at Bay Area tourist attractions including San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. Their act stood out primarily because it featured a William Tell-like stunt in which Stephen would place an apple on his brother’s back and chop it in half with a two-foot steel machete, wielding the machete so as to slice the apple neatly in two but stopping the blade just in time to avoid maiming his brother.
Their mother did not approve.
Stephen went on to receive his A.B. from Oberlin College in 1979, where he majored in religion, studied theater, and taught juggling.
He received his law degree in 1984 from New York University. After graduation he moved to the Boston area where he has been a trial lawyer ever since with an active practice in both the state and federal courts. He has tried and won leading cases in Massachusetts involving, among other things, sex discrimination in employment, securities fraud and civil racketeering, and the rights of the public in Massachusetts’s beaches.
While keeping up with a fulltime law practice, Stephen returned to performing several years ago and has studied physical comedy extensively at Celebration Barn Theater in South Paris, Maine, with master teachers Avner (“Avner the Eccentric”) Eisenberg, Bowdoin College theater professor Davis Robinson, and the late Tony Montanaro.
In 2000, Stephen produced and starred in his own one-man physical comedy show “The Benefit of Doubt” at the San Francisco Fringe Festival.
In the past few years, he has performed in small theaters including the Oddfellow Theater in Buckfield, Maine; Celebration Barn Theater, in South Paris, Maine; and the EXIT Theater in San Francisco, California.
In 2005 he became a member of the board of directors of the Celebration Barn Theater.
Stephen is divorced and has two daughters, Emily and Hannah who live with their mother, also in Massachusetts. His daughter Emily is a dancer. His daughter Hannah is a trapeze artist and acrobat. Hannah toured New England as a performer with 2005 edition of Circus Smirkus.