We had the good fortune of connecting with Joshua J. Pinkay and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joshua, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think about risk everyday. Risk is unavoidable as a creative entrepreneur, because it will come into play with almost every decision you make. And though the idea of taking risks can seem scary to most, I’ve learned to disassociate risk with negativity. To me, risk is where the story begins, and I’m a sucker for a good story. As a journalist, that is usually what will draw me in to writing about someone. I’ve learned to position stories centered around risk and how those outcomes have produced positive influence. Also, risk will always teach you something new. As a publicist and marketing coordinator, risk doesn’t just directly pertain to me — it usually impacts the creative decisions I have to make for my clients. The narrative of any campaign or release that I launch with a client will always involve some form of risk, because there are so many determinant factors that can produce different results. What I’ve seen throughout my career is that the we cannot let the concept of risk be a deterrent from reaching our goals. You have to let risk fuel your opportunities.
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.
I think I’ve always wanted to use my voice or expression somehow, but I wasn’t quite sure how to do it. I remember as a child being inspired by the movie, “Harriet the Spy.” In the film, Harriet would gear up with her “spy equipment” and her journal and would write down everything. I thought it was so cool and wanted to do the same thing, so I started journaling and writing things that I would see around me, but I had no idea why or for what purpose. It’s actually pretty funny looking back and thinking about that memory. How was I supposed to know that my young, curious brain was simply preparing itself to take “notes” later in life to share with the world? It was that same curiosity that I carried with me through adulthood that got me to where I am today. I constantly wanted to learn something new, write it down, and then interpret it in a way for others to understand. I feel like there was always this innate skill in me that knew how to detect communication to the masses in a way that was informative and never misleading. That skill is my tool — It’s using language and being able to guide an interview so well that the message is delivered succinctly and clearly. From being a Contributing and Senior Editor to Media Host to Podcaster, I can honestly say that I am proud of where my words have brought me and where I’m still going.
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?
I’m a bit of a foodie. I’ve had the opportunity to dine at and review some incredible places throughout southern California, so I would set up a mini food tour for my friend at my favorite places across L.A. My number 1 ramen house is Shin Ramen in Hollywood, where I always order the “Ghost Dip” ramen with breaded chicken and cherry tomatoes. We’d also be sure to try my favorite chicken and waffles from “&Waffles” in North Hollywood, and I’m sure at some point we’ll get tacos from one of the thousands of taco trucks across the city. To stay a little active, we’d go on one of my favorite hikes to Wisdom Tree for its excellent views. (Pre-Covid) I would have made sure that my friend was here on a Monday so that we could go to the “Thank God It’s Monday” party at Shoo Shoo Baby in downtown L.A. which has some of dopest assortment of hip-hop soul music and people. Then we’d have a gathering with all of my favorite people on my rooftop with good drinks and good vibes.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I often found it very hard to see myself in positions of success. When you grow up feeling marginalized or even hidden from society’s idea of what success can look like, it can become a bit discouraging. I can honestly say that the earlier parts of my career were self-fueled, because I rarely, if ever, saw versions of myself in people that I could admire. I think I can even admit that the first few years of my career felt like I was just drifting without clear goals. It wasn’t until I got a little older and significantly aware of social constructs and how they’ve historically tried to diminish stories from the most marginalized communities in our country that I realized millions of people shared similar experiences. In the past 10 years, I’ve significantly become inspired by Women of Color who’ve changed the trajectories of their careers and did not allow limits to their opportunities because a male dominated society told them “No.” Women like Ava DuVernay, America Ferrera, Issa Rae, Mindy Kaling, and Janelle Monàe are all women whom I absolutely love and get a lot of inspiration from. Additionally, as a Queer writer, I struggled with finding my own voice and how to use my words as a tool of advancement. That wasn’t something that I felt existed until I discovered other writers and activists like George M. Johnson, Darnell L. Moore, and Michael Arceneaux. Them, along with the many creatives and social impact leaders of today are what push me to keep going. It’s never been about just one person for me, bur rather the multitudes of positive influences that have shown themselves to me throughout my career and life.
Carlos Vaz for Uberalles Studio; Caviet Media; LaMay Day Limelight; Kollin Carter; Mark Hill Photography; YouTube Space LA; Paco Rogiene NYC; Live Nation x Complex;