|ESPN.com: Skateboarding||[Print without images]|
|Theotis Beasley frontside flips over a 7 stair with a gate at the bottom.|
Few articles about Theotis Beasley fail to mention his remarkable number of sponsors. So let's not mention that Beasley is supported by Nike, Baker, Skullcandy, Meister, Mountain Dew, Stance, CCS, Thunder, Bones and Ashbury, among others. At this point, there's no need. Articles about Theotis Beasley also inevitably mention that he is one of the "nicest people you'll ever meet." However true such a statement may be, that would not be a very original or innovative way to introduce an interview with the 21-year-old. We could, perhaps, mention Beasley's notable love of snapback hats, if only numerous other interviews had not already strip-mined and clear-cut that territory. So what's left? Why don't we just keep it simple? Why don't we forget about the sponsors, the snapback hats and that blazing, blinding smile? Let's just say that Theotis Beasley is a gifted skateboarder from Hawthorne, Calif., and that in this short interview we conducted, he talks about his exciting life. Beasley is currently the first and only professional skateboarder signed to Jay-Z's entertainment management company, Roc Nation -- an honor he touches on below. Roc Nation also manages entertainers such as Shakira, Rihanna, Wale and Meek Mill (none of whom can kickflip). As of this writing, Beasley had not yet met Mr. Z. He has, however, spent quality time with Will Smith -- star of Beasley's favorite film, "Bad Boys II."
ESPN.com: Congratulations on starring in a Jaden Smith music video with Chris Cole. What was that like?
Beasley: It was great. My agent was like, "Do you want to be in a Jaden Smith video?" And I was like, "Yeah. That'd be great." It was at Skatelab. We were out there for a couple hours.
A Limp Bizkit video was also filmed there with Rob Dyrdek and Torey Pudwill when he was a little kid.
I didn't know that. It was fun. And this professional BMX dude Dakota [Roche] was there. We skated all night into the morning.
Did you have a chance to meet Will Smith?
Yeah. It was great. We went to his house and it was unbelievable how big it is. I was asking him, like, "I've seen a basketball court over there. Is that part of your house?" And he said, "Yeah. All this is." You can get lost. You could have thousands of people at his house and you wouldn't even know that they're there, because it's so big.
It was great. Cool dude. He got a little mini ramp in the living room.
Did you give skating lessons to Jaden?
No. But he's real curious. You do a kickflip and he asks, "How'd you do that?"
|Smooth operator Theotis Beasley.|
Did Will Smith have any tips on your career?
You know what? He asked me, can I act? And I said, "No." And he said, "Wrong answer. Let's try this again." He said, "Can you act?" I was like, "Yeah. I can act."
You were going back and forth about using an agent. What can you tell us about signing with Roc Nation, Jay-Z's entertainment management company?
Andrew Reynolds told me that I had already made it this far without one ... He told me, 'Be careful -- they can get you doing some corny stuff.' When I signed with Roc Nation, he didn't know the whole background about it. I told him it was [part of] Jay-Z's thing. And I told him more about it. He was hyped on it. He loved it. So he was hyped. But I don't know the business side. It's something I can't do. My agent's been doing a great job. Jay Brown [Roc Nation founder/president] -- he manages Jay-Z and Rihanna and all them -- he had some involvement with it. I meet with [Brown] all the time. He's a great dude. I'm glad for the opportunity to work with the guys at Roc Nation. He recently said to me, "You're doing great. You're going to go far with us. I want you to skate with the best so you can skate your best. Get your name out there. Take this game seriously."
They give me tickets to concerts. It's unbelievable that it happened. I don't rap, so ...
Do your responsibilities and travel ever wear on you?
I'm loving it. The only thing I don't like is the flights. We went to China. It was the craziest flight. It was so long. I used to get motion sickness. But I kind of grew out of it.
What do your friends and family ask you about all this travel? They must be curious.
When I go somewhere they always ask me what did I eat? I always say McDonald's. My mom is very supportive and she's very excited.
How does a Dew Tour differ from a Baker/Deathwish tour?
Yeah. Mountain Dew, they take care of you. They make you feel like a superstar. It's real organized. I've been riding for them for four years, thanks to Paul [Rodriguez]. The Baker van is not organized. They're crazy. There's trash everywhere. They just party all night. It's far from being organized. They're both fun. The Dew Tour is cool. Dew Tour is like a family. It's beautiful. They're all my homies. We [just] did an autograph signing with, like, 20 local kids, handpicked by the shop. We took local kids who wanted to skate the bowl. We did, like, a meet and greet. The kids were excited. They all seemed hyped.
What big projects are you working on? That question is corny.
That's not corny, that's good. We just finished the Baker video, "Bake and Destroy," and after that I have the Nike video. And I'm working on my website, TheotisBeasley.net.