Oh Captain My Captain…. Rest In Peace Robin Williams

In 2010, I stood in an alley outside of the Throckmorton Theater, with Robin Williams and two other comedians. An old beat up car pulled into the alley and Robin Williams started making funny little comments about what the driver was doing. The man got out of his car, dug around in a bank dumpster, hopped back in the car and drove past us. He rolled down his window, gave us the finger, and screamed – ‘STAND UP COMEDY IS CRAP! ANYTHING AFTER LENNY BRUCE IS BULLSH&T!!!’ We were all kinda stunned and speechless, and after a few awkwardly silent moments, RW said…’four professional comedians, and not one of us had a comeback.’ We all laughed, and THAT was the day Robin Williams called ME a professional comedian.

The next time that I met him at the Throckmorton, three years later, he actually started telling that very story. I was able to interject and correct him on a few things and fill in some details, assuring him, that I had it covered, as I had told the story a thousand times!

In my two brief interactions with him, he was so kind and so gracious. He didn’t hold court in the green room, even though we all wanted him to. He listened and asked questions and talked about non-famous comics from the area that he knew and performed with 20+ years ago. Meeting him for the first time was genuinely one of the greatest nights of my life, meeting him for the second time was one of life’s amazing added bonuses. A million thank you’s to Mark Pitta and the 142 Throckmorton Theatre for giving so many comedians the opportunity to perform in such a special space with such a magical man. My heart goes out to all of us that are mourning, but I can’t begin to comprehend the sadness of those who really knew him.

Robin_memorial Rachel and Erin

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LOOK OUT JIMMY STEWART…

There is a new celeb from Indiana, PA!  In October 2013, I filmed a set for Stand Up and Deliver on NUVO TV.  The show will air on March 18, and my hometown paper did a nice write-up!  Thank you @EllenMatis for doing the article and enjoy Indiana, PA – it’s a wonderful town!

http://www.indianagazette.com/news/indiana-news/indiana-native-to-make-tv-debut-as-comedian,19179685/

nuvo_tv

MS IN THE BIZ

I met the lovely and talented Marilyn Anne Michaels while doing her show at Sardo’s in Burbank, CA.  We really hit it off and she asked me to answer some questions for her regular blog in msintehbiz.com.  ABSOLUTELY!  I’m thrilled with how it came out and so happy to have made a friend in Marilyn.  Girl POWER!  🙂

http://msinthebiz.com/2014/01/23/from-corporate-to-comedy-comedienne-rachel-mcdowell/

MS IN THE BIZ

THE INTERVIEW

In July, 2002, I was working a job I didn’t like and making so little money that I could barely afford to live at home with my Mom…and she didn’t charge me rent!  I was neck-deep in a quarter life crisis, and as a gal in my early 20’s, all I could manage to look forward to was retirement.  I kicked into ‘find a new job’ high gear.  Anytime I would pass a building or see a company logo on a truck/billboard, anything – I would look up that company to see if they were hiring.  I had a BS in Communication with a minor in Art History and was qualified to do exactly…NOTHING.   To quote my Grandfather, I had majored in Unemployment and minored in Welfare.  🙂

I was watching fireworks from Mt. Washington in Pittsburgh, PA and I noticed a red building called FreeMarkets in the city’s skyline.  I had no idea what it was or what they did, but I ran home and checked out their website.  Enter Lori Csaszar.  She had a new position and needed an Admin.  My resume was so sparse (my ‘portfolio’ of accomplishments was filled with sorority invitations and fliers I had made in my work study at the United Way…I hadn’t done much else).  I had taken a stand up comedy class once…really had no intention of doing it again – but people got so excited when I told them about it, and it was something unique that I could share about my life – so put it on my resume.

Lori remembers it as though I put, ‘My dream is to become a stand up comedian’…I don’t know about ALL THAT.  🙂  She told me 200 people applied for that job but Lori needed comic relief and took a chance on me.  She was my savior and certainly lived up to the pedestal that I placed her on.  She was a wonderful and brilliant woman and an amazing mentor for me.  I still have encouraging emails that she sent to me so many years ago.  It was a true honor and pleasure for her to reach out to me so many years later.  She had also left her high stress life in Corporate America to pursue her dreams of writing a screen play.  What a treat it was for our paths and schedules to cross in a San Francisco coffee shop so that she could interview me for her blog.   Her blog is filled with stories of people who inspire or excite her.  I can’t tell you how honored I am to have made that list. Please enjoy! –

http://storyinall.com/2013/11/26/the-interview/

A Story In All Of Us