An Interview with Rachel Axler, Betabrand Model, and Writer/Producer of “Mulaney”, “How I Met Your Mother”, “Parks and Recreation”, and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”.
Tell us about yourself. Who are you? What about your career are you most proud of so far?
I’m a writer who unabashedly loves wordplay. I have very small feet. I’m putting that in here so something finally comes up when you google “Rachel Axler” and “feet.” Mostly, I’m proud of the fact that I continue to make a living doing what I love. Although it was once reported back to me that Jon Stewart fell off his chair laughing at a joke I wrote, and I’d really, really like to believe that’s true.
When did you first know you were funny? Can you recall the moment and how it made you feel? Why did you choose to pursue comedy as your career?
If there was some realization at some point, I don’t remember it. I think it was primarily knowing that one of the things I enjoyed the most was writing little notes and emails that made friends laugh, and at some point going: I need to find a way to do this and get paid for it.
What does it mean to be a funny woman in your personal life? and in show business?
In my personal life, I’m a serious man.
What was your experience wearing Betabrand? How does your profession echo our brand’s mantras of crowdsourcing ideas and beta testing their potential?
Betabrand’s “Gay Jeans” hugged my butt like a gay man wouldn’t. I would’ve happily walked away in them. I had a blast during the photo shoot, and love that you guys would use a 5-foot-tall model. There are definitely similarities between crowdsourcing/beta testing ideas and writing a sitcom. The writing process is collaborative, and a script will go through many hands and brains before it’s shot, and then through more hands and brains before it gets to your TV screen or laptop or enormous smartphone. And there’s even more similarity when it comes to creating a show, which is effectively beta tested to see what people respond best to.
What advice would you give to anyone seeking to find their own path — career, or otherwise?
Finding your own path is pretty much the only way to do it. Don’t expect others to open doors for you. Find or make your own door. I’m also a strong believer in tunnel vision, for the beginning of a career or project. By which I just mean: distraction? Bad. Focus? Good.
What are you passionate about outside of comedy? What do you do on your free time?
I don’t shy away from mid-afternoon, fully sober, private room karaoke.
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