A year ago today I received a call on my way home from work. On the 10-West around 4:30 pm with downtown to my right, I found out about Rachelle’s passing.
Today I would like to highlight 3 memories I have of Rachelle:
- A trusted confidant: Talking to Rachelle at the end of my 3rd year at UCLA about liking someone but not knowing how to deal with it. She listened for over an hour, in one of the Spoul Hall lounges, overlooking Drake and campus.
- A dedicated director: Getting a call while at Disneyland to see if I could be in “Blocked” for Fall 2011. (I was monstrously busy with 5 classes and tempted to say no.) I agreed, and I am so grateful that I did. The story, the direction, everything came from Rachelle, and it was a beautiful experience. Still, the first few weeks were rough. As with most LCC productions, we suffered from limited time and incomplete commitment. (We’re a student-run theatre company, and we preform original work every quarter on top of our other commitments and classes.) Rachelle, frustrated with what she perceived to be her inadequacies as director, never gave up. In fact, we had a secret meeting without her to recognize the fact that all of us were coming up short while she was pouring everything she had into the scene. We pledged to increase our time and effort, and the results were fantastic. The sudden improvement caught her off guard–but it ultimately was driven by how much she cared about it.
- An invested leader: Having held the Improv Director position my 3rd year, I passed the torch to Rachelle and John for 2011-2012. While I had relied only on my limited experience, Rachelle immediately signed up herself and John for classes at the Improv Space. She even kept a notebook of ideas and games. Rachelle took the position and made it her own. (Though since she had less stage time during improv, I came to miss her signature “sassy soul sista” character.)
One blog post hardly holds the depth and value of a person’s life. Still, it is the least I can do to honor a person who was so loyal, hard-working, and passionate about her work and her friends. Rachelle was fiercely committed and demanded the best of herself and her peers. I admire her dedication and her intensity. All my love to you, R.