We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Rios and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachel, how do you think about risk?
Risk taking is essential to making art. You have to come to the table as your most honest, vulnerable, and weird self, which can feel like an emotionally risky option. In writing and acting, I try to commit to being my most authentic self, even if that means my art is rejected or misunderstood. My quarantine web show, “Parker & Olive and the Pressing F*cking Issues” was an exercise in that. I promised myself I would make whatever felt funny to me, even if others wouldn’t like it. (That resulted in a lot of weird characters and vagina jokes that made my dad uncomfortable, but that’s my Truth right now, okay??) Do the “You” thing. Show the side of a character that makes you embarrassed. Write the joke that feels too personal. Be too big, too loud, too odd, too emotional. Being radically Yourself means sacrificing your need to be accepted or easily consumable. And that is the only way new and exciting art is created.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am an actor and writer with a love for weird comedy punctuated with heart. Like many creatives, I’ve found this time incredibly challenging in terms of the opportunities to create work and participate in projects you’re excited about. But with limitations comes the opportunity for creativity. I was faced with the desire to produce original content, but wanting to ensure the safety of myself and my collaborators- and the Zoom Salon was born. “Parker & Olive” was a COVID-19 safe “set” where actors filmed themselves in their own homes while a director and scene partners were called in via Zoom. I feel very proud that we found a concept that spoke to our current situation and built a shooting framework that made everyone feel comfortable.
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 literally haven’t left the house in 9 months so I’m basing this on DISTANT MEMORIES~ EAT: Pink Taco on Sunset is the #1 go-to eatery. I want to be buried there. DRINK: The Misfit – can you say ambiance? VISIT: The Hollywood Bowl when they show a movie while a live orchestra plays the score. HANG OUT: The West Hollywood Library is my sanctuary, call me a dork, whatever.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Lennon Hobson and Curtis Waugh, co-creators of “Parker & Olive and the Pressing F*cking Issues” have my whole heart. They gave me the space to be fully myself while still being the hardest working professionals out there. My freak flag was always flying, but they hoisted it higher and brought the wind machine.
Rechard Francois, David Mueller