Rachel Retha Middleton is an actor and improviser with a B.F.A. in Performing Arts from SCAD who is thrilled to be teaching at AMAW, a community which she has been a part of since 2013. Rachel has done national spots for many major brands including Microsoft, Apple, Burger King, Carmax, and Samsung, performed on house teams for Upright Citizens Brigade and The Pack Theater, acted in sketches for Funny or Die, College Humor, Buzzfeed, and Nerdist, and produced improv comedy shows for the past 12 years all over Los Angeles. In addition to her degree, she also brings years of training in Meisner Technique. She hopes to bring all of this experience, with particular focus on moment-to-moment, active listening, and improvisation into her teaching style, helping actors to bring deep listening and spontaneity into their work.
Why did you become an actor?
I think my initial desire to act came from a place where many actors begin - from a place of seeking attention and validation. Making my parents and peers laugh, impressing strangers, and receiving applause was the greatest joy when I was young, and I wanted to do that all of the time. Moving to Los Angeles after receiving my degree in Savannah, Georgia, I found some validation and hoped it would continue for many years to come. What ended up happening instead, again, happens to many actors - the validation wasn't enough, and my motivations did not make me a better actor. It was not enough to fuel me. Through my on-going training at AMAW, I found my way to a place of desiring not validation, but artistry. The feeling that came with expressing myself and shining light on the shadows became the goal. Now, I am not an actor because other people say I am. I am an actor because I know what deep, truthful, free expression feels like. The validation comes from within - from the joy of expanding who I am, what I am capable of, the stories that live inside of me. And if people laugh, cry, applaud, or are inspired it is the cherry on top of the experience of artistry.