This week on Yes But Why Podcast, I talk to the amazingly funny Rachael Mason.
Rachael Mason is a veteran improviser and a teaching artist of the famed Chicago improv scene. She started her creative career by taking classes and performing at The Annoyance, iO, and Second City. Later, she taught improv workshops at theaters and universities all across the Chicago area. Rachael Mason has performed and taught all over the world, primarily headlining festivals with her comedy partner Susan Messing in their duo troupe, “The Boys.”
Rachael was an absolute joy to talk to. I was honored that she said yes to being on the podcast! She opens the conversation by telling me she was a witch that was burned at the stake. The hilarity continues from there.
In our conversation, Rachael tells me about her start in the Chicago improv scene and immersing herself in classes at 3 theaters at once. Listening to her describe her schedule, I was thinking, when did she sleep? But then I remembered being in my twenties and I did that schedule for years too. Still, she consumed a lot of improv very quickly.
Rachael and I bond over both being improv instructors. We both love connecting with our students. We talk about having a good time, about teamwork, and about professionalism onstage. I tell her about one of my first experiences with teaching improv!
Rachael tells me how happy she is to have spent so many years sharing the stage with her friend, Susan Messing. She reminisces about the fun adventures they’ve had performing as The Boys!
We talk about artists who inspire us: Bo Burnham, Hannah Gadsby, and Justin Kauffman’s Schadenfreude. Rachael helps me find the books I need to consume to know more about improv history: Improv Nation, The Second City Almanac, Something Wonderful Right Away, and Days and Nights at the Second City.
Rachael was so funny. I really enjoyed all the twists and turns and tangents we had in our conversation!
Support Rachael Mason by going to see her perform. If you are in Chicago, you can go to the Annoyance on 7/22/2021 for an IN-PERSON show, “Messing with a Friend (with Rachael Mason) – https://www.theannoyance.com/show/Messing-With-a-Friend-(With-Rachael-Mason)
If you are not in Chicago, you can still see Rachael perform every Friday night at 8pm CST in The Dingleboys presents “High Society.” You can find this show on the Chicago4Real channel of Twitch.TV — https://www.twitch.tv/chicago4real
Rachael is now teaching improv via Zoom to improvisers all over the world. Now is your chance to learn from her. Sign up for one of her upcoming online classes!
7/27/2021 – Online Workshop through Zmack Virtual (Shanghai): Unf*ck your Improv with Chicago Legends Susan & Rachael – https://www.facebook.com/events/142866324612286?active_tab=about
8/5/2021 – Online Workshop through Magnet Theater (NYC): Character Club (online one-off) with Rachael Mason – https://magnettheater.com/class/electives/10668/
8/11/2021 – Online Class (6 weeks + show) through Magnet Theater (NYC): Level Four: Forms – Le Ronde (online) with Rachael Mason – https://magnettheater.com/class/improv-level-four/10664/
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(production notes: recorded zoom meeting via Rodecaster on 6/10/2021…posted on 7/19/2021)