Rising Star: Meet comedian and performer Rachel Galvo

We have a great legacy of performers in this country. From actors to musicians to comedians.

That’s where Rachel Galvo comes in. She’s a comedian, actor, singer and writer who has gained a strong online following with over 30k followers on TikTok.

Earlier this year, she announced her one-woman show, The Shite Feminist, would be going on tour. Her first Irish date sold out within two minutes, the next two sold out in a similar manner.

We caught up with the rising star to chat about growing up performing, all-girl Catholic school and what we should expect from her shows!


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Hi Rachel, congratulations on your sold out shows. Can you believe that they sold out so quickly?

I can’t believe it. People were texting me saying they couldn’t get into Ticketmaster. I was getting “It’s not working, it’s not working” texts! And I was like, “Oh my God! This is so embarrassing! It’s my first ever show!” Then my manager called me to tell me it was working and I was sold out. It was crazy. I definitely didn’t expect the same thing for the second show. Ticketmaster automatically put the third date up then, so whoever was on the site were able to get tickets there. It sold out in like two minutes. Crazy!

Were you prepared for three dates?

We had the reservation on the venue, but I didn’t expect it to sell out like that. I thought maybe a day or two later we might announce it was going on sale. But I didn’t expect the third date to go on sale immediately.

Has the reality sunk in yet?

Honestly no. I’m suffering from huge imposter syndrome. There is no way this way can be real. I was saying to my mam before the tickets went on sale would she buy 20 or 30 tickets, so the room wouldn’t be empty! It’s all well and good to have people follow you online but it’s hard to know if they’re real people or how it translates to real sales. I wasn’t sure if anyone would come to the show. I was probably in shock for at least 24 hours. My friends were telling me congratulations and I had no idea what they were talking about. I grew up doing theatre with a cast of 40 or 50 or even 60 people, with an orchestra, directors, producers. When our shows sold out we had people to celebrate with. Now it’s me alone, in my flat in London. It’s really hard to comprehend. It’s not anti-climatic but it’s hard for me to manage my energy levels alone. I’ve brought on a director, who I’ve worked with before. I’m really excited about that! It was a bit daunting to do this by myself.

You’re very funny! Did you always know you were funny?

I’ve always been a storyteller, since I could talk. My grandfather was a huge storyteller, he would tell us Irish folklore and stories. That tradition was in the family. After every family dinner or Christmas, everyone would have to do a party piece. He would teach me these really funny stories and I would perform them from when I could talk. I just love the spotlight! I would, of course, force all my siblings to perform with me. We would do songs – It’s a Hard Knock Life! We would have all the brooms out. Our poor parents were like, “Not another one.” I don’t think I discovered I was funny, I didn’t care if people laughed, I just wanted to perform.

A lot of your humour is about your days in an all-girl Catholic school…something a lot of us can relate to!

I had a teacher in that school say, “If you can make it through this, you can make it through anything!” It didn’t seem funny at the time and I really, really struggled, a huge amount of my show is based on that! When you go through something difficult, you have to see the funny side of things. You have to make light of things!

Did you expect to make a career as a performer?

Honestly no. I never saw many people around me have performing as a career. But I always loved it. I just lived in my drama school growing up, but I always saw it as a hobby. Academics was a completely different thing. I went to a very high-performance school, where success was based on grades. I felt like I had to prove myself in my academics, I wanted to impress people. I got a scholarship to a performing school in Boston. So I went over there for a summer and that’s when I realised that maybe this is something people do as a job. But it’s obviously very different over there. I got caught up in the academic and corporate success thing. That was my idea of what success was like. The minute I got into Trinity, I spent my whole time with the drama society. It wasn’t until my last semester, performing in my very last show when my mam said that I could try performing professionally. She told me how good I was at it. So I just went all in! I am obviously very aware of how hard it is to perform. I’m so lucky. I’m absolutely delighted with how it’s going.

You’re still working a nine-to-five though?

I’ve actually just handed in my notice! We have a lot lined up, so it was a lot to juggle. It’s crazy and amazing but I’m excited.

Is there a difference between performing on stage and making videos for online?

I grew up doing theatre, stage fright isn’t something that affects me. I’ve grown out of caring what people think of me. They’re very, very, very different. When I make my videos I just act like I’m talking to my friends, with an elevated energy. I don’t know how different it is. But usually, when I’m performing on stage I’m acting as another person. So it will definitely be different when I’m performing as myself.

But the energy you get from the audience must be electric!

It’s amazing. Performing is what I imagine the greatest drug in the world is like. There is no better feeling than being on stage, hearing the clapping and when you get a standing ovation! It’s insane.

@rachel_galvoWhat is life 🥹😭♬ original sound – Rachelgalvo

When you set up your TikTok, did you expect it to blow up?

I never wanted to be an influencer or an online personality. I always wanted to be a performer on stage. But I know it’s important to capitalise on social media. And I’m so grateful for my followers because I wouldn’t be here without it. But I didn’t expect to blow up on it.

You have such a loyal audience, is that incredible?

It’s so nice, a lot of my followers are Irish and I live in London now. There’s no support network like Irish people. I love it! My mam finds it weird because she gets recognised quite a lot. But secretly I think she loves it!

Obviously in Ireland, we have a long line of incredible women comedians and performers. Do you have any inspirations?

I’m obsessed with Aisling Bea and Sharon Horgan – women who do it all in a sense. They write, act, produce. I think that’s really, really cool. That’s definitely the route I want to go down.

Finally, before you head off, what can we expect from the show?

I’m going to Edinburgh Fringe in August, where you perform every single night. And what I’ve decided with my director, Beth, is that we’re going to be open to chopping and changing. We’re going to be open to what the audience likes. I’m very flexible and open to changing things. And I love collaboration, so when I’m back home in Ireland I’m always trying to get musicians involved and change the production. So I don’t have an exact plan on what it’s going to be. But it’s going to be relatable, funny, Irish Catholic humour. Not stuff you want to talk to your parents about. My parents are dead set on coming which I am humiliated about. There’s a lot of bold stories in there!

Rachel Glavo will play three sold-out dates in Dublin later this year – The Sugar Club on the 5th of September and The Academy on the 17th and 18th of October

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