LEWISTON — Forget genius. Hard work is more reliable.

That’s the message of Stephen Voltz and Fritz Grobe, the Buckfield duo best known for their viral Diet Coke and Mentos videos.

“Don’t try to be brilliant,” Voltz said Thursday at the Lewiston Public Library. “We believe in hard work.”

That’s how the guys, dubbed “Eepybird,” invented their signature act.

After seeing YouTube videos of people playing with soda and candies, the two spent about six months “spilling soda in the woods of Maine,” Voltz said.

When they were through experimenting, they had crafted a three-minute act filmed by friend Michael Miclon.

The video went online in 2006 and made Grobe and Voltz international celebrities.

Grobe, a math whiz turned circus performer, and Voltz, a trial lawyer, have performed their candy-and-soda act all over the U.S., Europe and Asia. Their videos have been seen at least 150 million times.

Yet, they insist the brilliance of their ideas and execution is more about their obsessive approach. To them, every new attempt is an experiment. And the trick is getting to the number 100, the stage at which the experiment has reached its potential.

The guys believe it’s an approach that can help almost any creative endeavor. They have put together an hour-long lecture aimed at helping people be more creative. They’re aim is to share it with companies, large and small, that wish to inspire their workers.

On Thursday, they shared their lecture and teased one of their up-and-coming acts.

The knowledge that hard work can lead to something extraordinary, rather than some innate brilliance, is comforting, the guys said.

“I’d venture to guess no one on the planet knows more than we do about the extremely important science of dropping candy into soda,” Grobe said.

And there’s always more to learn.

The end of Thursday’s lecture saw something they describe as “experiment 10.”

To them, it’s interesting but short of a full act.

At the right moment they unveiled two handmade launchers. Each had 10 rubber bands attached to 10 paper clips. Each of the paper clips was attached to an ordinary paper airplane.

At a nod, triggers were pulled and a squadron of airplanes filled the library hall.

Adults sighed. Children squealed.

“It’s not ready yet,” Grobe said. “It’s coming along.”

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