The following is an interview with Alexandra Ryan regarding the production, Will the Real Me Please Stand Up?, at the 2023 Hollywood Fringe Festival. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Ryan about the inspiration behind the production, her shared creative process in working with director Juliette Jeffers to bring the solo show to life, how you can purchase tickets, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congrats on the upcoming launch of Will the Real Me Please Stand Up? in this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival! For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about the premise of this show?
Alexandra Ryan: Thank you so much! I’m really excited to be performing at the Fringe for the first time. The show is about a woman whose inner voices come out to do battle to see who is the one true her. It navigates pieces of my life as seen through the eyes of my inner voices.
BD: As the writer and performer, what can you tell us about your shared creative process in working with director Juliette Jeffers to bring this production to life?
AR: Oh, I just adored working with Juliette. She and I came to the table with many shared experiences and that really helped birth what the show was to become. I have to tell you I spent many months with Juliette “not” writing, just trying to figure out what I wanted to say with this show and how to best tell it and she was so present for all of that, asking helping questions, suggesting avenues to consider. She’s an incredible director and guide and is able to lead while walking beside you, if that makes sense. Never pushing her own ideas but with a hand on your back, supporting you as you find your way. And then once the script was done, we had a great time discussing and going deep on all these characters in the show. It truly has been an incredibly collaborative process.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that your story may connect with and impact audiences?
AR: One of the things that I love about this story is that I feel like the themes are universal. We all have more than one voice in our head. I think we all struggle to find ourselves. But what is truly special for me about the show is that it doesn’t have all the answers. It asks the questions. The world isn’t black and white. It’s not one thing or another. Being human is a paradox, and I think people can relate to that. As well as to the bigger themes of family and love and loss.
BD: What makes the Hollywood Fringe Festival an ideal venue for your productions?
AR: I have felt so supported by the Fringe right from the beginning. The Fringe is in its 13th year, and they are amazingly supportive of artists and their journeys. I’m doing a solo show, but I’ve never once felt alone. Besides Juliette, I’ve also had the support of the Fringe staff, Theatre Asylum who run a bunch of theaters during fringe, including the Stephanie Feury Theatre where I’m performing, and other performers. Especially other performers. Being around and connecting with them over the process of creating a show has put me so at ease.
BD: The show will be appearing at the Stephanie Feury Studio Theatre in June. Are there any future plans to perform the show at other venues?
AR: I mean the short answer is yes! I would love for this show to run at other venues. For now though I’m working really hard at focusing on the one next thing in front of me (not easy with all the voices in my brain pushing to see what’s next!) and not get too far ahead of myself. This is my first solo show and the first time I’ve ever performed my words live. I’ve created films and sketches and TV pilots and stand up, but I’ve never created a show from scratch. And I want to see both how it’s received and how I feel doing it.
BD: Are there any other upcoming projects that you would care to share with our readers?
AR: Yes! I wrote and starred in a short film called The Wish, which is making its way through the film festival circuit now. It’s a dramedy about a woman desperate to create the perfect day for her sister but everything keeps getting in the way, especially her sister. I’m really proud of it. We just started submitting to festivals and can’t wait to see where it premieres!
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell readers who want to learn more about and purchase tickets for Will the Real Me Please Stand Up?
AR: Well, first of all, I’d want to thank them. For wanting to support my show, and to support live theater. They can go to my page on the Hollywood Fringe website. There’s a much more detailed synopsis of the show and a button to purchase tickets. Thanks so much, Barbra!