Actor and stand up-comedian all over North America
“It is an unbelievably crazy, weird and amazing way to make a living, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Often, the funniest thing we have to laugh at is ourselves. Standup comedian Rachel Manson realizes this on stage, over and over again.
“There are hundreds of different kinds of laughter. Comedy is more than just an inherent silliness: it exposes truths about the human condition.”
“Comedians work so hard at their craft that it becomes a science. The effect of one word, or a pause in the right place is critical. It looks and appears so in the moment, but that is precisely because of what is behind it.”
At eleven years old, Rachel discovered for the first time how it felt to be laughed at onstage. Since then, she’s been searching for that adrenaline rush that comes with being in the spotlight.
The history of Jews in comedy inspires Rachel to continue pursuing her dream. “It’s no fluke that the major voices in comedy have all been Jewish. Judaism has an inherent joyousness that is so celebratory in moments that don’t necessarily warrant it. We celebrate even in moments of sorrow.”
One of Rachel’s favourite bits involves sitting in the guidance office in high school figuring out her plans for college. “I was sitting there staring at a statistic saying that 81 percent of graduates become doctors dentists and lawyers. It stared me in the face as I questioned everything I was about to do.”
But, the value of one good show is enough to drive Rachel through a lot of hardship. “This line of work comes with the highest highs and the lowest lows.”
Rachel urges others not to get deterred by the narrative of success they’re told. “You’re led to believe that you are either going to be famous or living in a box.” But, she insists that there is so much room in between the celebrity and the starving artist.
“I am so lucky and I am so terrified.” Each month, Rachel works multiple jobs to be able to continue to perform. “It is an unbelievably crazy, weird and amazing way to make a living, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
RANDOM RAPID FIRE WITH RACHEL
1. Convention or unorthodoxy
2. Night owl or early bird
3. Billy Bishop or Pearson
4. Bad habit? Biting my nails
5. Useless talent? Recite movies from beginning to end without stopping
Rachel Manson grew up in the Toronto Jewish community and was introduced to theatre in high school. She studied English and Drama at Queen’s University and later graduated from the Second City Conservatory Program. She now works professionally as an actor and stand up-comedian all over North America.
YouTube channel: Rachel Manson
Rachel’s writing work can be found at: https://writers.work/rmans
Interview by Adina Samuels