Released at the beginning of this month, Hamilton and Me: An Actors Journal by Giles Terra is a unique inside account which explores everything involved in opening a once-in-a-generation production like Hamilton the Musical.
Giles, who played Aaron Burr in the original London production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash-hit musical Hamilton, kept a diary of his experiences with the show. These journal entries have been put together into a book which details the creative process of putting on a new show.
Before securing a lead role in Hamilton, Giles worked as a writer, producer and filmmaker and performed in West End shows from Avenue Q to The Book of Mormon and Rent, and at the UK’s most prestigious venues alongside the likes of Jonathan Pryce, Lenny Henry, Hayley Atwell and Ralph Fiennes.
Hamilton and Me: An Actors Journal is a very easy book to read. Well written and informative, it takes us on a journey from the original audition for the role, to finding out he had got the part, all the way through the rehearsal process and to the exhilaration of press night.
What is wonderful about this book is that it gives a look into the mind of an actor and what it takes to embody the role of a character. From the background research on Aaron Burr himself, through to questioning each line in the show (why does he say this, what was his thought process at the time that made him say it and what is the best way to deliver to line in order to authentically portray the character), readers are taken on an in-depth journey that will thrill any Hamilton fan.
The book is very specific to the show Hamilton but I don’t think many people would pick it up to read unless they were familiar with the show and its story. Hamilton and Me: An Actors Journal is an interesting book that takes us inside the mind of a performer.
Reviewed by West End Wilma