Hamilton and Me – An Actor’s Journal by Giles Terera
In writing this review let me say straight off, I appreciate that I am late to the party with Hamilton and Me – An Actor’s Journal. The book by Giles Terera was released in July 2021 but for some unknown reason it has taken me this long to discover and read this book.
Giles Terera played Aaron Burr in the original London cast of Hamilton. The book is Giles Terera’s journal that he kept from his discovery of the musical, through to press night (and a few antidotes from beyond). This journal provides a remarkable amount of insight to everything from the Hamilton rehearsal process through to Terera’s own insights to the character of Burr. He talks about the rest of the company and production team (always with a huge amount of respect and admiration) as well as analysis of the lyrics that he and others perform. It is a fascinating insight into the process of getting Hamilton staged.
For those that are Hamilton fans it will undoubtedly make you want to go and watch the pro shot again, or even the live show itself. He points out the minutia of the show that a casual watcher would not pick up, from the choreography to the language used and it is mind blowing. He frequently mentions very specific parts of the show and now I have read the book I plan to reread, with the pro shot on and jump to these specific parts within the pro shot to fully immerse myself in it further.
Giles Terera comes across as an incredibly intelligent actor throughout his journal. His thoughts on the character are remarkable and show someone who has really honed their craft and it is clear why he is at the top of his game.
The book is also incredibly personal, it speaks about Terera’s loss of his parents and experiences from his life and therefore how it influences his portrayal of Burr. He also talks about his own vulnerabilities throughout the process which is refreshing as it is humbling. Within the book there is also an interesting selection of photos to document the journey. Many of these are by Terera himself and add an extra dimension to the book.
This book is a must read for all Hamilton fans but even if Hamilton doesn’t set your world alight it is a book I would recommend for any theatre fan or performer anyway due to the insight it gives in preparing for a role and the process of getting a West End show on stage.
You can purchase the book on Amazon here. When I last checked it was £13.
If you like this review of Hamilton and Me – An Actor’s Journal you might also like my review of Hamilton, things to look out for when watching the Hamilton pro-shot, Who Sings Burn best and my book review on the top 20 theatres to see before you die.