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

Hi Michelle, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think of risk-taking as a necessary means in reaching the other side of the unknown. If you always knew the exact outcome of a choice, life would have zero surprises for you and everyday is Groundhog’s Day. However, I am a huge fan of calculated risks. (Some may call it overthinking but I’m a Taurus and the the math will always have to math to an extent.) Taking risks has always meant that I’m an active participant in building my life. In both my life and career, risk -taking has only brought me the necessary courage, the respect and support from those around me that believe in my journey. Risk-taking is the pursuit of happiness. The pursuit of success. The pursuit of freedom.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Storytelling in TV and Film has always been the guiding light to how I envision enacting change and making an impact on how people move in this world. I recognized early that if art is imitating life and vice versa, storytelling has the power to influence, heal and as we see in today’s landscape, reeducate. I enjoyed the first chapter of my career as an entertainment marketer and lead digital strategist for show brands under ABC Entertainment. From living tweeting the craziest nights of TGIT with my red wine to changing ABC’s official Twitter to ABeyC for the premiere of Beyonce’s The Gift, using the social landscape to engage with stories and fans was always a highlight. With this new chapter and the support of my community, I’ve taken steps to bet on myself and move towards a new career chapter in television development. It’s been amazing to apply the experience of working with Damn Write Originals through my development work with our writers and consulting services I’ve extended through my business, Twice As Good. I’m excited about the opportunity to expand the representation of Black creatives on this side of the television business. We need more people that look like me in the rooms that are giving greenlights and opportunities to Black creators and fresh ideas.  In naming my consulting business, Twice As Good for me is a constant acknowledgment that Black people are just that…twice as good. We’re no longer in the business of worrying about getting half because we deserve to have and be present for it all.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Amazing food is at the forefront of any great visit so I’m likely taking them to one of my favorite spots: My 2Cents LA, brunch at Jon and Vinny’s or the always pleasing Smorgasburg in DTLA. If there’s a music artist in town we love, we would hit up a show. (Hollywood Bowl has come in clutch many times as an activity got out of towners.)

This is LA and I fully take advantage of the views we pay for on the West coast. Beach and hiking are also always at the top of my list. For a little razzle dazzle, an impromptu trip to Disneyland may be in order. I like to preface visits with the understanding that visiting the touristy spots is not really a thing in my world but I can definitely provide directions for a solo field trip if desired. I’m an advocate for solo exploration!

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?
My father, Edward Chisolm, gets the first credit of always instilling in me how my intelligence and talent has the power to impact this world. There have been a number of people whose support and mentorship I’m grateful for and one of the most prominent fixtures in my story thus far still stems from my time at my illustrious HBCU, Savannah State University. Professor Kai C. Walker was the first person to push me to always think and act with intention when putting TV/Film creative out into the world. She deserves credit for truly teaching me about accountability in the entertainment industry, especially when it comes to representing Black people, and for that she’ll always get a shoutout on any platform I appear on.

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michellerchisolm/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MichelleRoyale_

Image Credits
Headshot (First Image w/Green Background) – Dante Bailey

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