Features | 12 June 2023

Rachel Mars: I wish I’d known…

I wish I’d known… Our series of interviews with theatre makers sharing their experiences of working in the industry

MGCfutures speaks to Writer/Performer and 2018 Bursary recipient, Rachel Mars

When did you decide on your current career path?

Pretty quickly after I went to university in Leeds. I knocked on doors till I found a job at Apples and Snakes, a spoken‑word organisation then at BAC. Ever since then I’ve been making and producing performance work.

What prompted your decision?

I really loved collaborative methods of creating art. Being in processes and rooms where you just get to think about theory and its translation into performance work is a huge privilege. To try and do that professionally was something that felt like a really joyous and knotty way to spend your weeks.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in the beginning?

Having enough money and security to have the time to devote to making work, rather than being paid to produce other people’s work. I took the leap to go fully freelance ten years ago and it continues to be a challenge, especially with government changes to arts funding and the debasement of the value of art for its own sake in political discourse.

What has been one of the greatest rewards?

Community. Groups of varied and really fine people that I’ve met over the years, across the world, who share a passion for stories, ideas, language and examining being. 

What advice would you give the younger you just starting out?

Get into telly earlier – that’s where the money is. Try to balance that earning with passion projects that don’t bring in much money.