Theotis Beasley Interview

Photos: Jeremy Adams
Interview: Senrud

How do you think the Nike video turned out?
It was real good. We went on a couple of trips. Went to Mexico City, Shenzhen, China and where else? Guadalajara.

Was that your first trip to China?
Yeah, first time to China. Definitely had a great time. The whole time I would eat fried rice while everyone else would eat fried squid. They’d try to get me to try it, but I’m not into that kind of stuff, so I didn’t try it. And they’d order chicken and it would come with the little chicken head on the plate. I was just like, “Oh, no.” So once we’d sit down to order the other guys would already know what I want and just get me two plates of rice. I ate fried rice and McDonalds the whole time and a little bit of Starbucks.
But the spots are definitely amazing. Like marble ledges everywhere. Mostly every spot from the Fallen video, we’d just be skating by and be like, “Oh Jamie Thomas did something here.” It was a real good scene to be out there and to see the spots that some of your favorite skaters have skated, and to get away from home a little bit.

What do you think of the term “butters”?
It’s definitely a good word. For instance, P-Rod is butters. Andrew Reynolds is. They got that talent they’ve had since they was a kid. It’s like it goes on and never stops.

How’d you get hooked up with Vitamin Water, is it because you’re so wholesome?
Maybe I guess, I don’t know. We were just at Maloof Money Cup one day and they got little coolers and everyone just kept going back for drinks. That’s all they had was Vitamin Water and water. I was with Erin Odebaker who works at Altamont and was like, “That’d be sick if Vitamin Water sponsored me,” and she was like, “Oh my friend is the marketing manager, we could hook that up for sure.” So she let them know and it’s like a homie thing where he’ll send me some stuff so it’s cool.

How’d you end up Baker? You seem like you’re kind of on the opposite end of the spectrum of the tattooed guys who party all the time.
Oh definitely. My local skatepark that I go to every day, Hawthorne, where I’ll be going later today, I was just skating around and Andrew Reynolds was there with Braydon, Dustin and Flip, he’s flow for Baker. Andrew just came up to me and was like, “Yeah, before you leave I want to write down your address.” So I give him my address and I end up moving. Then he called a bunch of shops trying to get a hold of me and then Point of Impact (RIP), the guy there got a hold of me and was like, “Andrew Reynolds is looking for you.” It was a blessing. I was like “Oh wow, that’s cool.” So he gave Andrew my information to contact me and I got him my new address and he got all my sizes and he sent me a box and the boxes just kept coming. It was a blessing. Right place at the right time, you could say.

So Hawthorne’s still your daily spot?
Yeah, daily spot. I go to Hawthorne and if I get the chance or a ride to the Valley I’ll go to P-Rod’s park and skate that. That’s pretty fun.

What’s your favorite thing to skate at Hawthorne?
They got a pretty good three, but at the bottom it’s getting pretty rough from where the trucks and axles hit. The pyramid is pretty cool there too. Everyone can have a session on there. It’s pretty fun.

Do you skate transition at all?
No, I try though. Lil Louie, Louie Lopez, he’s staying in the same area so we all skate and he’ll get to the park around five and stay till nine when the lights shut off. We’ll try to skate a little bit of everything each day. I’ll try to cruise around with him and get some tranny in ’cause he knows how to do everything. I think the more you skate with somebody who knows how to do something, the better you’ll get at it. So I’ve been trying.

How does it feel to be an adult now that you’re 18?
I definitely was bummed that I was turning 18. I don’t want people to think I’m old. For like a week I felt so bummed; I didn’t want to do anything. I was like, “Ahhh, I’m 18.” It’s so different, you can do anything on your own now. It was good after I got over that. Like I don’t really feel like I’m 18, I feel more like I’m 16 or 17 ’cause I still act like a kid, so that kind of helps. But it’s not bad.

Now that you’re an adult do you have any plans to get a tattoo?
Ah, no plans to get a tattoo. People always ask me that. No plans at all. It would definitely take me a while. I would have to think about something I’d want to get before I get it, so I don’t regret getting it since it’s there for life. I guess you could get it removed, but that’s some more pain.

How’d your party at the Sole Tech park go?
It went real good. A lot of my local homies from the skatepark showed up. I didn’t even know, it was kind of a surprise. Jason Hernandez, the Nike filmer, showed up. I didn’t know he was going to come. That was cool. Andrew Reynolds showed up, Beagle, Reno, a couple people I didn’t know who were psyched to come skate the park and do something different. We had Louisiana chicken, all types of pie, Vitamin Water, little candy bags. Everybody had a good time, nobody wanted to leave.

Who was your favorite part in the Alien video?
I got a couple. I would say Jason Dill, Tyler Bledsoe, Heath Kirchart, Jake Johnson and definitely Anthony Van Engelen and Arto.

What are some other videos you’re looking forward to right now?
Definitely looking forward to seeing the Blind video. They had a premiere in Costa Mesa but I couldn’t make it out. I had a ticket, but just no ride. The new Zoo York video and the Flip video too.

Did anything crazy go down on the Altamont trip?
Yeah, Figgy was at this 18 or 19 where you land is a sidewalk where you hit the curb quick. Figgy loves skating big rails and there’s a meeting or something with a bunch of people going on with people all around. He just looks at it a couple times and 50-50s it. I think it might be an upcoming Emerica or Altamont ad, but that was really insane.

What’s been your hardest slam so far?
I don’t really keep track, but I remember one day I broke my arm somehow. I fell on my arm a weird way, like, I hit a crack or something and I just flew right off the stairs and landed on my wrist, shoulder and arm all at the same time.

Are you still in school?
Yeah. I actually go to home school, which is every Thursday. Matter of fact, I gotta do some work before I go to the skatepark. But yeah, about to graduate.

What’s the best part of being home-schooled?
When I was in regular school I was doing work and getting that out of the way, then trips started coming up and I didn’t know how to go about it really. I started asking to get home schooled and my family didn’t want me to do that, so I’d just go to school and let them know how long I’d be gone for and they’d give me that amount of work and I’d bring it back when I got back. I thought that was kind of hard. After a while my parents realized that it was, so they agreed to it. It’s more convenient for me and when I need to travel.

What kinds of things are you interested in outside of skateboarding?
Sometimes I like to play basketball. Right next to the skatepark they got some basketball courts. I like playing football and videogames. I’m also always watching skate videos. Everything in my case is nothing but skate videos. People go through it like “Where the movies at?” Skate videos only. So yeah, I try to collect those. If I hear something is out and I don’t have any money I’ll try to trade something in so I can. Gotta get it.

How do you stay G-Code?
Pretty much everyone on Baker/Deathwish crew is G-Code. Altamont and Shake Junt. The best way to stay G-Code, pretty much Herman made that up, you’re just a G, period, keepin’ it true gangsta on the team. Just skate raw and have fun. I guess you gotta be G to know the code.

Does it have anything to do with that Gheto Boys song?
I wonder if Herman heard that since he’s the one that came up with it. I actually got that on my I-pod and Jadakiss or someone else says that a couple times. I definitely think it came from Gheto Boys, he had to heard of that. G-Code imbedded in your blood.

You got any shout outs or thank yous?
Thanks to: Justin Regan at Altamont, Andy Henrie, Hunter, Oliver, Kevin, Joey, John Humphries and Jason Hernandez at Nike, Matt Parr at Baker, Andrew Reynolds, Eric at Bones Swiss, Scott at Dakine backpacks, Mic-E Reyes, John Alden and Darren Howard at Deluxe, Justin Williams at Elm Hats and Erica Yary at Active.

Struggle – Theotis Beasley (prt. 11 of 12) from Chito Tafy Films on Vimeo.