We had the good fortune of connecting with Chauncey K. Robinson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chauncey K., can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive. ” – American writer, Audre Lorde For me it’s important to be my authentic self in my career and life. This quote speaks to that goal. Society can try to place rules on you that can be restrictive to who you truly are, and can stifle your happiness. For years I always thought it was impossible to pursue a career in topics I was passionate about. I thought pursuing a career in storytelling, with a focus in dark fantasy and horror, was just an aimless dream. I thought aiming to be a writer, horror pundit, and film/tv critic could at best be hobbies. I also rarely saw Black women being prominent figures in these roles. But I told myself that it wasn’t about fitting into where society wanted to place me at, but going for where I wanted to be. I’ve tried so many more “respectable” and “serious” career paths, only to feel unfulfilled, and I knew if I kept going that route I would be eaten alive by unhappiness. This quote speaks to me taking the chance, putting myself out there, and paving a way for myself and others like me, who love these topics and want to make their mark. It is possible!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a novelist, film/tv critic, and horror pundit. I have a love for the genres of horror and dark fantasy. Black women are there in horror! We’re also there in film criticism! We don’t always get the attention and chances to show what we’re capable of in an industry that isn’t as diverse as it could be. I started out as a political journalist. I’ve worked for an independent publication, People’s World, for some years mainly doing advocacy journalism, which I still have love for. While doing journalism I started utilizing my Drama degree and writing more film and television reviews. I also started getting back into my love for the horror genre. I believe that the horror genre is an innovative space for diving into real issues affecting the human condition. I realized I wanted to create stories like that, and also discuss stories that do that as well. That’s where my brand Twisted CKR comes into play. Through my youtube channel, upcoming novel, and film analysis I’m hoping to give people the space to think critically and feel deeply. That’s what great storytelling can do. I create video content that dives deep into the horror films people know and love. I’m writing stories that use elements of horror to reflect on what it means to look into the great mystery of our universe. The main lesson I’ve learned along the way is to be my authentic self. Chasing trends and copying what everyone else is doing can only get you so far. I think I’ve drawn the attention I have in my field because I’ve been my outspoken self unapologetically. I have opinions, and I’m not afraid of letting them be known. I don’t shy away from bringing politics into horror or real world stuff because they’re inseparable. Trying to please everyone just leads to frustration.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There are some great spots to explore in Los Angeles! My favorite bar is Beetle House LA. As a lover of horror this “Beetle Juice” themed bar is lots of fun. They have character actors walking around from some of your favorite horror movies, cool drinks, and a dark atmosphere. I’d also take my friend to the historic houses where “Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Halloween,” and “Poltergeist” were filmed at- all in Los Angeles! Santa Monica Pier is always a beautiful spot in the evening, and a stroll on the Venice boardwalk is great fun. I’m a big fan of nature walks in Griffith Park where you can go up to the Griffith Observatory and learn about the stars and cosmos. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
A big credit for my success goes to my mother, Karen Robinson. She’s one of the strongest women I know. Her career as a teacher instilled in me a love for reading and storytelling early on. When there are times I feel unworthy my mother is always there to remind me of how capable I am for success. I don’t think I would have such a thirst for knowledge and great stories if not for my mother!