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As for the Buskerfest, Higby, who's performed for the festival since its first year, can't say enough good things about it: "It's great. It got me started doing what I do. Before that I was doing birthday parties and daycare centers." Now a spokesman for Playmaxx, an Arizona yo-yo company, Higby sells his own yo-yo trick book and hand-colored yo-yo string, works with schoolkids and does his street show here and all over the world. He's been to the world's largest street-performers' fest, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and another gathering in Singapore; next on his slate is a trip to Japan.

"I think the fact that I do something different is what gets me into a lot of festivals," he says. "Lots of these performers all do the same thing--you know, the six-foot unicycle, the flaming torches. This year there are only a few jugglers at the Buskerfest. Street performance is changing. And every festival I go to, I'm practically the youngest performer there." Youth, however, is not a liability for Higby. You get the sense that he knows he's got time to develop his art. "I'd like to branch out--to go with yo-yos but take it to the extreme," he says, adding that he'd like to incorporate more physical movement into the act. "A lot of performers you see do a beautiful, tight twenty minutes, but when you see them five years later, it's exactly the same twenty-minute routine. I think I'll always be changing."

--Froyd

US West Buskerfest, June 26-28, 16th Street Mall and Larimer Square, free, 478-7878.

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