Stephen Spielberg once said that he begins with the assumption that every story has been told. So, his goal is just to tell it better.
It is in that spirit that I set out to add my own addition to the hockey player to figure skater genre, which has been explored in both traditional and TG incarnations. To start with traditional, we must begin with the classic skating romance, The Cutting Edge. In this film, a tough guy former hockey player from a blue collar family gets one more chance to win gold. The catch? He must learn to figure skate and partner with a notoriously nasty and unpleasant young woman who is so annoying and hard to work with that not a single male figure skater on earth will partner with her.
The gender role issues come into play in various ways along with class. The guy is ashamed of what he is doing and hides it from his family. When he reveals his new life as a figure skater to them– under pressure– his uncle asks him “are you going to have to shave your legs?”
In the figure skating world, he becomes an agent of rebellion and change. He rails against the classical music his partner wants to use in their performance and which the movie portrays as standard to the feminine world of skating. He demands they perform to rock music instead and wear more modern costumes. Yet, the movie also reveals the skill and dedication that figure skaters possess, as he struggles to master the skating techniques needed, and we see the female skater take a beating when they try to learn a new move, getting up fall after fall, showing her toughness.
Yet, when they compete playing hockey, he clearly dominates her, enforcing the traditional roles. Girls dance on ice. Boys fight.
Flash forward to The Cutting Edge III however, and what do we see? A total reversal as the male figure skater has to pair up with a female hockey player.
Ice Angel is a TG movie in which a hockey player is reincarnated as a figure skater and has to learn to accept and respect himself as a woman and a figure skater. It’s actually pretty groovy.
So, here I go, and how will mine be different? Well, my hope is that if I am true to myself and follow my gut, I will create something new within the genre simply by being me. I have also done a lot of research, and my hope is that I can mix and combine elements from The Cutting Edge, Ice Angel and Ice Princess into something new and yet still true to the conventions of the genre.
Finally, I have a secret weapon: my frequent collaborator Anonymous, who always has some awesome ideas, and who commissioned this story in the first place.
Ultimately, though, what fuels this writing is one of my trust passions, and I hope to melt and destroy the notion that either activity, figure skating or hockey, has a gender. In fact, both require hard work, sacrifice, pain and discipline. And if you think figure skaters are more vain than hockey players, you haven’t met many hockey players. Some of them spend as much time on their hockey hair as they do their skating.
Look for it in a week or so. The title: Jumps and Spins!