We had the good fortune of connecting with Chaz Hodges and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Chaz, why did you pursue a creative career?
I aligned with who I am inside and an artistic career came out of me. I heard Bob Proctor say, “the greatest nation on the planet is the imagination.” I think that it is absolutely phenomenal that Humans have the gift to bring to life the things we hold in our heads. Growing up as an only child, my imagination was my greatest resource. It introduced me to aspects of my personality that I adored. I think creative fields keep us in-tune with our inner children. The purity of joy. The honesty of fun. I could never see myself in a field that would rob me of the innate happiness we are all born with.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My Poetic Documentary, GOD IS A BLACK WOMAN, is a public mourning of who and what we have been told we need to be as black women in American society. It is also a rebirth of every beautiful thing we have ever been. My wish is for you to support this story because it’s one that we have been screaming to tell and yet, somehow no one ever hears. I made this with my friends. I made this with my God. I made it as a peace-offering to my spirit, in hopes that it would gently touch yours.

As a creative, I only want to create art as a means for change. Whether it is taking a political stand, or simply a change in perspective. My goal is to always strive to create content that has a deeper meaning with the abilities to reach farther than myself. I believe in the healing properties of honest conversation. Many times we stray away from certain themes, topics, and motifs in America. We have been pigeonhole into thinking art must only be entertaining. I am quite tired of shock value only. I believe in a world where we frequent museums as often as we indulge in reality television. Balance is key.

This is not an easy feat by any means. I often find myself navel-gazing and have to reengineer my own limited thinking. In GOD IS A BLACK WOMAN, at the epicenter is my story. However, I realized in talking about my tribulations there are many people with shared experiences. It felt healing to include stories of so many black women. I think that is where we all begin to expand and grow.

I want the the world to know, “I do not wish to be the voice of my generation. I want to be the heart.” I have learned so much by listening and by seeing people for who they are and meeting them where they are. GIABW is an extension of that.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my bestie was visiting for a week and I was giving them a tour of LA, we would have a ball! I would start the day with a sunrise hike at the Los Liones trail in Malibu (my favorite hiking trail). We would overlook the entire coastline just as the sun illuminated the ocean. Simply breathtaking. Then we would go to the Topanga Overlook where it feels like you can literally touch the sky. The next morning we would settle for a calm hike at Fryman Canyon and adore the beautiful houses in The Valley. Lastly, we’d do the Hollywood hike at Runyon Canyon. Pretty people and pretty views.

For breakfast, we would stop at Aierloom Cafe in the Valley for their delicious rendition of chicken and waffles. Yummy! The next day, I would take her to “& Waffles” in the valley. Black-owned and sure to give you the best food coma ever. Then we would have to go to Salt’s Cure for their delicious oatmeal pancakes, seriously there is nothing like them!

For midday activities, we would go to Will Rodgers beach in Malibu for sunbathing and churro’s. The next day we would go to Venice Beach for roller skating or bike riding. Day three, we’d go to Paradise Cove for drinks at the ocean. Day four, we would go to the Broad Museum for some art and conversation. Day five, Wii Spa for supreme relaxation.

To end our day, we would have dinner by the fireplace at Delilah’s. Then the fireplace at Ysabel, day two. Day three, dinner at Castaway in Burbank overlooking the Valley. Then day four, sushi at Yamashiro overlooking the city.

Day five, I guess I’ll let her choose what she wanted to do because my virgo mind never stops, ha!

I would add in some shopping at Topanga Mall and at Rock Paradise crystal shop. It honestly doesn’t get much more LA than this week! Yet truly, these are some of my favorite things to do at the moment.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate this section to three people I love so dearly.

The first person is my best friend, actress Jasmine Ashanti. Taking on Hollywood is no small feat. I feel supreme joy when I look next to me and I know that I have a person that has my back and my front for life. I don’t have a shadow of a doubt about her love or loyalty and that is something I never take for granted. My best friend is truly a light beam. Her glow makes me proud. I am so thankful that the Higher Power saw fit for her to be my soulmate. I am truly thankful.

Secondly, someone who I must thank is Maurice Williams. He is a human that have taught me more than anyone in my adult life. It’s the consistent encouragement. The endless conversations. Despite anything and everything we have been through, I feel so blessed to have him in my life and I know that I wouldn’t change a thing. Always & all ways. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Lastly, to miss Linda Lovely Jones I owe it all. My Mother is my forever favorite human on earth and I am just over the moon that she is mine. She’s had no easy life, yet she raised me with an ease that made it feel as though we did. I laugh the hardest with my Mom and she tells me that she’s proud of me often. Truth is, I am proud of her. She doesn’t have medals, or articles. Nothing about her life is flashy. Yet, she is the most genuine spirit I have ever come across in my life and I hope to leave here with a modicum of her divinity. She is a 70-year-old firecracker and I couldn’t adore her more. I say, “I majored in Acting, but Linda majored in Me.” I am forever thankful.

Instagram: www.instagram.com/chazshermil

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chazzy.d.boo

Image Credits
Photos by Troknov

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.