…with the state of the world these days, so much could be done: from alleviating the hate in the world, to taking care of those who cannot take care of themselves. If each individual would take the initiative to care about the other person and what they may, or may not, be going through at the time they come in contact with them. If we all were a little more compassionate with one another, the world could continually improve.
As a part of my interview series with popular culture stars, I had the pleasure of interviewing Actress, independent filmmaker, and former model, Rachel Favori. Rachel began her career as a runway model, traveling across the US and abroad. Rachel’s love for acting developed after being on movie sets, as a Background artist, in Chicago. While living in Hollywood, Rachel discovered her love for writing. Rachel is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, and modern dance, and mixed martial arts. In addition to acting, she edits, writes, and cast for video and film projects. Rachel produced the films, “The Conversation (II)” in 2010, and “Blood Forest.” She is one part animal lover, one part geek, and two-part business oriented.
Thank you so much for joining us Rachel! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
After studying Fine Arts, I traveled to New York City to pursue modeling. Walking the catwalk for designers like Carolina Herrera, and St. Johns, and completing an extensive 4-month, 70 major US city runway tour, I fell in love with Chicago, and it became home. Eventually I began to write, and compose portions of scripts, after working background on some of the television shows and movies being shot there. Eight years later, I moved to LA, to take up writing. As I deeply cherish LA, a small part of me realized that I missed the hospitality and charm of the South, where I grew up. At that point I moved my headquarters back, and the “acting bug” then bit me. I am also engrossed within all facets of filmmaking, as I ultimately seek to direct.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
There has literally been so many, and they all have shaped me. One in particular, was during the filming of “The Conversation.” It was about 99 degrees outside with a heat index of 110 degrees. We were inside a metal warehouse, without air conditioning. I was a producer for this project, as well as the HR manager, hair and make-up, and the wardrobe department. My main focus that day was the cast and crew. I had to keep everyone hydrated, and “sweat-free’ on camera, as humanly possible. I have to say how proud I am of the principle actor, for his ability to roll with the punches and his positive attitude that day. The poor guy was in a long sleeve shirt, trench coat, and a tie. I had to follow him all day, working to keep the sweat at bay. He was super. A real-life trooper. Mother Nature really gave us a run for our money.
The director of this project was so inspiring, and remarkable. This man is legally blind, and I would have never known it, had he not told me. He was always focused on his actors, the crew, and the equipment. He has an amazing work ethic. We all lost weight that day, whether we wanted to or not…. LOL!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
This is more of a funny story, which taught me the importance of improvisation. I was on set working background. We were shooting a dance reunion scene. The director told everyone to pair up with a dance partner. I was left without a partner, and he called “ACTION!” I immediately went into the ‘lonely drunk girl dancing by herself’ mode. As the camera dolly rolled past me, out of my peripheral vision, I saw some of the crewmembers trying not to snicker. At that moment, I felt that I either had accomplished my goal for the day, OR, I had toilet paper stuck to the bottom of my shoe.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I’m in a supporting role on, “Somebody’s Else’s Blues” shooting this summer, and I’m slated for two feature films, “Dead 5” and “Triad” in 2020. I have also written a film script, which I am in the process of re-formatting, to pitch for television. Where I go with it from there remains to be seen.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
Everyone is interesting, because it takes collaboration, diverse perspectives and different levels of experience to make a movie. I have also found that those who are already established in this industry, whom I have been lucky enough to meet, and interact with, are refreshing and have been willing to speak to me on a human level.
Anyone who makes my job look flawless, and effortless, is interesting. They typically can put in longer hours for little to no glory. I had the opportunity to chat with Hal Needham once, may he rest in peace. They don’t make them like Hal anymore. A stuntman, director, actor, and writer, Hal is legendary. He was friends with Burt Reynolds’s (may he also rest in peace) and even lived in his guesthouse for sometime. They collaborated on several films together. The stories that man had in his back pocket alone, about his stunt work, was deserving of an Oscar. I take my hat off to him, and anyone who is willing to do stunt work.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Always be thankful. Thank the crew, your hair and make-up teams, Kraft services, and those who take care of you.
Always keep a positive attitude even when things aren’t going as you expected them to.
Stay true to yourself; include projects from time to time that have meaning to you, regardless of the pay scale.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
That’s such a hard question, with the state of the world these days, because unfortunately so much could be done: from alleviating the hate in the world, to taking care of those who cannot take care of themselves. If each individual would take the initiative to care about the other person and what they may, or may not, be going through at the time they come in contact with them. If we all were a little more compassionate with one another, the world could continually improve.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
My favorite life lesson quote is, “Facta non verba.” This is a Latin phrase which means, “Actions speak louder than words.” It’s what you do in this world that matters, not what you say you’re going to do. Regardless of what your intentions are, words are empty and meaningless without action to back them up.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Melissa Holcomb Moody. She has been my mentor, friend, a motherly figure, and has always strengthened me in faith. Melissa is a former model, business owner, and mother of four. She taught me modeling, and put me in front of the camera. I learned perseverance and preparation are keys to success. Without her guidance, love, and encouragement, I wouldn’t have been prepared for the opportunities that I was afforded. She’s been a steady compass within my life. I remember one night in Hollywood, I was having a fishbowl moment, and out of the blue, Melissa and I connected. She was in town visiting her eldest son, Ben, who had also moved out to LA. They invited me over to listen to a new song that Ben’s band was getting ready to release. It seemed like divine intervention, because I was overwhelmed at the time. There will always be those who will try to shake you, break you, out do you, and sabotage you. They will always be a green-eyed monster. I needed familiarity, with supportive friends that I trusted. I think I asked them to play the song about five times that night, because I knew it was going to be a smash. Her son, Ben, co-founded the band “Evanescence.” The song they played for me that night was, “Bring me to Life.”
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
Kathryn Bigelow, she is respected and talented. Her body of work is remarkable and we have similar interest. She has made her way through the ups and downs and pitfalls of Hollywood. I would love the opportunity to garner any advice from her for a future female director.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Twitter: Rachel Favori @RachelFavori
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!
Thank you for having me, Cheers!