Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Understudy

Playbill.com Article on John Hillner

I've auditioned for a few understudy roles before, but I've never gotten one, and I've never quite understood how they work. I know that they're always supposed to be available for the lead actor(s) should anybody fall ill or become unable to perform the show, but I've never understood what it's like, psychologically as an actor, to be an understudy.

The job of understudy is one of the toughest in the business. It usually means you prepare like crazy for a moment that doesn't happen, or happens so seldom that you can't create something as rich, connected and involved as you or you fellow actors would like.

The story in here about Hillner going on for Daniel Davis with absolutely zero rehearsals under his belt is the kind of thing I have nightmares about.


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