Rachel Sennott: A Comedic Catalyst

Updated: Mar 7

A walking embodiment of Samantha Jones- Rachel Sennott stands as an up and coming comedian, actress, and writer who lives and moves gracefully through the New York scene.

Before Sennott knew she would become a triple threat, she was just a kid who assumed the best out of life. Now, as a 20 something adult, she finds herself in the heat of adulthood, learning how to navigate family, career choices, and romantic relationships. Her fame on social media helps propel an authentic image to the public, letting everyone in on every intimate and tangible thing in her life.

“I've gone through a couple different iterations on Instagram. I feel like I'm kind of trying to be a character. It’s a blatant sexuality- trying to call attention to it, sort of to the most extreme degree. When the quarantine first happened, I [took] a picture of me in a bikini with my laptop, like, ‘Oh, getting dressed for work,’” Sennott said. “It’s a joke, but it’s riding the line of who I am in real life. A lot of times, guys assume that they know me personally because I tweet jokes about personal things. I remain in control of it.”

Her assumed control on social media allows her to guide her own career, but it also creates a sense of pressure, causing her to create the best material she possibly can.

“If I was doing a skit or play when I was a kid, there was less pressure to be the best thing I’ve ever done. When I first started tweeting, it was just whatever I [thought] was funny, so when I was younger there [wasn’t a lot] of pressure,” Sennott said. “There’s a lot more opportunity for women to write. I feel a lot more comfortable making my videos and doing live performances because I don’t have to wait on a certain type of script. I'm doing the things I want to do. At the same time, I'm auditioning for stuff, but that’s not the only thing I'm relying on.”

Sennott’s freshman year of college stood as a time where dates felt void and swift, and talking stages had a total life expectancy of 2 months. In this time, Sennott dated a boy who introduced her to standup. Her transition into the satirical world felt more than linear. The scene ranged from big to small and old to young- opening her eyes to an array of subcultures within the comedy industry.

“I first started standup when I was a freshman in college. When I first started, it was right when the old scene wasn’t as booming. When I [began], I was doing mics in Manhattan and it wasn't my scene. It was very much club comics and traditional standup. I was having a hard time because I felt like I didn’t fit in,” Sennott said. “I would say two years in, I was booked on a show at Union Hall. It was so much fun and everyone in the show was young, cool, and fun and I was like, ‘Oh, this [is] my scene.’ Things just got better from there.”

Now, she glistens as a solidified version of herself- completely able to look back on her childhood and see how her pursuits in art have stood as a catalyst for her career.

“I always wanted to perform and write. When I was little, I would make these little plays- I’m very Little Women. I didn’t know what standup was when I was a kid. But I liked to do plays, so I see how this fits into the performer/creator [mold],” Sennott said. “I think nowadays, being a multi-hyphenate is definitely more popular. I feel very lucky to be in a time where all of the things I do: standup, acting, writing, [and] videos help boost each other up. They help push other parts of my career along.”

The Connecticut-bred beacon recently shot an episode for a digital show coming out on Comedy Central. But before the episode’s release, she will continue to tweet through these self- isolating times. She’s ready to enthrall herself back into these comedy streets- well, after quarantine of course.

“I would say the [comedic scene] is very lively. I have so many peers. Off the top of my head, I love Catherine Cohen, Jaboukie Young- White, Ayo Edebiri, Moss Perricone, Charlie Bardey, Annabel and Sabina Meschke, Joe Castle Baker, Larry Owens, MaryBeth Barone and a million other people,” Sennott said. “There are so many people who have really specific voices. It’s an important part of my life- there’s so much there.”