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Mary Rachel Gardner, nicknamed MayRay, was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area by a big Greek family. Known for her sense of humor and genuine presence, since she was a child, Mary Rachel loved sharing stories and challenging perspectives with almost anyone.
She graduated from USC in 2013 with a major in Acting and double minor in Business and Film Production; she also spent a semester abroad studying at a theatre conservatory in London. Mary Rachel has been performing since she was six years old; constantly active with dance, musical theatre, and filmmaking. While at USC, she acted in numerous student films and had the pleasure of performing in Top Girls as Patient Griselda/Nell, and Trystan and Ysuelt as a Love-spotter. Mary Rachel wrote, produced, and acted in some of her own short films as well.
While theatre and film are significant players in her life, she is also passionate about the “behind the scenes” aspects of entertainment. Mary Rachel worked at several production companies, such as Steve Carell’s Carousel Productions and agencies such as William Morris Endeavor. She even had the incredible opportunity to work at The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where she learned about the production and operation elements of running a live television show.
All of these amazing experiences have further fueled her passion for entertainment; which is why Mary Rachel is currently pursuing her acting, writing and producing career in Los Angeles. Since graduating from USC, she has starred as the lead in several plays, musicals and short independent films, one that is submitting to Sundance this 2016, and was a featured dancer in the upcoming feature-length film Breaking Legs. She has also developed many of her own independent projects with her production company Kalliste Zoe Productions; including music videos, parodies, comedic sketches and short films.
Mary Rachel is eager and ready to contribute her talents and collaborate professionally with others in the entertainment industry. She truly feels at home when entertaining others, whether she is on the stage, in front of or behind the camera. These past few years have reassured her that she has found her niche and is truly looking forward to the new adventures ahead.
For some inspiration; You, actor, must master the art of observation…for what matters is not how you look but what you have seen and can show us…Your task, actors, is to be explorers and teachers of the art of dealing with people. Knowing their nature and demonstrating it, you teach them to deal with themselves. You teach them the great art of living together -- (Bertold Brecht).