While working to bring the smash-hit musical Hamilton to the West End stage, Giles Terera kept a journal that chronicled the journey and now provides a wonderfully moving insight into the process that so few get to be part of. However, instead of just being a diary that looks at the day-to-day process of putting on a show, this book is an honest and academic look at what it takes physically and mentally.
Throughout the rehearsal period, Terera takes a methodical approach to playing the role of Aaron Burr; he looks at what made Burr do the things he did, as well as comparing his own journey and life experiences to the character. It’s quite amazing to see just how much mental work goes into making Burr as well-rounded as he comes across in the musical.
What is also striking about this book is how humble Terera seems. The way he openly discusses his fears, weaknesses and struggles comes across very genuinely and as an outsider, it’s particularly interesting to see how he overcomes his struggles and pushes through the intense process without breaking down. His rawness clearly comes across in his portrayal of Burr and it’s no surprise that he received rave reviews and praise when the show opened in London.
Hamilton and Me: An Actor’s Journal serves as a snapshot of time and masterfully takes readers on a journey they would rarely get to go on, of even really understand. Terera offers an exhilarating look at a musical stripped down to its simple roots and lets us be both in the room where it happens as well as watching the room be formed. This is a real treat of a book and a must-read for theatre lovers and aspiring performers.
‘This is a real treat…a must-read for theatre lovers & aspiring performers’: @RewriteThisWeb reviews @GilesTerera’s book #HamiltonAndMe, chronicling his @OlivierAwards-winning turn as Aaron Burr in @Lin_Manuel’s @HamiltonWestEnd. #HamiltonLDN #bookreviews