Compassionate. Creative. Determined.
Rachel Joanne Novak is an actress from Burlington, Wisconsin. A 2018 magna cum laude graduate of Kennesaw State University, located right outside Atlanta, Georgia, she received her B.A. in Theatre and Performance Studies with a concentration in Acting. During her last summer of undergrad, she had the opportunity to study Irish theatre at The Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland. The GSA showcase can be found under the Media tab, or by clicking here.
Before becoming an international scholar artist, her love for acting began when she was five years old. She was involved in many community theatre productions, included but not limited to: James and the Giant Peach (2002), Annie (2003), and Oliver (2004). At the age of ten, she joined a local theater group, Gilding the Stage, and starred in original shows written by a (former) high school English teacher and radio host for 89.1 WBSD, Thomas Gilding. Original shows like: The Great Scavenger Hunt (2006), The Last Summer of the Rock Hill Gang (2007), Twain Tales for Children (2007), and Adventures of Mark Twain (2008), got its inspiration from American author Mark Twain, and his series on Tom Sawyer. Her time at Gilding the Stage came to an end once she entered high school in 2011, but her acting journey did not stop there. At Burlington High School, she appeared in theatrical productions of The Princess Bride (2012), Les Miserables (2013), The Laramie Project (2013), Chicago (2014), Lucky Stiff (2014), and Annie Get Your Gun (2015). At the age of sixteen, Rachel starred in her first feature film, written and directed by her cousin Sarah "Spot" Poteracki, entitled Cori (2013), playing the lead role of Cairo. Becoming more interested in film, Rachel spent weekends during her senior year of high school traveling to Chicago and Milwaukee for film and modeling work. She appeared as herself in the comedy film The Great Chicago Filmmaker (2014), and graduated the following June with high honors and a desire to move to Atlanta for film and television.
In college, Rachel immersed herself in training, interned at Jitterbug Performing Arts, and was involved in KSU's annual 24-Hour Play Festival (2015), a Master Class in Samuel Beckett (2017), and a production of William Shakespeare's As You Like It (2018) playing the goddess Hymen and Rosalind U/S, with over 600 lines! Academically, Rachel is passionate about research on gender roles, patriarchy, and how this oppressed system affects women in modern society. From December 2018-April 2019, she worked vigorously on her undergraduate research project entitled, "The Modern American Woman's Performance of Gender" and was accepted to present at the largest undergraduate research conference in the world. Outside of Kennesaw State University, Rachel landed various roles in short films, web-series, and comedy skits such as: Beautiful Melodies of Terrible Things (2016), A Dent in Time (2016), Campus Crimes (2016), Somewhere to Sit (2016), Pack of Laughs (2017), Thick Skin (2018), Why, Sarah? (2018), and 5 (2018).
Thanks for reading! Thick Skin Episode 8: Life in Truth and Justice is out now! Click here to watch the full episode.