Rachael Mason. Current head of like 12 programs* at the SCTC. Fearless onstage, and as far as I can tell, fearless offstage. Whenever I'm feeling rusty and boring I like to observe her teach. She still has the passion, creativity and curiosity as the first time I saw her perform over 15 years ago.
*I did not fact check this.
AS: Where are you from? Where do you live? What do you consider home?
RACHAEL MASON: Babylon, Long Island, NY. Albany Park, Chicago, IL. Where I am.
AS: Life story in half a page, GO!
RM: My grandparents are Irish on my father´s side and Sicilian on my Moms, and they were all immigrants. My dad built a business and lost it and our home when he lost my mother who died of cancer. I left home at 18 and never went back and since you can never go home again I decided to make a home where ever I was.. I paid for my first improv class with a bag of change. I worked a lot of square jobs, banking, finance, human resources, consulting, advertising. My Great Aunt sang at LaScalla and my brother at The Met. My Uncle had a TV show and a cousin was a writer. My mom was a bookkeeper and Artist who ran for Office and won. My sister is a teacher and my brother is an artist. My husband is a writer/stay at home dad and my son is a comedian. I love comedy. Here we are.
AS: How old is your son? Any good stories bout him to share?
RM: My son is 8. He has precision comedic fart timing. He wants to be a YouTuber and eventually have his own TV Network.
AS: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? Why?
RM: Having a child and keeping it alive. IT IS VERY HARD.
AS: I’m legitimately impressed. What is your biggest failure? And what(if anything) did you learn from it?
RM: Not taking care of my body. You cannot always fight through pain.
AS: Describe your perfect day:
RM: There is bacon and mimosas/prosecco. There is a sunday paper but it need not be a sunday. There is something in a crock pot. There is wine. There is KIND BUD and all the shows I like and magically I am bathed and in bed in clean sheets and I dream of swimming OR There are tons of drugs and all the best music, all the best music like a sound track- for walking, entering a room, dancing. There would be so much dancing and drinking and laughing and then sunrises and XXX sex on a beach and then there would be bacon.. and mimosas/prosecco…
AS: How did you get where you are?
RM: I was pregnant and asked a bunch of ladies in comedy how they did it. NO ONE RESPONDED and later I heard Tina Fey say she hated being asked how she did it. I later realized that no lady in comedy knows how she does it, especially mothers. You are barely alive and tired and hungry and so is your baby and it is so hard you just sort of do what you need to do to get thought it. I got here how anyone gets to where they are luck, hard work, careful planning, bad decisions, a couple of things I regret and things that went better than planned.
AS: This is so fucking honest. What are you most proud of?
RM: My body of work and my family.
AS: What is one of your fears?
RM: That no one is really listening to anyone.
AS: This rings so true. How do you deal? Do you believe improv helps this?
RM: I do think improv can help us listen. I think most people wait to talk next instead of listening to understand. We need to build empathy and relish specifics. I think I have the benefit of being an English major. I LOVE WORDS. SUBTEXT IS SEXY.
AS: What keeps you going every day?
RM: My heart I guess?
AS: Favorite podcast?
RM: Ew but... Anything from NPR so Ew to me.
AS: Last piece of art that spoke to you?
RM: Obama´s portrait rocked my world.
AS: Tell us an embarrassing story:
RM: I was once so drunk I thought I was puking in a toilet but it was my husband´s mouth…
AS: That’s love. Pump up song?
RM: Kendrick X from Black Panther
AS: I am listening to this now. Thank you. What advice would you give to someone who is lost?
RM: You are deciding to be lost. Appreciate where you are for whatever it is and you will find the way forward.
AS: Do you have a mantra or words to live by?
RM: Make it worse…
AS: This is also The Boys philosophy, how would you describe it? As a playing style or philosophy…
RM: In life I make it worse in my brain so I am always prepared for the worse case scenario with options. Onstage The Boys make it worse cause we are not worried about what might be funny. Making it worse allows us to pursue all the rabbit holes. Even the truly darkest ones to make very genuine discoveries that are frequently funny.
AS: What gives you meaning?
RM: My brain I guess?
AS: What do you struggle with?
AS: Love this quote, “Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid. Courage means you don’t let fear stop you.” You are Courage. What is success to you?
RM: Being comfortable enough to help others.
AS: What are you working on that you’re geeked out about?
RM: Susan and I are writing a sketch show. I am going to be writing new curriculum for a College Masters Program.
AS: Daaaaamn. What question would you add to this?
RM: What teacher changed your life... Dr. David Rowe. He made me love theater.