Mark Rachel

Mark performs most Saturday nights at FCI with The Clubhouse and at various venues with indie team Big Shoes. 

Mark discovered his love of improvisation, theater and film in Jr. High in Albany, CA. Since that time he has studied speech and communications at San Francisco State University, improvisation at BATS improv, Stanislavski-improv-based theater at The Bennett Theater Lab, and after moving to San Diego last year, FCI. 

Mark and a group of his fellow acting school graduates founded a completely improvised film company in 2000, Barewitness Films, which has won numerous awards at the annual 48 Hour Film Project contest in San Francisco. Most recently Mark and his fellow performers from FCI’s indie team, Big Shoes, competed in the 2019 San Diego 48 Hour Film Project and won the Audience Choice Award.


Mark made his directorial debut in 2009 at the San Francisco 48 Hour Film Project and won Best Director for his film Open. He followed up with a Best Actor award for his mockumentary performance in The Big Kick in 2016.


When not improvising Mark loves nothing better than spending time body surfing and reading at Pacific Beach with fellow FCI performer and wife Diane Rachel and long-coat Chihuahua Goblin.  

What are your other hobbies? Chess, Gardening, Magic the Gathering, Mountain Biking, Piano, Poker, Singing, Softball, Tennis

What is your favorite improv scene you’ve been in? I was pulled on stage from the light booth via the game ‘Fish Out of Water’ and the musician (also pulled on stage) and I rocked an absurdist avant-garde Lithuanian musical. 

Who is your comedy idol? The late, great, George Carlin. We are taught at FCI that comedy should be played at the top of one’s intelligence. When it comes to combining humor and smarts, Carlin is the gold standard. 

10 words or less of what improv means to you? I got your back.

Where will you be in 10 years? One the beach, film set, or stage.

Anything else we should know? Chihuahuas are awesome dogs. Don’t let stereotypes convince you otherwise.

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