IN HINDSIGHT, the trajectory of Rachel Bloom’s career could have been intuited from her approach to a senior year AP economics assignment. In 2005 video footage posted recently to her Instagram account, Bloom and a couple of friends from Mira Costa High School can be seen exploring the concept of monopolies through a song parody inspired by The Music Man’s “(Ya Got) Trouble.”

Today, Bloom’s name is synonymous with that mixture of musical theatre tradition and comedy innovation. The Thespian alum of Troupe 2091 (she traveled twice to the California State Thespian Festival) followed graduation with a move across country, from Manhattan Beach, Calif., to Manhattan’s New York University, where she majored in musical theatre and directed the Hammerkatz sketch comedy group.

Bloom put talents derived from both experiences on display in several YouTube music videos that went viral, catching the attention of The Devil Wears Prada screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna. The two collaborated to create Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, a musical television show that also starred Bloom as the titular Rebecca Bunch over four seasons on the CW network. Bloom co-wrote more than 150 songs for the series, two of which are nominated for 2019 Emmy Awards.

Now that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has ended its run, Bloom is taking those tunes on tour in live comedy concerts at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, London’s Palladium, and cities across the U.S. Bloom’s fans will be thrilled to know that, when asked if she’d consider writing and performing a stage musical, she replied, “Yes! There’s more to come on this, but writing a full-length musical is definitely a goal of mine.”

What sparked your interest in performing? 
I’ve been performing since I was little, but I always felt like an outlier. Entering my high school theatre department was the first time I really found other people who cared about the same things I did.

In addition to performing at an early age, it seems you’ve always been writing, starting with a fifth-grade talent show act. How did you discover your voice as a writer and songwriter? 
I always loved writing and performing but saw them as separate things. However, I was raised on Weird Al [Yankovic] and Mel Brooks, so song parodies were the one time I combined the two. I didn’t consider comedy songwriting as a career path until post-college.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend broke ground for its honest portrayal of mental health. As you developed the show, did you face skepticism from those who said you couldn’t write seriously about mental health in a comedy that included over-the-top musical numbers?
I luckily had a bunch of music videos online that were tonal examples of what we wanted to do with the show, so that prevented any skepticism on that front. The skepticism we faced was with the title. People didn’t understand that the title was ironic and that we’d be going underneath stereotypes, not celebrating them.

You once said you’d heard Crazy Ex-Girlfriend referred to as a “musical for people who hate musicals” because you’re not afraid to poke fun at ridiculous aspects of musical theatre. Yet, serious musical theatre fans also were drawn to the show because of your love for and knowledge of the form. How do you straddle the line between making fun of musical theatre and simultaneously paying homage to it?
Honestly, a lot of it is gut feeling. Getting good at comedy takes years of trial and error in front of a live audience, so a lot of the lessons you learn are seeing what specifically fails and what specifically succeeds. However, I and my writing partners try to stay true to traditional songwriting structure: verse-verse-bridge-verse, etc.

What advice would you give Thespians interested in pursuing a career like yours?
Try everything, seek the joy, and try not to see your craft as being synonymous with your self-worth.

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