I Am Los Angeles is a video portrait series created by journalist and filmmaker Joris Debeij, showcasing the unique people and their ideas that make L.A. what it is. KCET Departures will be featuring these videos as part of our continuing coverage of the shifting cultures of Los Angeles.
All it took was to witness one well-executed kickflip, and Theotis Beasley knew he wanted to skate.
It was a lazy sunny day when a cousin asked if Theotis wanted to see something cool. His cousin proceeded to demonstrate one of the best-known tricks in skateboarding, and young Theotis was impressed. He wanted to skate all day and all night after that.
"Los Angeles is a great place to skate," says Theotis. All of L.A. is a skate park, because you can find good spots everywhere and it's not so hard to run into your skating cohorts. These days Theotis can usually be found skating in and around L.A. in the neighborhood where he grew up. Some note Inglewood to be a rough part of town with high crime rates, and Theotis himself will tell you it can be kind of "sketchy". But for Theotis, this is home, and it's fairly easy stay out of trouble if you know the rules.
The young skater is proud to be from the south side of L.A., and he carries it with him in the most positive way possible. He doesn't forget that he is representing Inglewood everywhere he goes. They call him the nicest kid in skateboarding, because he's always smiling and friendly as can be. Inglewood will always be home to him, and his Inglewood is a place for good skate, good food, good friends and more good food.
Originally published on I Am Los Angeles, 2011.
Check out more video portraits at I Am Los Angeles.