Time Out Barcelona - Rachel en la portada
Cover and interview, Time Out Barcelona
Time Out Barcelona
In 2008, Time Out Barcelona profiled numerous immigrants from different countries in an article titled, "They Triumph in Barcelona". I was fortunate to be included... and on the cover! My interview follows below.
Stage fright while standing in line
"I say filthy things onstage, but I'm embarrassed to open my mouth at the bank."
Comic and Mistress of Ceremonies of Anti-Karaoke
Who could turn Monday - "a bitch" of a day to put on a show - into an obligatory night out? Who could turn something as stale as karaoke into a weekly must-see? Only Rachel Arieff, the funniest woman in Barcelona, who invented Anti-Karaoke, the underground karaoke every Monday at Sidecar, "the CBGB of Barcelona", as a result of "the feeling of loneliness she had as an artist" when she arrived in a city without a tradition of stand-up comedy. Because, "taking an actor or a celebrity and making them recite a monologue that a team of scriptwriters has written, that is not stand-up comedy," even though Rachel claims to have known as the Catalan Lenny Bruce, "a garbage man from deep Catalonia."
Before establishing itself in the Plaza Real, the Anti-Karaoke was born at Llantiol, the café-theater of the Raval, where every first Thursday of my Rachel performs her show How to Be Happy All the Time, a show with stellar moments such as the discovery of El Peque (The Little One), a store in Barcelona that is a combination toy/knife store. "Both things at the same time!", remarks Rachel, wide-eyed, for whom one of the things she likes most about Catalans are their "atomic contradictions", materialized in an extreme way in the pairing of El Peque.
Her Barcelona trauma: "When I go to the bank or the post office and upon entering you have to say: "Who's last in line?". This is totally shocking for a person from America. When you go into a public place there, you don't talk to anyone or they will stab you with a knife because it means you are a psychopath.
"I talk about filthy things onstage... but it took me months to overcome my stage fright of talking at the bank!"