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I don’t know karate, but I know ka-ray-zee.
— James Brown, "The Payback"

I'm Chris. Salutations!

Born in Topeka, Kansas but taught to fear Jesus in the mighty Northern Virginia suburbs, I quit the East Coast after college for an extended stay in the placid surfer’s paradise of Ventura, California, where I wrote for an alt-weekly. After earning a screenwriting degree from UCLA, I worked for a magician for a while, but was eventually seduced back east by Washington, DC's pedestrian-accessible charms.


My writing appears regularly in The Washington City Paper, on NPR,  in The Washington Post, and in The Village Voice.  I've written for Slate, The Guardian, PASTE and The Indian Express, and I was a proud contributor to the best film criticism site on the web, The Dissolve, until its premature demise in July 2015. I teach boxing on the side. Orson Welles is my hero. Loves: running, comic books, thunderstorms, old time radio drama, live drums. Hates: treadmills, reality TV, Auto-Tune.

Here is a flattering review of my life by Washingtonian senior editor Andrew Beaujon, though he wrote this when he was working for the now-defunct publication TBD.

I was a 2009 NEA Institute Fellow, and a 2012 AltWeekly Awards finalist in the category of Arts Criticism, circulation 50,000 and above. I was a finalist again in 2017.

In 2015, I was selected as a Critic Fellow for the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center's National Critics Institute.

E-mail me at snakeoilck at gmail if you want.