By GILES TERERA
FOREWORD BY LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA
A unique, inside account of preparing for, rehearsing and performing in one of the most important cultural phenomena of our time – Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda – from London’s original Aaron Burr
IN HARDBACK, EBOOK AND AUDIOBOOK
‘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.’
Lin-Manuel Miranda, from his Foreword
ORDER YOUR COPY
Hamilton and Me: An Actor's Journal by Giles Terera is available now in hardback, ebook and audiobook.
Save 20% on your copy when ordering direct from publishers Nick Hern Books – or pick the book up from other major book retailers, including the ones listed below.
Hamilton and Me is also available in audiobook, read unabridged by Giles Terera – listen to an extract and get your copy via the links below.
ABOUT THE BOOK
‘Stand. Breathe. Look. Try to empty my mind. Somehow, for some reason, I have been brought to this place to tell this story, now. So tell it. That’s all.’
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, 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. This book, Hamilton and Me, is that journal.
It offers an honest, intimate and thrilling look at everything involved in opening a once-in-a-generation production – the triumphs, breakthroughs and doubts, the camaraderie of the rehearsal room and the moments of quiet backstage contemplation – as well as a fascinating, in-depth exploration of now-iconic songs and moments from the musical, as seen from the inside. It is also deeply personal, as Terera reflects on experiences from his own life that he drew on to help shape his acclaimed portrayal.
Illustrated with dozens of colour photographs, many of which are shared here for the first time, and featuring an exclusive Foreword by Lin-Manuel Miranda, this book is an essential read for all fans of Hamilton – offering fresh, first-hand insights into the music and characters they love and know so well – as well as for aspiring and current performers, students, and anyone who wants to discover what it really felt like to be in the room where it happened.
READ A FREE EXTRACT
To get a flavour of Hamilton and Me, read an exclusive extract from the book via the link below– and be sure to order your copy now, available from all good bookshops.
'Masterful and excellently written... offers audiences and readers the chance to not only be in the ‘room where it happens’ but also to smell the sweat, feel the pulsing hearts and hear the resonance... deserves a permanent place on aspiring musical theatre performers’ bookshelves' The Reviews Hub
'The author’s credentials as a Hamilton expert are second to none... the real strength of this book lies not only in its affection for the show and the company but also a great deal of detail about the topsy-turvy adventure of bringing it to the stage... a highly articulate, very thoughtful and hugely enjoyable read' British Theatre Guide
'A rare insight behind the scenes... fascinating, well-written, relatable and engaging... if you’re a fan of Hamilton, an aspiring actor, or just a lover of history, this book will inspire you to take a look at those characters and performers you admire and see them in a different way' The Play's The Thing UK
'Insightful, honest, and reflective... throughout, Terera writes with a clarity that allows even those who have never experienced what it takes to bring a show to stage to become absorbed within that alien world... don’t throw away your shot to read this excellent book – grab a copy today' Everything Theatre
'An inspirational and insightful read... the level of detail that the book affords into the rehearsal process is particularly fascinating, taking us so far behind the scenes you can smell the greasepaint... jam-packed full of hard-won insights and all kinds of practical advice' There Ought To Be Clowns
'A smart blend of memoir and vital insight into what performers go through to get a show on the road... an absolute delight. Illuminating about both the craft of acting and the glorious show that is Hamilton, it takes you on a whirlwind journey through what was clearly an incredibly important period in Giles Terera’s life. Thoroughly recommended for anyone with an interest in acting, Hamilton, or just theatre in general' Mind The Blog
'A great read, with beautiful photographs and steeped with history and experiences from Terera's view. If you love Hamilton you will love this book!' Confessions of a Bookworm
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, Hamlet, Death and the King’s Horseman, The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other, Troilus and Cressida, Candide, Honk! (National Theatre); The Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare’s Globe/international tour); The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Donmar Warehouse); Pure Imagination – The Songs of Lesley Bricusse (St. James’s); King John (Shakespeare’s Globe/UK tour); Don’t You Leave Me Here (West Yorkshire Playhouse); The Playboy of the Western World (Abbey, Dublin); The Ratpack (West End/international tour); Jailhouse Rock (Theatre Royal Plymouth/West End); You Don’t Kiss (Stratford Circus); Up on the Roof (Chichester); The Tempest (RSC); Six Degrees of Separation (Sheffield); Generations of the Dead (Young Vic); Bill Shakespeare’s Italian Job (Playbox, Warwick/Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh); The Demon Headmaster/The Animals of Farthing Wood (Pleasance, Edinburgh).
As a writer, his theatre work includes The Meaning of Zong (Bristol Old Vic), The Ballad of Soho Jones (St. James’) and 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 Survival and 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.
Praise for Giles Terera's Aaron Burr
‘Giles Terera steals the show with his sphinx-like charisma as Hamilton’s nemesis, Aaron Burr’ The i
‘Giles Terera is terrific as Aaron Burr, who narrates this story, anchoring it, managing to hold together the whole exploding maelstrom’ The Times
‘A star-making performance... as the ambitious Burr, Terera has a cool shrewdness. But there are notes of resentment, awkwardness and longing in his performance — Burr’s appetite for politics is quickened by a thwarted desire to be, as one second-half song emphasises, in “the room where it happens”’ Evening Standard
‘Giles Terera plays Aaron Burr, Hamilton's friend and fatal foe, in a combined role of both narrator and protagonist; a structural task he lands with the easy authority and perfect timing of Mohammad Ali in his pomp’ BBC News
‘A lithe, even slimey, solitary figure always desperately trying and failing to fit in, Terera grounds Burr’s growing resentment beautifully... Terera’s Burr has a gnat-like quality, easily swatted away despite his brilliance. Little wonder life grinds him down to bitterness, even something like madness and, as Burr’s star falls and his life stalls, Terera’s eyes cross in blinkered enmity. You feel for him hugely’ Variety
‘Giles Terera is splendid as Burr, the frenemy and nemesis who is Salieri to Hamilton’s Mozart, all silky, privileged containment and disengaged calculation as opposed to his fellow orphan’s committed impetuosity’ Independent
‘As Aaron Burr, Giles Terera gives a shiny performance that shows how his character’s smoothness becomes his nemesis’ New York Times
Production photos of Hamilton at the Victoria Palace Theatre, London
by Matthew Murphy © George III Productions Limited
To celebrate the release of Hamilton and Me: An Actor's Journal, join author Giles Terera for an exclusive podcast series, Hamilton and Us.
In each episode, Giles sits down with key members of the cast and creative team of the original London production of Hamilton, plus other special guests, to discuss what it was like to be part of this once-in-a-generation show.
Hear all about their audition stories, that first day of rehearsals, funny and memorable moments, and more - but also about what Hamilton meant to those who were involved, how it changed them as people, and its potential to create positive, meaningful change in our world. Discover how it really felt to be in the room where it happened, as told by the people who were there.
Hamilton and Us is available now on all major podcast platforms, including the ones listed below. Tune in now, and remember to subscribe to get new episodes as soon as they're released.