Rachel Dratch walked back into Lexington High School Sunday afternoon, only this time she wasn’t a student in the audience. No, she came at the invitation of Lexington Community Education to read from her recently-published book and talk about her life in Lexington, Chicago and New York. Before she took center stage she stood outside the Donald Gillespie Auditorium schmoozed with the crowd and took pictures with her mom, Elaine.
It was the first time she has been inside the school since her 1984 graduation, the actor, comedienne and author said and laughed.
Dratch, known for her seven-year gig on Saturday Night Live and for her recently published book, Girl Goes into a Bar … , read a few pages from different chapters.
“I never liked going to baby showers,” she read. “Back when I was on SNL, I went to one very fancy shower that took place on my one day off, a precious Sunday afternoon. The guest of honor was an hour-and-a-half late, so that small talk had been small-talked.”
The petite actress, dressed in a demure black sheath, stood behind the podium on tippy toes, already elevated two inches with black platform sandals. She intermittently read and talked, telling us why she (and the rest of us) don't like baby showers. Five hours watching the soon-to-be-mom opening a mountain of gifts at a glacial pace left her trapped for the next five hours.
Some might wonder what she thought during those hours. As she read from the book we learned – and it’s on one of the Patch videos posted here, so you can see for yourself.
Those who hadn’t read the laugh-out-loud book learned about her past, present and possible future, her parents, Elaine and Paul, and a life changing moment that altered everything. (No, not gonna say. You’ll have to read the book.)
Even those who had read it – and maybe reread chapters that made us giggle – were welcomed into Dratch’s sideways world.
“In spite of the fact that I’m an actor, I really don’t like talking about myself,” Dratch admitted to a crowd that included LHS students, middle-aged moms and dads, grandparents and anyone and everyone else who enjoys her work.
Her story started around 9-years-old, when she wrote, directed and acted in a neighborhood production. She tacked a poster touting the event at Doran’s Farm. It was eventually attended by parents.
Thankfully, she has a much bigger fan base now.
Yes, Dratch was the class clown. She credits a Fiske Elementary School teacher who encouraged creative writing.Eventually, after hanging out in Willard’s Woods, she found her way at Dartmouth by joining other thespians and becoming a drama geek.
From there she headed to Chicago's Second City. The rest is her history -- and ours too.
Thank you for acting out in class, Rachel. Thank you being a drama geek. Thank you for the Denise portion of Denise and Sully, for Debbie Downer (WAH WAH) and all the other parts you’ve played on SNL and other shows.
With luck her book may become a one-woman show or maybe a sit-com. Yes, luck, she already has the talent.