Actress, Director, Host, and Producer Kristin West [Women in Horror Month 2022]


Photo credit: Theo & Juliet

Kristin West is making her mark on the genre and in the art world with quality work and a body-positive mind-set.

Please introduce yourself:
Hi! I am Kristin West. I am plus-sized body positive actress, director, host, and producer working in the horror genre. 

What is it that attracts you the horror genre for your chosen field of creative work?
Horror deals with fear and fear is only second to love in terms of motivating us. Fear is what advertisers and politicians use to manipulate us. Fear is powerful and to do powerful work in horror, you must be deeply in touch with your fears and the fears of others and swim in those depths. 

What are your passions, cinematic or otherwise?
When I am not working on horror movies, I read tarot. In fact, I have a livestreaming show on Pococha US that airs several times a week. I am keenly interested in archetypes, especially “negative” feminine archetypes, which are often seen as dark, fearful and foreboding. Exploring these chthonic female archetypes with unvarnished truth and compassion are part of my mission as an actress. 

Considering this is 2022, why do you think we still need a movement like Women in Horror Month? 
Until women have the same access to investment capital, we need Women in Horror Month. Let me break this down. The person or entity who has the money to make the movie makes the decisions. That person or studio then hires the director and other producers to create a vision. Until women have more access to investors, more access to funding to make movies, we will have less decision-making power and agency, relative to men. It’s not enough just to incubate women directorial talent and mentor them. Women must be funded, because money talks and money is the tool by which we execute decisions. 

What would you tell an up-and-coming creative in the world of horror who sees that being a woman/identifying as a woman as something that makes it so much more difficult at times? 
Resilience is key. Any artistic career, regardless of whether you identify as a male or female, is intense. You will face disappointments, losses and hopefully not abuse. You need excellent self-care and strong boundaries. At a particularly low point in my career, I chose to focus on celebrating the smallest of wins, and that buoyed me up to get to better times and opportunities. 

What are your favorite bits of helpful advice that you have received about your work or your field?
A career in the arts is a marathon. It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon of obstacle courses. It may take several years of hard, unseen, underappreciated work to achieve “overnight success”. 

In honor of celebrating Women in Horror Month, who do you believe viewers should keep an eye on in terms of the creative ladies in horror? 
Dana Olita— Dana is one of my favorite collaborators. Dana is a strong producer, comedian and screenwriter who writes strong female characters as a matter of course. Dana brings a mature woman’s perspective to all her work, which is desperately needed in all genres and especially horror. 

Anna Elena Pepe—Anna just started directing her own work, and I can’t wait to see what she brings to the horror space. Her acting chops are stellar too. An amazing woman, living and working in Europe and Los Angeles, her cosmopolitan perspective is compelling. 

Jessica Bennett—Jessica is a stunt coordinator, intimacy coordinator, an extraordinary actor, producer and director. She is the producer of the award-winning fan film “Never Hike Alone”. It’s an homage to “Friday the Thirteenth”. Jessica’s powerful perspective and advocacy for women both on and off camera is important, and she is at the forefront of creating safer spaces on sets all over the world. 

What do you have coming soon that you can talk to us about?
Check out my directorial debut, The Central Authority, out now on Tubi. It’s just finishing its festival run and is a fun, thoughtful horror comedy about live streamers vying for valuable goods and services in a pandemic-stricken world. 

I had the honor of having a fun but important role Richard Elfman’s latest opus, a vampire thriller, now in post. 

What do you hope to leave behind in your legacy as an artist?
I hope that future generations of horror fans enjoy horror cinema that’s intelligent, body positive and inclusive as a ripple effect of the work I am engaged in at this time. 

Pop them links to follow your work here:
The Central Authority
Join Me on Pococha
Collect My NFTs: 

Photo credit: Theo & Juliet