Hamilton and Me: An Actor’s Journal by Giles Terera MBE is a personal account of Terera’s experiences.
When Lin-Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking musical Hamilton opened in London’s West End in December 2017, it was as huge a hit as it had been in its original production off- and on Broadway. Lauded by critics and audiences alike, the show would go on to win a record-equalling seven Olivier Awards – including Best Actor in a Musical for Giles Terera MBE, for his portrayal of Aaron Burr.
For Terera, though, his journey as Burr had begun more than a year earlier, with his first audition in New York, and continuing through extensive research and preparation, intense rehearsals, previews and finally opening night itself. Throughout this time he kept a journal, recording his experiences of the production and his process of creating his award-winning performance. It is also deeply personal, as Terera reflects on experiences from his own life that he drew on to help shape his acclaimed portrayal.
As well as a fascinating, in-depth exploration of now-iconic songs and moments from the world-famous musical, as seen from the inside the book is illustrated with dozens of colour photographs, many of which are previously unseen, and features a Foreword by Miranda.
Giles Terera said: ‘As an actor, I’ve always kept rehearsal journals. It helps me process what I’m experiencing as well as helping me remember what I’m supposed to be doing. When I was asked to play the part of Aaron Burr in Hamilton, I knew that it would be both an incredible challenge and an extraordinary journey – one I wanted to learn from as well as enjoy. So, every day, I kept notes on the work and the experience. ‘I’m so happy that an experience which has been so life-changing for me might now be of use to students, theatre-makers, and anyone who loves Hamilton as much I do.’
Lin-Manuel Miranda said: ‘This is one of the most joyous and clear-eyed approaches to playing a character that I have ever read. I am so grateful Giles took notes on his process and turned them into this book. I was already in awe of his performance; now I’m in awe of his humanity and attention to detail and willingness to share the hard work and magic that goes into it.’
Matt Applewhite, Managing Director at Nick Hern Books, said: ‘It’s an honour to be publishing Giles’s brilliant personal account of his time in the most extraordinary theatrical phenomenon of our age. His book is joyous and moving, searingly honest, beautifully written, and a delight for anyone interested in a new perspective on this truly groundbreaking show. After a challenging year for theatre, this really is something for us – and for readers – to look forward to in 2021!’
About the author
Giles Terera MBE is an award-winning actor, musician, and writer. He trained at Mountview Theatre School and has worked consistently at venues such as the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Shakespeare’s Globe. He is best known for originating the role of Aaron Burr in the London production of the award-winning musical Hamilton, for which he won the 2018 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical. His other theatre credits include Rosmersholm, The Tempest, Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon, 125th Street, Rent (West End); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and more.
As a writer, Terera’s theatre work includes The Meaning of Zong (Bristol Old Vic), The Ballad of Soho Jones (St. James’), and the upcoming Black Matter (Crazy Coqs). As a filmmaker, Giles’s first documentary, Muse of Fire – created with Dan Poole – centres on modern perspectives of Shakespeare and premiered on BBC Four in Autumn 2013.
Giles was an associate producer on Poole’s feature documentary The Space: Theatre of Survivaland he wrote and directed the concert film, Hello Harry! A Celebration. Giles was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2020 New Year Honours for services to theatre.
Nick Hern Books will publish Hamilton and Me in hardback, ebook, and audiobook in Summer 2021, in all territories outside of North America. Details of North American publication will be announced in due course. More information about the book and pre-orders can be found here.