We had the good fortune of connecting with Whitney Skauge and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Whitney, what makes you happy? Why?
I’m most happy when I can find creative and mental clarity. Clarity provides a certain type of magic. It’s calm and clear energy; it’s confidence and harmony. This clarity is hard to come by with so many distractions in our world so when I find myself in this state I can truly say it makes me happy. Being able to create without judgment is a gift.
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.
Ever since I’ve been a kid, I’ve been drawn to filmmaking and fascinated by real life. My mom was always taping home videos, so I grew up with constant documentation. Looking back on it now, that definitely informed my path as a documentary filmmaker. It’s really quite wonderful to be able to use film to communicate with the world, whether that be through home movies or documentaries. As a Black-biracial queer person, I understand the impact of sharing inclusive stories. Filmmakers have the power to influence, educate and liberate audiences through their work and in turn shift culture. Today, I feel a responsibility to use documentary film as a way of honoring individual stories from underrepresented communities. Everyone deserves to feel seen and heard and I hope to play a small role in that with my work. My latest short film, ”The Beauty President,” details a part of queer history rarely known. In 1992 Terence Alan Smith, a black queer person, ran for president as his drag queen persona Joan Jett Blakk. Smith ran the campaign to help bring awareness to the AIDS crisis and the LGBT community as a whole. The film is about celebrating and preserving Smith’s campaign as an important (and fabulous) moment in American history.
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.
Bloom & Plume Coffee, Floral Art By Mia, The Underground Museum, Bay Cities Italian Deli, Topanga State Beach, Bottega Louie
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?
It has to be my partner Bianca Collins. She’s my best critic and most loyal supporter. Her honesty makes my work better and her support allows me to fail with grace. Cheers to you B! Thank you!