We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Alig and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachel, can you tell us about a book that has had a meaningful impact on you?
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Wow. Just wow. I absolutely love to read and there have been a number of books that have had a huge impact on me. However, none of them have influenced me quite as powerfully as the way The Handmaid’s Tale did and still does. I read this novel as a freshman in high school and it immediately created this desire in me that was exciting and surprisingly strong. I suddenly hungered for more information on various forms of government; I thirsted to educate myself on any subject surrounding feminism; I yearned to understand the establishment of the patriarchy; And most of all, The Handmaid’s Tale forced me to demand more of myself no matter what my sex. I had a new grasp of the expectations women had been beholden to for centuries prior to my existence. I was shocked and thanks to this novel, I have attempted to maintain a clear perspective of others, free of expectations, no matter what their gender identity. Thankfully, The Handmaid’s Tale inspired me to go on and read other books such as Fahrenheit 451, 1984, Lord of the Flies, and Animal Farm just to name a few. Of course, I also watch, and very much enjoy, the TV series, The Handmaid’s Tale!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am an actor. When I wake up, the first thing I think about is acting. When I go to sleep, the last thing I think about is acting. And all day, you guessed it, I think about acting. Acting, creating, collaborating, they all bring me immense joy. The art of storytelling is precious to me and the practice of empathy is a gift. I would say I am most proud of the fact that I am a working actor. The fact that I get to make a living doing what I love, go to set, put on costumes, get into the makeup chair, and dive into a character is truly a blessing. I’ve been a professional actor for ten years now. I’ve done a number of films, TV shows, commercials, and webseries. Every project made a difference. Today, I would likely say no to projects I did ten years ago, but those were stepping stones. I can now see the value in all projects.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Los Angeles is my favorite city in the world. I’ve lived a number of places, and LA truly feels like home to me. For activities, I would take a friend horseback riding in Malibu, on a morning walk on the ocean boardwalk, to the Getty, to an improv show at The Groundlings, and take them to the arts district of DTLA. For food… oh gosh there are so many amazing places in LA! If we wanted Mexican it would have to be Sol y Luna, for sushi it would have to be KanPai, for a fun lunch spot The Rose Cafe in Venice, and for a special night out, Chateau Marmont. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Honestly, everyone I’ve meet along my journey deserves to be recognized in my story. The individuals of my childhood, my teen years, and my young adult life have encouraged and supported me in such a way that I have been able to follow my dreams, pursue them, and now live them. My dream life was to be a working actor in Los Angeles and that’s exactly what I’m doing. For every producer who said, ‘yes, let’s cast her’, every casting director who said, ‘we should audition her’, and every friend who said, ‘you can’t quit now’, they deserve as much of my success as I do. My mom is my number one fan and I hers. My husband motivates me to continue my artistic path. And my community of other artists inspire me to live a life of passion. I was honored and humbled to work on experimental films with the artist, Paul McCarthy. It would be inauthentic of me not to mention Paul McCarthy, Damon McCarthy and EVERYONE who worked on these films. The education I received through this process is irreplaceable and the lifelong friends I made are extremely close to my heart.
Fancii Photos: Fancii Ad with Producer Kia Zomorrodi Other three images: From the film, “First Blush”, written/directed/produced by Victor Neumark