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Actor Jake Silbermann On Opening Night Parties and Booze in the Dressing Room

How tired are you of actors and actresses who claim they don't care about awards when you know damn well they're up at 5 a.m. the day the Golden Globes, the Oscars and the Tonys are announced, drinking an Irish coffee and cursing out the competition? This is just one of the reason we especially like Jake Silbermann, who's currently making his Broadway debut in Richard Greenberg's latest play Assembled Parties, about what happens to a ritzy New York family when the glamour fades. But when Silbermann said he was surprised about his show being nominated for a Tony Award for Best New Play, we believed him (he didn't even know what day the Tonys were being announced until friends started to call). The tall, dark-haired actor with a varsity smile first caught our eye when he was one half of the first gay relationship on a soap opera as Noah on As the World Turns. Aside from Assembled Parties' Tony nominations we recently talked to him about acting alongside '90s TV icon Judith Light and the hooch he's got stashed in his dressing room. 

You must be one of the only actors on Broadway who did not have a calendar alert set for the Tony Awards announcement.

I don't follow that stuff so much.  I didn't think it was for another week or so. I certainly knew by the time I got to the theater I'd gotten calls from friends and family saying they were excited. That was how I found out.  

So you're not a big awards person...  

No I'm honestly not. I think awards shows are fun, but I wouldn't say that I watch that many. I definitely will watch this time around. I mean it's kind of fun this year, I have friends who've been nominated aside from people in the Assembled Parties like Judith Light. This is my first Broadway show and I haven't been in this world for very long, so I think I'll watch with a little more invested interest now. 

Were you intimidated making your Broadway debut alongside veteran actors like Judith Light and Jessica Hecht?  

I mean, I grew up watching Judith Light on Who's the Boss and from the first reading we did she was so sweet and immediately made me feel at home. That's kind of the vibe I got from just about everyone else in the cast too. I also had Lauren Blumenfeld who was making her Broadway debut in the show. I was very eager to work with them and for me all that really means is be prepared and go and be ready to work.  

Are you addicted to Broadway now? 

Yeah, I kind of am.  

The two acts of the play are very different. In the first act you play Scotty and in the second act you play Timmy, Scotty's younger brother. Which was your favorite brother to play? 

I go back and forth some days I have a little bit more of an affinity for Scotty and then more for Timmy. It's always interesting to see how the audience reacts to each of those characters, because they're very different people. I don't want to give anything away, but [Scotty and Timmy] have not grown up together. They've grown up in very different times with very different circumstances and it's made them completely different people.

I didn't see the switch coming at all and I actually thought in the first act you were going to pull another As the World Turns moment with your co-star Jeremy Shamos...

Really? We actually had other conversations being like, "We need to make sure this doesn't seem this way because it's definitely not intended." [Richard Greenberg] likes keeping you guessing.  
Since this was your Broadway debut was the opening night party for Assembled Parties also your first Broadway opening night party? 

I had been to a few, but this was my first Broadway opening. I was surprised at how tired I was. I was so lame! I didn't even stay that late, but it was fun. For actors working on a play it feels like it's not yours, like it still belongs to somebody else until after the opening. And then the opening happens and you're like, "OK great, now we can really let these characters grow and see what we can find."  

What do you like to do in New York when you're not working?

The one thing about being in a show that's a little awkward is that I'm at work when most of my friends who aren't actors are getting off, so I can't really see too much of them. I don't really do too much hanging out right now, it's pretty much just the show, but I still feel like the show is in its infancy. Monday night is our dark night so that's definitely a night to take my girlfriend out somewhere and do something with just us. We'll see where the show's at once the summer comes around, but I do love getting out of town for those long weekends.   

What's one thing you have to have in your dressing room?  

I can't lie--I like a good scotch or a good bourbon, so I've got a Macallan's in the dressing room right now. It's nice to have a little post show nip of that.   

Pictured above is Jake Silbermann getting his cheeks patted by the one and only Judith Light as Jessica Hecht looks on in their play Assembled Parties which is now running at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater, 261 W 47th St, New York, NY. Photographed by Joan Marcus.

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