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Meet Rachel Laforest

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Laforest.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was born the youngest of eight kids in “the family that’s always late” from Avon Lake, Ohio. I had a lot of curiosity and not a lot of attention… and thus I set out to be an actress! I threw many award-winning tantrums growing up and my parents would always acclaim, “Wow, you’re such a good actress, Rach!” I knew they were right and I had to fulfill my destiny. So, when my small town high school didn’t cast me in “The Wizard of Oz” I went and auditioned for performing arts high schools in New York City as a f*ck you to the politics in Suburbia.

And I got in! What, like it’s hard?

Moving to NYC at 15 and attending the Professional Performing Arts School while living with my big bro who had just started at NYU Law wasn’t as cool as it sounds. IT WAS WAY COOLER. Truly the best spiteful decision I’ve ever made. I graduated Salutatorian with a degree in Drama, then picked up a BA in Studio Art from Hunter College and there’s truly no point in listing these degrees because they don’t matter and the school system in America is a sham. I did get to sit next to Wolf Blitzer and speak at Radio City Musical Hall for my college graduation, so I guess it wasn’t all for naught!

I’ve been in LA almost six years now and I’m happier than ever because my passion and my purpose are really starting to come together in my work. I’m a feminist above all, a comedian at heart, and an actor/writer/model/stylist/witch by trade, working to empower as many women as I possibly can. I have a podcast with my soul sister Leah Knauer brought to you by The World Famous Comedy Store called “Basic Witches”. It’s our real AF convos with famous directors, authors, comedians, and also professional witches about women’s empowerment, manifesting, sexual liberation, and whatever else the universe wants us to talk about. I’ve been lucky to co-create and model in photoshoots that send meaningful messages, such as my soon-to-released body paint shoot with @GrlCollective supporting reproductive rights for women. And I’m now a credited TV writer/actor hoping to continue growing my platform so that I can connect with more and more women and help them realize how AMAZING they are!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I like to refer to struggles, mistakes, or challenges as “speed bumps on the road to victory”. No one (cool) likes speed bumps, but they make us slow down and focus up, they help us. So here are some of my most cherished (because that’s what they should be) challenges and how they’ve helped me:

– Grew up on and off food stamps–> the years on welfare we got a free yearbook and school lunches provided which felt like the best years ever! I also learned how to do a lot with a little and got a head-start as a self-starter.

– Got dumped just after my eight year anniversary–> learned how to stick up for myself, radically accept and love myself, step into my power, and follow my desires without shame!

– Lost my eyesight for a month and half last summer (2018)–> I kid you not I appreciate the beautiful nature around me every. Single. Damn. day and I do not take for granted my sight or my other senses.

“No mistakes in life ever, it’s only lessons” – Big Sean

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’ve known the hustle is real since the third grade when my *FREE* dog walking service never got a single call. Thankfully determination, dedication and a lot of throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks, has molded me into the multi-hyphenate hustler I am today.

I’m an intuitive businesswoman, artist, and creator with one goal: empower women. Creating lights me up, and as long as I’m expressing myself authentically while inspiring more women to do the same, I’m a happy witch.

Being multi-hyphenate means I’m an artist with many mediums: acting, writing, modeling, styling, and hosting my podcast Basic Witches. Or as I see it, being multi-hyphenate means I’m a woman with many platforms I can use to uplift other women.

Some of my work I’m most proud of includes:

Basic Witches – The Comedy Store
A comedy spiritual podcast, hosted by comedians Leah Knauer & Rachel Laforest, as they interview comedians, musicians, artists, and fellow witches about the magic of life, manifestation, and sexuality, followed by a Goddess Oracle Card Reading.

“Self Conscious Workout”
Insecure single-lady Shelley Lachance brings you her therapy homework assignment – a set of workout DVDs.

“Dog Perv”
Tired of dogs sniffing your crotch without even asking first? Us too. A canine consent comedy.

Adele Dazeem
All-women musical improv team Adele Dazeem is determined to share the magic of musical improv with everyone who crosses their path. Join us each month as we invite both veteran musical teams and indie teams who have never done musical improv to get on stage and sing their guts out.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Any day I wasn’t in school. I really hated school.


Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Claude Charles Photography @ShotsbyTopNotch, Lucas Markman Photography, Wyoh Lee Schneider Photography, Nick Rasmussen @DestroyInstagram Photography

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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