interview by Joan Pine
To decide to be an actress takes a great deal of courage, but to become an actress in Los Angeles takes ‘mother’ courage. Take Rachel Bailit, currently performing in the acclaimed “Sugar Happens” at the Lee Strasberg Institute. She always knew that she wanted to be an actress, starting from the precious kid theatre she did in the backyard for parents and friends, to now having her own one-woman show at the prestigious and world-renowned Lee Strasberg Theater in Hollywood.
Of course, as in LA, there are many paths to take you to where you want to go. Fortunately, after about 10 years of meeting many people, going to auditions, taking pay- the-rent-jobs, and finally, getting to the right acting school for her, The Lee Strasberg School, Rachel got ‘lucky’.
She was pitching a screw ball type sitcom, when the producer thought she should do stand-up, and got her in touch with Sherry Coben, the Emmy winning writer on “Kate & Allie” They talked, they worked, she wrote, she talked and talked.
Today the collaboration is the one woman show she aptly named, “Sugar Happens.” Easily, she could have called it “---- happens”, but this is not Rachel's attitude. She does believe that sugar happens. That everyone has a story. She is really the sugar of the play, the sweet, positive, hopeful heroine.
That is what her show is about. Her! Her life. Getting to this gig. Giving up a high paying job as a journalist, her dating flops and fiascoes, and her body. As she says in the play, “ I have a body like Sharon Stone, and a face like Carol Burnett.” Together, they work just fine for her.
Growing up Jewish in a small New England town, going to synagogue and sleep-away
camp in the summers, she brings the Jewish persona of smart, sexy and savvy
to her characterization.
Directed by David Lee Strasberg, who helped and encouraged her, she now has her own ‘theatre’ on the top floor, with a large red leather chair in the center of the stage. As with anyone who is good at what they do, they make it look so easy and so does Rachel. Standing there, chatting away, plopping into the chair or getting ready for a date, Rachel is on her own and that’s where she wants to be.
A fully realized Jewish woman, happy with her busy life, Rachel will start rehearsing the new second and third acts that Sherry Cobin has just completed. A musical? A song and dance? On to Broadway? A new man? Who knows? We do know that she will be performing her show at the Lee Strasberg Theatre on Wednesday nights, upstairs, seated on a big red chair, telling us about her day!
Seeing her perform live is a little like going on a date with such an accomplished and charming woman – unforgettable. Outlook readers are strongly advised to take the plunge and make repeated visits to her as her play evolves, embarking on a creative journey that is, like Rachel herself, richly rewarding and one of a kind.
—Beverly Hills Outlook