In defense of Gary Beacom

In defense of Gary Beacom

Post by Kevin Anders » Thu, 30 Nov 1995 04:00:00


Next to Tonya and Nancy, Gary is probably the most controversial skater
people around here love to bash/praise.  Despite the fact that he
is the designated sacraficial lamb at every competition he goes
to, I hope he hangs around for a long time.  You either like the
guy or you don't, and I happen to like him.  His programs are
so bizarre that they are impossible to judge, which is why he always
gets low marks.  I don't care whether he wins or not, I just want to
see him perform.

For the people who hate Gary (or at least hate his skating), I understand
the reasons why.  The complaints are, for the most part, legitimate.  For
some of the same reasons, and others, I happen to like the guy.  As Scott
Hamilton said, it's apples and oranges.  He's different and you either like
what he gives you or you don't.  

Here are some reasons why I like him:

1) He is an entertainer.  There are few skaters that can work a crowd
like Gary.  

2) You never know what he's going to do next (at least you don't if you
don't see him very much).  It's refreshing to see somebody constantly
performing new material.  Frankly, I'm sick of seeing the same programs
and the same moves over and over and over again.

3) Regarding his improvised programs:
   3a) It takes major league balls to make up a program in front of 15,000
       people.  I can think of few, if any, other skaters that would
       have the courage, much less the talent, to pull it off.  
   3b) They are exciting!  You have no idea what's coming next, and neither
       does Gary.  It's like watching a story unfold that could go anywhere.
   3c) I would _love_ to see a competition where all the competitors had
       to make up a program on the spot.  Give them their music maybe 15
       minutes before they went on.  FOX, are you listening?

4) Despite his lack of jumps (which, BTW, he did a triple flip at Sun Valley),
   the other things he does are at least as difficult, if not more so, than what the
   other skaters are doing.  Just because his moves aren't traditional doesn't
   mean they are easy.  Anybody who skates can appreciate what he does, even
   if they don't like it.

5) He seems to have a***loose.  While that would be a negative point
   on many peoples scorecards, I happen to think it's a positive attribute.

6) He pulled out his wallet and paid off a judge at Sun Valley.  I've always
   wanted to see somebody do that.

 
 
 

In defense of Gary Beacom

Post by Julia C » Fri, 01 Dec 1995 04:00:00


Quote:

>    3c) I would _love_ to see a competition where all the competitors had
>        to make up a program on the spot.  Give them their music maybe 15
>        minutes before they went on.  FOX, are you listening?

ISIA has competitions where everyone uses the same music, and hears it
for the first time about 15 minutes before skating.  Each person also
gets to hear it once more just before they skate.  The results are
definitely entertaining!  It would be great fun to see this happen with
elite skaters, and you're right, FOX is the network to do it :)

 
 
 

In defense of Gary Beacom

Post by Trudi Marrapo » Fri, 01 Dec 1995 04:00:00


          >3) Regarding his improvised programs:

          >3a) It takes major league balls to make up a program in front of
          >15,000 people.  I can think of few, if any, other skaters that
          >would have the courage, much less the talent, to pull it off.

          Or the foolhardiness, when it's a pro competition. I think the
          audience is owed more at a competition than an on-the-fly program
          (unless that's what's being called for in the first place, in which
          case I'm all for a different kind of competition being
          inaugurated).

          In 1993 I saw Gary Beacom and (yes) Brian Orser performing in a
          show at the 1000 de la Gauchetiere skating rink in Montreal, to
          music performed live. Brian started out with a number to "Fame"
          (from the movie) and skated very well on a small surface, with
          jumps, spins and the lot, only he looked to me as if he was
          concentrating quite a bit. Later, Gary came out and was skating to
          "Up Where We Belong." He looked pretty ridiculous setting all his
          crazy moves to this ballad.

          Later, I asked Brian why he had that thoughtful, concentrating look
          on his face as he went through the number. "I was making it up as
          I went," he said. "I didn't have time to rehearse with the band."

          I thought he did a lot better job of improvising that day. To me,
          aside from the look on his face, the whole thing looked
          choreographed.

          (another reason Kevin likes Gary)

          >6) He pulled out his wallet and paid off a judge at Sun Valley.  
          >I've always wanted to see somebody do that.

          You should have been in the lobby of the Hamilton Sheraton before
          the Canadian Pros last year. You would have seen Kurt Browning
          appraoching Don Jackson while he was on the phone, yanking out a
          billfold and asking "How much?" ;-)

          Trudi


 
 
 

In defense of Gary Beacom

Post by Diane MacMart » Sat, 02 Dec 1995 04:00:00

Quote:

>Here are some reasons why I like him:

I pretty much agree with all your points, Kevin.  I laughed out loud
more at his "I'm your man" program than I ever have at any other
skating event - even B&E's Patricia the *** - and I had seen
both these programs on TV before seeing them in person.

I guess if you don't think skaters should make you laugh, you don't
like him?

Quote:
>   3c) I would _love_ to see a competition where all the competitors had
>       to make up a program on the spot.  Give them their music maybe 15
>       minutes before they went on.  FOX, are you listening?

Wow - that is a terrific idea!  I think I remember reading in Brian
Orser's book that that was part of his training when he was young.
It would be a pretty neat kind of competition!

Diane

p.s. I have seen bits of his and Gia Guddat (sp?) doing their
four-skated routine.  I'd love to see that in person.

 
 
 

In defense of Gary Beacom

Post by Faxel » Sat, 02 Dec 1995 04:00:00

Regarding improvised programs:

I agree with Trudi on this one.  It's admirable be able to think on your
feet under special circumstances. But a make-it-up-as-you-go policy is
condescending to your audience when you apply it on a regular basis.  Just
because Gary Beacom throws in a lot of crowd pleasing moves does not mean
his lack of choreography doesn't show. It may be entertaining to some, but
it's sloppy, lacking in basic technique, and more often than not has
little relation to the music.  Playing court jester for ever does not an
artist make.

Quote:
>You never know what he's going to do next<

Oh yes, you do! He may be "different" from other skaters, but he's
clowning around with the same type of quirky moves time after time.
Creativity also implies some versatility.  Could Gary Beacom ever sell a
serious number? I rest my case.
 
 
 

In defense of Gary Beacom

Post by Louis Epste » Sun, 03 Dec 1995 04:00:00

: p.s. I have seen bits of his and Gia Guddat (sp?) doing their
: four-skated routine.  I'd love to see that in person.

You coulda had my seat for that routine on the last Campbell Tour,that's
when I went for the hot dog.