in defense of Gary Beacon

in defense of Gary Beacon

Post by Annech » Wed, 29 Nov 1995 04:00:00


.> this is a guy who tries to be as wierd as possible>

As the mother of an individualistic child (others call him eccentric) and
as a individual who went against the norm throughout life, I have the
following comments.  

1.  Gary Beacom is expressing himself in a way that appears to be "him".
He may be different from the norm...that may be "wierd" to you but normal
to him. I don't think that he is trying to be wierd but trying to be
himself.   How come "different" people have to conform to the general
populace's "norms".  As long as one's behavior doesn't hurt others (in
other words they are honest, trustworthy, kind, etc.), why do they have to
go against their own nature to conform to the larger society's idea of
normal.  One of the reasons, in my opinion, that there are so many unhappy
people in the world.  It bothers me more to see a person going into a
sport, profession to please others instead of finding out what their
natural talents, gifts, inclinations are and developing their qualities.

2.  I love to watch Gary Beacom because his soul comes through in his
skating.  I feel as if I can tell when a skater is truly in touch with
themselves and when they are following the choreographer script....this is
one of the reasons that I prefer to watch the professionals skate.  They
may not have the six, eight triples but they generally know who they are
and pick music, choreography that reflects their own inner self and their
technical skill is consistent.  For some reason, I would rather see less
technical content done well then more done mezza-mezza.(It like listening
to music, I would rather listen to a piece that has few noticeable
mistakes then one chock full of difficulty but out of tune half of the
time).

3.  Why do some people feel that they have cornered the market on
understanding what is artistry and who is artistic.  When I read comments
i.e. Gary Beacom, Brian Boitano, ?, ?, ?, aren't artistic or have no sense
of artistry, I want to scream.  Artistry is very different for different
people.  When I watch Boitano skate, even more so in the last four years,
I am deeply moved on a emotional level.  This may surprise some people but
I don't have the same reaction to Paul Wylie.  When I watch Paul Wylie
skate, I think to myself that he did a great spread eagle, beautiful
jumps, and had a theme of great social import.  However, I am thinking
those thoughts.  When I watch Boitano skate, I am feeling emotions.
There's the difference for ME.  From my readings of other people comments,
that is how they react to Paul Wylie, SCott Hamilton, etc.  Is my reaction
superior to yours or yours to mine.  No, it isnot. It is different but it
is not superior.  Maybe if we could learn this lesson in the world of
figure skating  and then applied it to religion, ideology, the world would
be a more peaceful and humane place.

4.  Gary Beacom's skating to "I'm a Man" in 1994 made my entire family
laugh out loud. He managed to skate well and make people laugh between the
ages of fifty to ten years.  That is special!  The world could use a
little more laughter!

JUst some thoughts!  

Liz

 
 
 

in defense of Gary Beacon

Post by Margaret Burwe » Fri, 01 Dec 1995 04:00:00

I remember Gary Beacom way back in his amateur days.  1984 when he
competed at World's particularly stands out in my memory.  At a time when
skaters had to be particularly careful not to offend the very conservative
establishment, Gary wore his hair with a rat tail.  Not terribly radical,
but unheard of for a skater to do such a thing.  He skated that year with
no coach.  He had passed all the tests and knew all the moves.  He didn't
see why he should pay someone to supervise his practise sessions.  I
noticed during the practises, he seemed easily distracted.  He paid as
much or more attention to what the other skaters were doing as he did to
his own run throughs.  Perhaps a coach would have kept him a bit more
focused on the job at hand.

Several years after he turned pro, he a Gia toured the country putting on
their 2 person show in small arenas.  He was bringing his view of skating
(quirky though it was at times) to places that never get near an Ice
Capades or a SOI troup.

The point of this ramble down memory lane.  Gary has been listening to his
own drummer for years.  He is a very intelligent man.  He studied
engineering at one time.  I don't know if he graduated.  He has made a
decision on what *he* wants to do and has followed it through.  If it
doesn't suit you, then I think Gary would say that *you* have the problem.

Got to admire him.

Marg

 
 
 

in defense of Gary Beacon

Post by Louis Epste » Fri, 01 Dec 1995 04:00:00

: He has made a decision on what *he* wants to do and has followed it through.
: If it doesn't suit you, then I think Gary would say that *you* have the
: problem.

He *would* say that.But if he wants to be measured against those who meet
more popular standards,he should expect to be found wanting.

: Got to admire him.

No,we're free not to.

 
 
 

in defense of Gary Beacon

Post by w.. » Sat, 02 Dec 1995 04:00:00

Quote:
>  The point of this ramble down memory lane.  Gary has been listening to his
>  own drummer for years.  He is a very intelligent man.  He studied
>  engineering at one time.  I don't know if he graduated.  He has made a
>  decision on what *he* wants to do and has followed it through.  If it
>  doesn't suit you, then I think Gary would say that *you* have the problem.

>  Got to admire him.

>  Marg

I am--at best--a very casual fan of figure skating.  I watch occasionally during
Olympic years and know nothing of the technical aspects of the sport.  I have never
attended a competition or a show.  The only reason I am reading this group at this
time is to read the comments about Gary Beacom.

Last Saturday, I was channel surfing and happened onto the ice skating just
as Gary was introduced.  I was hooked immediately.  Someone in this group
commented about the fact that everyone else does the same thing.  Well, to those
of us who know nothing about the sport and can't tell the differences in any of
the moves, the skaters all look alike too.  Watching Ice Capades is no better--
all the look-alikes put on look-alike costumes and do the sames things again.

Now, before I am flamed like mad, remember, I'm talking about how skating
APPEARS to those of us who are not fans.  As long as it appears that way to us,
we are not likely to become fans.  Gary Beacom's is different and it is different
in a way that appeals to me.  I was lucky enough to tune in Sunday and catch
his second performance (and the payoff), and I learned to like him even more.

Prior to this week-end, if a figure-skating competition were held anywhere near my
home, it's likely I would never have considered attending.  But now I'll check.  If
Gary Beacom is in it, I'll make a real effort to go.  I applaud his approach to the
sport and hope to see lots more of his work in the future.

W. A. Robison

 
 
 

in defense of Gary Beacon

Post by Sandra Loosemo » Wed, 06 Dec 1995 04:00:00

             Beethoven was considered an innovator in his day, but he
             didn't just sit at the keyboard and bang something new
             out every time he performed without any aforethought, and
             call it a "composition."

Bad example, Trudi.  Maybe he didn't call it a "composition", but
Beethoven frequently *did* just sit down at the keyboard and bang
something new out when he performed.  Back in those days, it was a
standard part of the program at concerts and recitals for
composers/performers to improvise for an hour or so.  Beethoven, in
particular, supposedly built much of his early reputation in Vienna on
being a genius at improvising at the keyboard.

-Sandra

 
 
 

in defense of Gary Beacon

Post by Trudi Marrapo » Wed, 06 Dec 1995 04:00:00


          >Well, great - if Gary Beacom is what it takes to get you hooked,
          >then more power to him and to you (and I'm not being sarcastic).  
          >The problem with Gary is that while there's no denying he's
          >different from everyone else (to wit the Randy Newman song he
          >skated to last weekend), he's the same as *himself*. After a
          >while, you start to recognize the formula.  If you're going to
          >make innovation your "thing", then you have to be innovative.  
          >Sort of like Lloyd Eisler doing his Patricia number.  The first
          >time it was hilarious.  The second time it was amusing.  By the
          >10th time you start to wonder about him.

          Michel, I could not have said it better myself! This is exactly it.
          I wouldn't mind Gary being so innovative, if he wasn't doing the
          same innovations over and over and OVER again...and, as Faxel1
          said, I think improvising your programs because you feel like it,
          or because you think it is being more "creative," is sloppy. There
          is a lot to be said for the "creativity" of working long, hard
          hours on each and every move as you plan it our carefully, as
          opposed to just "letting it happen" and creating a "new number"
          every time. Beethoven was considered an innovator in his day, but
          he didn't just sit at the keyboard and bang something new out every
          time he performed without any aforethought, and call it a
          "composition." He COMPOSED.

          I keep thinking of that quote--I think it was by Ben Jonson--in
          response to the popular belief that when Shakespeare wrote, he
          "ne'er blotted out a line": "Would that he had blotted out a
          thousand." Not because Shakespeare was a bad writer, but because he
          was *so* great that if it's true that he never edited himself, can
          you just imagine how incredible he'd be if he did?

          Trudi

 
 
 

in defense of Gary Beacon

Post by Nyok » Fri, 08 Dec 1995 04:00:00


Quote:
(Trudi Marrapodi) writes:
> That's the
>          impression I get when I watch Beacom improvise...it's like
"Well,
>          maybe I'll stroke and hip-hop along the ice for a while...and
then
>          I'll just do this spin that has nothing to do with the
>          hopping...and then this half-jump that has nothing to do with
the
>          music or the spin that preceded it..."

I'm sorry. I like Gary.  He's an eccentric.  He's very intelligent and
he's not afraid to try things even when he knows it go over with the
judges.  He must be popular with someone - he keeps getting invited to
competitions.  Plus he has a great sense of humor.  I like Boitano too,
but he could take humor lessons from Gary anbd Scott Hamilton and quit
taking everything soooo seriously.
 
 
 

in defense of Gary Beacon

Post by deb owe » Fri, 08 Dec 1995 04:00:00

I love to watch him (Gary Becom) skate.  His moves are
innovative and interesting.  Technically, they look
extremely difficult.  Artistically, however, he loses me
most of the time.  He has great moves individually but they
are poorly put together.  The time between all these
innovative moves is boring and unattractive.  I also feel
like all his "improvised" programs are his way of saying
that he didn't feel like putting in the time to
choreograph/learn a new routine.  But you're right...I
still watch him.
 
 
 

in defense of Gary Beacon

Post by Chooi Siew » Sun, 10 Dec 1995 04:00:00

I don't like Beacom.  I give him the credit for trying to be different,  
but the result and the way he goes about it is neither artistic nor
creative.  The skating was a mass.

Quote:


> (Trudi Marrapodi) writes:
> > That's the
> >          impression I get when I watch Beacom improvise...it's like
> "Well,
> >          maybe I'll stroke and hip-hop along the ice for a while...and
> then
> >          I'll just do this spin that has nothing to do with the
> >          hopping...and then this half-jump that has nothing to do with
> the
> >          music or the spin that preceded it..."
> I'm sorry. I like Gary.  He's an eccentric.  He's very intelligent and
> he's not afraid to try things even when he knows it go over with the
> judges.  He must be popular with someone - he keeps getting invited to
> competitions.  Plus he has a great sense of humor.  I like Boitano too,
> but he could take humor lessons from Gary anbd Scott Hamilton and quit
> taking everything soooo seriously.

--
 
 
 

in defense of Gary Beacon

Post by Kaij » Sat, 16 Dec 1995 04:00:00

Quote:


>(Trudi Marrapodi) writes:

>> That's the
>>          impression I get when I watch Beacom improvise...it's like
>"Well,
>>          maybe I'll stroke and hip-hop along the ice for a while...and
>then
>>          I'll just do this spin that has nothing to do with the
>>          hopping...and then this half-jump that has nothing to do with
>the
>>          music or the spin that preceded it..."

>I'm sorry. I like Gary.  He's an eccentric.  He's very intelligent and
>he's not afraid to try things even when he knows it go over with the
>judges.  He must be popular with someone - he keeps getting invited to
>competitions.  Plus he has a great sense of humor.  I like Boitano too,
>but he could take humor lessons from Gary anbd Scott Hamilton and quit
>taking everything soooo seriously.

Well, I admit that I enjoy Gary.  He isn't a typical world-class skater,
but he is relief from the typical.  (BIG jump in first 15 seconds, slow
section, spin, fast dynamic section less big jumps, fast spin finish).  
When I saw him run around the rink for 2 minutes in slow motion during
one of the Boitano-Witt shows many years ago, while attired in black
***literally from head to toe...he won my heart.  It was so OUT THERE,
I wouldn't care if he stood on his head and skated in that position.  Who
else would dare to do what he does?  And why not?

I also confess that I am probably THE Boitano fan.  The day stops if
something he skates is airing on the tube.  I'll be there in front of the
tube watching.  I'd sell s***cans and bottles, if necessary, to pay for
a ticket to a show he's appearing in locally.  He can do eagles through
an entire program and nothing else, I wouldn't mind.  Anytime I see his
perfectly executed edges, I'm in ecstacy.  I swoon from his back
cross-overs even.  He can wipe up the ice, I'm still in his
corner.  So...he's serious in his choice of programs.  I can live with
it!  It's *his* style.  It delights me and entertains me although I've
seen everything he's done for years...even the numerous repeats.  Each
time, he brings a different perspective to his program, (as do all
skaters).  He could be a completely depressing to the point of
wrist-slitting in his programs, it wouldn't bother me.  He could be a
jerk on camera during interviews, I'd forgive him because the man can
skate.

And Scott is the True Skate God.  I kneel at his altar.  heheh...  

Okay...I'll stop now.  ;>

I guess the bottom line is that everyone who is really into skating finds
something in the essence of the individual skater that speaks to them.  
I'm glad that we have this forum to express our thoughts about our favs.

Or non-favs, as the case may be.

===>  The Unabashed Kaiju