Rachel Lucille Woodworth has always been interested in music. After graduating from North Pocono High School and studying at Pratt Institute and New York Film Academy, she went abroad to study acting at the Theater of Changes and guitar, harmony and theory under the guidance of guitarist Yiorgos Argyropoulos at Musical Praxis Conservatory, both in Athens, Greece. When a medical condition forced her to return home to Northeast Pennsylvania, she pursued a music career. She is now a singer, songwriter, composer and guitarist who leads LittleStarRun.
Meet Rachel Lucille Woodworth…
Q: What is your music background?
A: I’m influenced by shoe gaze music and a lot of indie rock and some punk elements. I definitely grew up listening to that type of music. Also, I was really passionate about jazz from a young age, and my first instrument was the clarinet. I have a jazz and classical background. Ultimately, I have been influenced by that as well, perhaps in the way I approach my compositions.
Q: What is LittleStarRun?
A: LittleStarRun is music project I started around 2009. I had a few incarnations of my project LittleStarRun with other band members, but I really had trouble keeping it together. I tried to put together a band for a long time, but it’s very difficult to find the right chemistry and people whose schedules align. I’ve found two musicians that I really enjoy playing with, Justin Padro and Chelsea Taylor. I call (our music) indie dream folk, but it actually has maybe a lot more elements to it.
Q: How did you come up with the name LittleStarRun?
A: A friend of mine in Athens started calling me “Little Star,” and it sort of just became this weird, iconic name. The LittleStarRun came about a strange way; it was influenced by (a) song (by) the Velvet Underground and the lyrics “run, run, run.”
Q: Talk about your experience in Greece. What led you there?
A: I went on tour with a circus theater company. While I was performing there, I was much more interested in Athens and Greece in general than what I was doing with the circus theater company. I had planned to do acrobatics in Greece, but there isn’t much of a scene there. Now there’s actually a thriving scene, but I wasn’t able to get jobs, and it just wasn’t working. Then I saw an ad for a theater school that was putting on an international theater festival, and I decided to try it out. I was a participant in the festival, and I really enjoyed all of the workshops. I decided to enroll. This was probably two years into my time in Greece. When I was in theater school, that’s when all of the musical stuff started to happen for me.
Q: Describe yourself as a songwriter.
A: I think my theatrical background definitely affects the way I write songs, the way I put words together, the way I see images; and songs, to me, are all about images. It’s like I’m watching these scenes that flow through me, then I’m kind of describing what I’m experiencing in that imaginary realm. I don’t ever really set out to write about something specific. When I’m writing for a job or something like that and I have to produce something specific, then I can. But when I’m just doing my own music for my own project, I don’t choose subjects to write about.
Q: Can you compare and contrast the music scene here and the music scene in Greece?
A: There is actually a good English-language indie rock scene in Athens. A lot of bands from all over come through and play shows, so it’s a really eclectic and thriving music scene. I got to experience a lot of world music as well, also Greek traditional music, Italian traditional music and a lot of other types of music (that) I really (hadn’t) been exposed to in that depth. Also, that’s where I really got exposed to shoe gaze music from the United Kingdom.
Q: Talk about the album you’re working on.
A: The album is really about the emotions I experienced when I had to leave Greece and move back to the United States. The songs are a combination (of) those two countries and also just the chaos that ensued when I had to move back. It’s been a very interesting return, and I’ve been dealing with a lot. I’ve been processing a lot and put all of that into my music.
Q: What brought you back to the United States?
A: I got a really severe injury in my ankle, and it wouldn’t heal. I was diagnosed with a rare neurological condition called CRPS/RSD. It can affect the whole body and can spread onto the nerves. I had to come back to the United States for treatment. I try to raise awareness because it’s not something people understand or know a lot about even within the medical community. It’s something that can happen to anyone, no one is immune, and it completely changed my world view. I had to slow my life down in a way that I never expected. It’s definitely made me more compassionate and understanding to anyone who is experiencing any kind of suffering. Also, how fragile life can be, how quickly things change. If I had been doing acrobatics when it happened, it probably would’ve devastated me even more, but in a way, it’s good that I was a musician because I could still play.
Q: What other hobbies and interests do you have?
A: I’m really into film. I like writing. I am actually in a theatrical (playwrights) group. We’re working on some pieces for theater. Songwriting is a huge part of my existence. Over the last two years, I started working with some writers in other countries and in other places to do collaborations and to write for film and television.
Q: After working with many international artists, you immersed yourself in the NEPA music community quickly. What’s it like to be a part of that?
A: I love our music scene and have collaborated with a lot of people around here. I was part of the band Brian TV for a while, which is an indie-psychedelic rock band. We released a short album over the summer called “Animal Worship.” We have so much talent in this area, and there’s a really good community.
Q: What is a fun fact about you?
A: I’m really into genealogy. When I first got (diagnosed with) my illness, I had to spend a lot of time at home in bed. I did extensive genealogy research on my family. I can get really into nerdy stuff like that.
Q: We’ve talked about many things that were life-changing for you, but can you pinpoint a specific time in your life that helped shape who you are today?
A: There was a time in New York City where I lived and worked at a small jazz club in the West Village. I got to experience being next to amazing, world-class musicians every night. It was a really inspiring time for me. I think that really changed me in a lot of ways.
Photos taken at Adezzo