On the Couch with Alex Rathgeber

Alex Rathgeber AAR On the CouchWho is Alex Rathgeber?
A kid once from Horsham in country Victoria who always loved to sing and keep active and social, who grew up to become an actor now living and swimming at Manly Beach NSW with his partner Tom.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I’ve actually had a go at doing a few different things over the past few years, but it’s proven impossible to deny my passion for performing, this community and the art we create.

Who inspires you and why?
Too many to mention – I get such a kick out of seeing the consistent, dedicated work that I see people around me doing, and the ways life rewards them for their efforts. Especially in this business, which requires everyone to dig deep and find the internal will and strength to make meaningful, impactful, (hopefully) life-changing art out of thin air… and it’s happening all around us. I find it endlessly inspiring. I’m so proud to be a part of the Aussie entertainment industry.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I read a book a few years ago called Half The Sky, written by Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn, about the oppression of women in various dark corners of the world. It’s not a pleasant read. It really opened my eyes to how many women and girls endure extreme powerlessness and suffering in this world. I would like to help change that.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
On a yacht, sailing somewhere in the Mediterranean… I haven’t done it yet, but hope to one day soon.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I’d invite them over to Manly, we’d go snorkelling in Cabbage Tree Bay between Manly Beach and Shelley Beach, right in front of our apartment, and sit on the wall at the Bower cafe. It’s a little slice of paradise. We’d take the ferry into town, passing the Opera House and Bridge at sunset, and catch a show at Hayes Theatre. Next day we might head down to Clovelly or Coogee Beach or up the coast to Pittwater area. If we had more time, I’d take them to the Blue Mountains for a hike. Sydney’s the most ridiculously picturesque city to call home – we’re spoilt for choice.

What are you currently reading?
Dare To Lead by Brené Brown, which is essentially about embracing vulnerability and using it to increase our empathy and sense of common ground.

What are you currently listening to?
Voice memos of my harmony lines for our Jekyll & Hyde group numbers. There are plenty of tricky bits for us to nail – gotta love a bit of intense gothic dissonance.

Happiness is?
Exercise in the morning; some challenging, meaningful work; quality time with Tom, friends and family; good food and conversation; and a bit of nonsense for good measure!

What does the future hold for you?
If you have access to a crystal ball, can you tell me! No, don’t. As much as it’s challenging, the unknown really makes me tick… it’s part of the thrill and excitement of this business. Anything is possible. It keeps me on my toes, and in equal parts makes me appreciate the present moment and strive to be the best I can be for whatever might be around the corner.

Alex stars as Simon Stride in Concertworks’ presentation of Jekyll & Hyde at Hamer Hall – Arts Centre Melbourne (25 & 26 October) and Darling Harbour Theatre – ICC Sydney (2 November).  For more information, visit: www.concertworks.com.au for details.

Image: Alex Rathgeber – photo by Parker Blain