We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Riley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachel, why did you pursue a creative career?
I grew up with a hippy mom who was an actress herself at one time. While it may not have been the most financially stable environment, it did breed creativity. She always encouraged me to follow my dreams and when I turned my sights on acting at the tender age of 9, she supported it wholeheartedly. I remember watching TV and saying “That’s what I want to do!” And my mom said “Go for it!” Before that, I wanted to be a country singing, donut maker… cause apparently I liked country music and donuts. What a life that would have been!
As my career evolved, I branched out into directing and producing, since my love of filmmaking isn’t limited to being in front of camera. Directing my first short film and producing an upcoming feature have given me the confidence to know I will always have a place in the entertainment business. I honestly can’t see myself being happy in any other field. Whether I’m in front of the camera or behind it, the “biz” will always be a huge part of my life.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve never been one to take myself too seriously, in life or in my work. I think with my movies, I just want people to relax and enjoy them. Forget about their crappy boss at work, the fight they had with their significant other, and just put everything aside and enjoy what’s in front of them at the moment. I don’t think I will ever be involved in an “Oscar” movie but that’s okay. I’ve learned to accept who I am as an artist and not judge it by other people’s standards of what’s good or bad. I think a lot of people live in fear of being rejected and trying to make something that everyone will like, and that’s never going to happen. The only person you should worry about pleasing is yourself. If I enjoy the thing I’m working on, other people probably will too. And if they don’t, that’s okay too!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I go for the more simple things in life I suppose, a day of fun in North Hollywood would include lunch at City Kitchen Cafe, drinks while playing shuffleboard at Brews Brothers then hopping across the street for some video game action at Player One. Food truck Thursdays at NoHo park are also a lot of fun!
It may sound a bit “touristy” of me but I really enjoy the Santa Monica and Venice beaches. Santa Monica has the pier, where you can get your air hockey on! And it also has 3rd street promenade for all your shopping needs, Venice is a great place for people-watching and the food may be bad for you but it’s oh so good!
A good hike is also a good way to go! Griffith Park has some really pretty trails. If people are feeling a little more adventurous, there are some great ones near Malibu where you can hike to waterfalls.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate this to my boyfriend, Rafael Jordan. We are on this crazy journey together and I couldn’t ask for a better partner! Raf is a writer/director as well and we have collaborated on a few projects. Some would say that’s asking for trouble, but we have been able to thrive while working as a team.
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