... Rachel Bloom on Rachel Bloom, »Fuck me Ray Bradbury« and Science Fiction

Rachel Bloom ... Rachel Bloom ...
... on Rachel Bloom, »Fuck me Ray Bradbury« and Science Fiction

zur deutschen Übersetzung Wayne Joseph Borean from Richmond Hill (Ontario) introduced us to a really exceptional talent: Rachel Bloom.

The young woman from California is a gifted all-rounder and had been nominated for the Hugo in 2011 with her music video »Fuck me Ray Bradbury«. For us this was the reason to talk to her in an interview and find out more about this all-rounder from the United States. 

Zauberspiegel: Who is Rachel Bloom? Would you please introduce yourself to our German and English-speaking readers?
Rachel Bloom: My name is Rachel Bloom, and I’m a comedian living in Los Angeles, CA. I write for television shows and do musical comedy that can be seen live as well as on the internet.

Zauberspiegel: Author, (terrific) singer, actress, stand-up-comedian? You are a versatile talented person. What of these things do you like to do most?
Rachel Bloom: I like performing my own writing the most. Recently, I had a live show running that I both wrote and starred in, and that was very rewarding.

Zauberspiegel: How did you get the inspiration to the song „Fuck me, Ray Bradbury“? Did Ray Bradbury react to the song so far? Do you know what he thinks of it?
Rachel Bloom und Ray Bradbury Rachel Bloom: When I wrote “Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury,” I was going through a relationship drought and re-reading The Martian Chronicles. I thought to myself, “This is the kind of guy I need.” Ray Bradbury has seen the video, and I met him because he liked it so much. If you google “Rachel Bloom” “Ray Bradbury,” there are a few pictures of both him watching the video and our meeting.

Zauberspiegel: You have been nominated for the OSCAR of the SF, the HUGO, for „Fuck me, Ray Bradbury“. Were you surprised? What do these nominations mean to you personally and what do you think – will it change something for you as a singer?
Rachel Bloom: I was very honored to be nominated for a Hugo, and was surprised that my 3 minute music video would be nominated along with full episodes of television! As I write all sorts of comedy songs (not those that are just sci-fi/fantasy inclined) I don’t know if I’ll ever be nominated again, but it was an honor to be nominated. It definitely got me a lot of fans in that particular community. Because of that nomination, I have connected with people like Brian Dunning, who hosts a podcast called Skeptoid and asked me to sing on the 300th episode (an animated musical).

Zauberspiegel: There is a clip on Youtube where you sing klingon. Are you a fan of SF or resp. member of the Star Trek-Fandom?
Rachel Bloom: I’m a SF fan, although not specifically Star Trek. The idea of setting a production of “Rent” in a fantastical world was the core idea, and the fact that Klingon was already a language made the sketch come to life.

Zauberspiegel: The IMdB mentions „The Marian Chronicles“ as your favourite book. Are there other books by Ray Bradbury you like? And what other genres of books do fascinate you in gerenal?
Rachel Bloom: I love many other books by Ray Bradbury- I love the stories in The Illustrated Man especially as well as, of course,  Fahrenheit 451. I have the deepest connection to The Martian Chronicles because it was the first fantasy book I ever read. In general, I love reading SF/Fantasy books- I’m just starting on The Magician King by Lev Grossman, which is the sequel to his earlier book The Magicians. I’m also in the middle of the comic book series Irredeemable.

Zauberspiegel: Lately you appeared in „How I Met Your Mother“ as a guest star. This episode wasn’t on German TV yet. What was it like to play in this successful show and will there be more of Rachel Bloom? Rachel Bloom in The Big Bang Theory perhaps as rival to Penny? Or an appearance in a movie? Perhaps a Bradbury-movie even?
Rachel Bloom: On the episode of “How I Met Your Mother” I was on I only had one line, so if they brought my character back I’d be pretty shocked! However, for an actor just starting out in Hollywood, one line on a major sitcom is a VERY big deal. Filming it was a blast. In general, I’m auditioning a lot for film and tv, but the most promising acting opportunities right now are roles I write for myself.

Zauberspiegel: You do great music videos. In addition to the Bradbury-song there is my favourite one “Pictures of Your Dick”. There is also “I Was a Mermaid”, “Now I Am A Pop Star” and “I Steal Pets”. They are all different in style, but reliable in style all the time. Do you have a personal style you like more than the others?
Rachel Bloom: I don’t have a personal style as much as a very specific viewpoint. I like to take the surface themes of pop songs and then personalize them to make them darker and/or more cynical. Pop music is very fun to satirize because there are so many aspects of it that are shallow and unaware, but at the same time it’s really fun to do. “Pictures of Your Dick” was an exception in that I think “Someone Like You” by Adele has a lot of substance, but I felt that the whole theme of depressing acceptance had a really fun twisted mirror image.

Zauberspiegel: Your music is always entertaining. I think this is your mission – to entertain people with intelligent songs. Yet entertainment was often blamed to simply distract people from really existing problems and dealing with them. Do you think these accusations are still relevant today? Are you being confronted with that? And if so – what would you answer?
Rachel Bloom: Entertainment has always been to both educate and distract. Some people look at my songs, I’m sure, and don’t realize they’re funny, nor do they think about the genre they’re satirizing. Some people see “I Steal Pets” and just think it’s another bubblegum pop song.  I think that the concept of “entertainment as distraction” isn’t as much to blame on entertainment as people’s choices of what kind of entertainment they want to watch. For instance, you can watch “The Real Housewives of New York City,” which is pure entertainment, or you can watch “Breaking Bad,” which is an amazing drama that makes you think. One is more popular ratings-wise than the other, but that’s the choice of the people who watch it.

Zauberspiegel: Acting in “How I Met Your Mother” and singing in Klingon – you seem to be involved in various up-to-date-waves – if StarTrek is still fashionable. By the way: Is StarTrek still fashionable in the world of under 30? Is this a way of promoting yourself? How did you get into the HIMYM-show?
Rachel Bloom: I believe Star Trek is still very popular in those under 30- I have a lot of friends that are into it. The way I got into “How I Met Your Mother” was through an audition. I auditioned one day and got the role a few days later!

Zauberspiegel: What are the subjects of your appearances as a stand-up comedian? What does Rachel Blooms joke about – and what jokes does she like?
Rachel Bloom: Lately, I have stopped doing stand up to make way for tv writing jobs and my music videos. However, when I do stand up it’s definitely more grounded than my sketches or music videos- it’s much more observational.

Zauberspiegel: As you know, the Zauberspiegel deals with a wide rage of genres – from SF to horror, fantasy to crime, thriller and historical – what is your favourite genre if you have one?
And what medias do you personally use – books, audio, tv … do you like audio-books e.g.?

Rachel Bloom: My favorite genres are historical fiction, SF in general and non-fiction. I live in Los Angeles where driving is a part of everyday life, so I am always listening to various podcasts and audiobooks. My new favorite podcast is called “The Story Collider,” and it’s a storytelling show with entirely science-themed stories.

Zauberspiegel: Where do you want to go as an artist, Rachel? It had been quite a problem for artists in former times to not focus on one role or type (such as Mark Hammil or David Hasselhoff). Did this change by now? What “type” do you think is yours – if any, and do you think it will be necessary to focus on one form of art one day?
Rachel Bloom: Fortunately for me, I’m not famous enough to be typecast, so I’d like to think the world is my oyster as an actor. My ultimate goal is to write and perform in my own television show, and, as a comedian, there is a huge market for people who both act and write.

Zauberspiegel: What was the last movie you saw in cinema? And what will the next one be?
Rachel Bloom: The last movie I saw was “The Artist,” and the next one will most likely be “The Hunger Games!”

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