Interview with October 2020 Diversity Winner - Tarik Woodbine

September 28, 2020

Interview with October 2020 Diversity Winner - Tarik Woodbine

How long have you been writing and what made you want to write in the first place?
I’ve been writing “officially” since I moved here in 2013, so roughly seven years. I would say, unofficially, I’ve been writing since about the 2nd grade. I would create very loose stories and try to film them with my friends in my neighborhood – ghoulish horror films, suspenseful holiday movies...I was a handful. I remember the first short story I ever wrote was about taking a field trip to Paris, where I found a black cat in the Louvre and I got to keep it. I’d like to think my stories are a little bit more complex now...I hope.

What genre do you prefer to write in? What draws you to that genre?
The genre I love to live in is dramedy. I like my writing to reflect life and all of its nuances. Dramedy gives me the room to explore those subtleties. In life, one moment we are hopeful and giddy, but in the very next we are questioning that hope we just had, questioning ourselves and our worthiness – and it could even be prompted by the silliest of things. I want the characters I create and the stories I tell to reflect that. Dramedy shows us we can learn from the good and bad moments, and that life is more varied and intricate than we think.

Tell us three things you're currently digging.
Oh gosh, I have nothing but time now...so everything.

Show: Dave on FXX has truly been such a refreshing show for me. It’s funny, but also farcical and reflective. I don’t want to ruin anything, but I would highly recommend watching the first season.

Book: I recently finished the MOST Florida thing I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a while, Razor Girl, by Carl Hiaasen. It’s about a washed-up detective, turned health inspector living in Key West who has to solve a missing person case with a petty criminal who uses hit and run scams to make ends meet. It’s filled with Duck Dynasty inspired characters, car accidents caused by shaving accidents, and of course palm trees. It’s everything I remember from childhood and more.

Podcast: Up First from NPR. Straight-forward, fact-based news is delivered in about 15 minutes or less. Sometimes I am wearing my NPR shirt while listening and it feels like nothing could be more American than supporting the free press as they dismantle corruption one fact at a time.

What interested you about the Roadmap Diversity Initiative?
I was drawn to the commitment the initiative makes to writers. Roadmap’s devotion to helping advance a writers’ career is at the core of its mission, and it is palpable. Connecting writers to industry executives/agents, developing pitching skills for scripts, and even helping writers find a way to pitch themselves all attracted me to the program. And in a time where highlighting diversity is of paramount importance, I was happy to be able to find an initiative that wants to be at the forefront of that cause.

Anything else to add?
Someone shared a quote with me recently, “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.” Growing up what helped me along this path of writing was seeing people who looked like me doing it – Donald Glover, Issa Rae, Shonda Rhimes, Aaron McGruder. Seeing them not only enter these traditionally white spaces but succeeding in them as well showed me that there was room for me to try and succeed. I hope that in my body of work someone sees themselves. I hope that they realize there is room for them as well. I hope they then go and do the same for someone else.

Where can we find you?
-Instagram: @rikyagi
-Twitter: @rikyagi
-Website: www.tarikwoodbine.com





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