Once a month, a member of the theater community will pull up a chair to our cyber table and join us for a little conversation. I’ll edit the transcripts (removing the truly libelous parts) and post the results here every second Wednesday. For July, come and knock on our door; we’ve been waiting for you…
Jake Silbermann is fearless; at least he seems to be judging by his resume. As a young actor, he stepped up to play one half of daytime drama’s first gay male supercouple, “Nuke” (Luke & Noah) on the dearly departed As the World Turns. Instead of sticking to on-camera work, he’s also taken to the stage in Phaedra Backwards directed by Emily Mann and the recent revival of Dracula. And now he bravely steps into the iconic shoes of John Ritter (and gamely goes full frontal…what would Luke say!) in David Adjmi’s 3C, a decidedly dark comedy inspired by the classic sitcom Three’s Company, alongside fellow TV stars Anna Chlumsky (Veep) and Eddie Cahill (CSI:NY).
In between the prat falls and bared souls of performing in 3C, Jake took a brief moment to answer some of our burning questions about making history on the soaps, making his own short film and making something special in the kitchen.
Three’s Company went off the air when you were barely a year old so I assume you didn’t have much contact with it until you started work on this play. What sort of research did you do to prepare? What was your reaction when you first started watching episodes of the sitcom?
3C is inspired by Three’s Company, something I actually wasn’t aware of until after the audition. I had never actually seen a whole episode from start to finish until the day before rehearsal’s began. Three’s Company is incredibly offensive by today’s standards and I was glad to be a part of a show that exposes these thinly veiled insults from yesteryear.
In many ways, 3C explores the darkness that lies beneath what we do to entertain ourselves, using Three’s Company as a sort of jumping off point. Which other seemingly innocuous TV show do you think has the potential to be a world hiding a lot of ugly secrets?
Morning talk shows.
I was raised on soaps so the last few years have been pretty bittersweet as most of the shows have been cancelled. What did you take away from your years as part of such a hugely influential storyline on As the World Turns?
I was proud to be a part of a story that people felt was untold and, for many, pertained to them. Everyone’s experience should be shared or we are all missing out.
Through all your other work, you seem devoted to the New York theater scene; what is special about working on the stage here?
There’s a rich history in the New York Theatre scene. It’s been such an education, every show I’ve done here, especially working on Samuel Brett William’s Derby Day which I co-produced.
You wrote a short film in which you also appear, Stuffer. Did being the writer change how you approached the acting work?
Often times it’s an actors job to attempt to find out what story the writer is trying to tell through the character you’re playing. When you’ve written the role, it’s quite clear.
I hear you’re also a great cook. What’s your specialty? What are some of your favorite restaurants in New York?
I recently found out that I have a knack for eggplant parmesan. But I try to let fresh ingredients do the work for me. Working on 3C in the West Village one is surrounded by excellent places to eat. I recently was turned on to Bell Book and Candle which is exceptional, and I also like Little Owl.
Finally, if you could step into a character from some other classic TV show, who would it be and why?
Bea Arthur’s character on Golden Girls. She really gets me. Or JR.