In fact, Alex Berlage is an incredibly humble man, especially for someone so young who has over 100 productions as lighting designer/director to his name, garnering over a dozen prestigious award nominations and coming away with wins for most of them!
While chatting to Star Observer, Berlage talked about his journey from aspiring dancer at a performing arts high school to the realisation he was more interested in the magic happening behind the scenes, assuring us that he’s better out the back.
“I’m not a performer anymore by any means but I think like, I’m off the stage and that’s for the benefit of everyone in the world, let’s put it that way.”
‘I Am Not In The Right Show’
He also talked about the time in his life when he came to that realisation, changing the trajectory of his life forever, “We had this little black box theatre in my high school and it was this moment of being in shows when you become more aware of the whole picture than your own individual performance.
“I think that’s the kind of key moment when I realised, as a performer I’m not actually in the show right now, I’m looking and thinking too much about the holistic picture and it was that realisation that my focus and my interest was more on the whole picture than on my individual performance arc that made me realise what I needed to pursue.”
Berlage has had an incredible run to this point and it’s only getting more heady as his career reaches new heights, with two of his musicals, Cry Baby and American Psycho, which both had initial seasons at the Hayes Theatre, following up with seasons at the Sydney Opera House, one after the other!
Decisions Led By Happiness
“It’s not lost on me that, in the space of two months, the first two musicals I’ve ever directed are both at the Sydney Opera House. It’s not lost on me how absolutely absurd and how lucky I am to be in that position so there is a certain degree of, this is absolutely insane, also very humbling and great and I’m just incredibly excited.”
With so much success and having already had productions at the Opera House, one of the pinnacle achievements of anyone in the creative arts, what goes into the decision about what to do next?
“I think the thing that very much leads my decision making is that I’ve made a decision to do this as my career and if I want to just make money and feel sad, I’ll do a job that I make A LOT of money from and feel INCREDIBLY sad doing. But I might as well feel really happy and satisfied in my job and make enough money to live. My decisions are really led by what is going to make me feel happy as an artist and as a human, you know?”