In August I was honored to do a super fancy "Show People" interview with the lovely Paul Wontorek of Broadway.com.
Initially, I was nervous. Often in purely Broadway industry interviews (and this is not a reflection on those interviews or interviewers, just on how I feel within those situations) I find it hard to be all of myself. Almost as if there is a "palatable" or "vivacious" or "Broadway" or "Alexandra Silber Person," that is a thin slice of the whole story, and "she" is the only person welcome to the party. It is not that I feel fake, for those components are all parts of my story and parts of who I am, they are just a narrow slice of the whole story. Sometimes, my heart longs to strip away the pure personality and share more my quieter, more thoughtful, most authentic self. The self, in fact, that I share here on this blog.
And while I may choose to share a certain percentage of myself, say at stage door, or on a red carpet, I guarantee you that none of what I ever share is a lie. You might not get all of me, but you will get the truth, however little of it you receive that exact day. I believe it is not only healthy but essential about keeping one's dearest and most inner thoughts, feelings and intimacies for our closest friends and family. But utter exposure and revelation is not what authenticity is. Authenticity isn’t the presence of something, but the absence of everything that is not authentic. If you think about the moments in your life that are meaningful—I mean truly meaningful—you will always find a degree of realness, of truth and of this elusive quality of "authenticity." Those heartfelt compliments, tough conversations, honest job reviews, and actually enjoyable first dates: all of them involve at least some degree of authenticity. That is to say, all of those moments drop some form pretending and pretense, give up the need to make things "okay" and allow them to be exactly what they are.
This interview was all of me. It was authentic Al in all my colors—bright and muted. Paul was a hoot, but he was also honest, curious, open, welcoming, smart as a whip, and willing to go there. It was such a victory for authenticity—in the business or anywhere.
As Oscar Wilde said:
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
FIDDLER ON THE ROOF star Alexandra Silber on being #TheCutestPregnantWomanOnBroadway, her enduring obsession with Rebecca Luker, her upcoming books and what she didn't want to tell Angela Lansbury when they met.Alexandra Silber on Her Broadway Prom Date, Writing Fiddler Fan Fiction & Why She’s Fancy AND Fun: