The Act Of Joyful Doing With Rachel Horwitz
Actor, writer, director and producer Rachel horwitz talks about the impact of positivity and honoring her ability to do what she loves.
Occupations, affiliations, and projects.
I am one of those awful entertainment multi-hyphenates - actor/writer/director/producer. I’m currently writing and performing in two upcoming web series, directing a play going up in the LIC One Act Festival, and producing an upcoming production of Our Town going up at the Gym at Judson. I previously have worked and interned at Soho Rep., Telsey + Co, and The New York Neo-Futurists. My current day job is at The Wing!
People Who Do focuses on those who take action to pursue meaningful work and life passions--why is it important to you to “do”?
When I originally came to New York, I thought I could get away with going to school for something other than my passion. I was kind of trying to sneak past myself by not pursuing the arts, but not even a few months in, I realized it wasn’t going to fly. It’s a huge privilege to have studied and now pursue the thing I love most, and I’m trying to honor that privilege every day by “do-ing.”
To date, what accomplishments are you most proud of?
I am eternally bad at acknowledging my own accomplishments, so I’m going to keep it general with graduating from a university in Manhattan (let’s not be coy – it was NYU). As someone who grew up around a small liberal arts college in quiet upstate New York, I feel like I haven’t slept in five years.
When did you first know you wanted to write, act and perform?
After giving a Tony-nominated performance as the Wicked Witch of the West in my 3rd grade production of The Wizard of Oz, I was asked to audition for the high school musical, in which there was a part for a child (me). You’d think the Tony nom would have sold me, but it was in fact me tripping onto the stage in front of a bunch of high schoolers for my audition that actually got me hooked. An almost-face-plant in front of a group of people 10 years older than me? Rousing laughter? A secured spot in the high school musical? I was in.
#1 motivating mantra to get through tough moments.
For the toughest moments? “You are not a reflection of those who cannot love you.” For every other minute of my life? “If you’re going to be stupid, be smart about it.”
How are you able to tell your own story through performing and writing?
I try to bring some amount of positivity to every interaction I have throughout a day. There’s no reason not to engage with the guys at my bagel place, right? If I can counteract even a percentage of one negative experience with whatever I bring to the table, that’s an accomplishment. I have that to give, and if I can impact someone’s day even in a small way, that’s worthwhile to me. To be able to achieve that same idea through something I’ve created is the greatest feeling in the world.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve learned so far this year?
2019 has been a wild one and we’re only halfway through!!!! I’m constantly learning and relearning how to balance all aspects of my life, and now that I’m into my first calendar year without school shaping my schedule, I’m properly learning how to focus on my career. Also, green tea and black tea come from the same plant. 23 years and I just found that out.
What’s your favorite lesson you’ve ever learned?
The power of shutting up. As someone often described as loud or talkative, I have come to respect when to shut the fuck up.
What's one thing you would tell someone who's looking to get into performing?
Find a community. Find multiple communities. Art is infinitely better when you make it with others.
Who do you look to for inspiration?
In terms of career, my friends. They’re doing the work. The people who can excel in the entertainment industry at this age are the ones who everyone else will also be looking to for inspiration in a very few years.
In terms of life, my dad got diagnosed with cancer two years ago and still rolls up to the classroom whenever he’s healthy enough because he loves teaching those college kids Intro to Econ. We should all hope to make our passions exist as livelihoods in the same way he has.
What's your pro tip for improving your mood?
The art of dance, baby! Give me one 5-minute song (I Wanna Be Your Lover by Prince is a standard) and those endorphins will be popping.
What’s the best piece of advice that you can give someone right now?
Don’t stress the small things. You’ve got a whole life to live, and that small thing will be forgotten in a month.
What’s the next goal?
I’ll keep it chill and shoot for a paid, full-time job (somewhat) in my field.
By "do-ing", you create your own unique legacy. How do you want your legacy to look?