Actor Alanna Blair talks with host Ben Hauck about pursuing her acting career while also taking work as the lead stand-in on two television series.
In this interview, Alanna describes what a stand-in does, and she goes into the benefits of standing in for the income and the tremendous filmmaking education it provides the actor. She also goes into the drawbacks of standing in, including long hours that may limit the ability to audition.
Alanna shares how she adjusted her expectations as an actor when committing to long-term stand-in work, how she manages auditions and bookings that conflict with her time on set, and how much she promotes to production that she is an actor versus a stand-in. Alanna has worked simultaneously as a photo double, and she explains the implications of dyeing her hair and maintaining the image of another actor on her image and marketing as an actor.
Standing in for the lead on a television series offers more security than background acting, Alanna says, and it has its share of insecurity, but it also offers the greater potential to earn money toward health insurance and pension eligibility. “Do I return to stand in the next season?” is a question Alanna has faced, and she divulges how she answered those questions and why she answered as she did.
As an actor who is also a musician and deejay, Alanna has a lot to balance, and she urges actors considering stand-in work to consider realistically the time commitment and the potential for principal acting work coming from a stand-in job. But aside from the potential for future acting work, according to Alanna, working as a stand-in and photo double can offer in-depth lessons on how to work on set effectively as an actor.
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The Stand-In Handbook from Stand-In Central is packed with 127 pages of guidance and instruction on standing in so that you’re prepared tomorrow to walk on set.
And The Stand-In Handbook is instantly downloadable, so you can access it immediately. To download The Stand-In Handbook and to get a deal on the handy Callsheet Cheatsheet, visit http://standincentral.com/handbook.
Alanna Blair’s Bio
Alanna Blair moved to New York City in 2008 with a BFA from California Institute of the Arts. After the bartending/acting scenario started to take its toll, Alanna began working regularly as a background actor, which led to stand-in work, which led to a year of working as a regular stand-in on two police procedurals. She took a break to help create and perform Above Us at the 2015 New York International Fringe Festival. Two of her favorite independent film projects are A Simple Game of Catch and Frogtown. Alanna is also a drum & bass deejay, bass guitarist, poet, and cat rescue/TNR volunteer.
- Official website: http://alannablair.com/
- Internet Movie Database entry: http://imdb.me/alannablair
- YouTube: http://youtube.com/alannablair
- Acting reel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=1&v=2eEB7QyucG8
- Twitter: @TGRdnb
- Soundcloud for SABABA!: https://www.soundcloud.com/sababarocksyourfaceoff69
- Soundcloud for Bulletproof Tiger (DJ work): http://www.soundcloud.com/TGRdnb
This episode features a mix by TankTopNYC, Alanna’s drum & bass duo. The music toward the beginning of the episode and toward the end of the episode is the same track:
Alanna quotes from Bill DeBlase in the interview (coincidentally, the other half of her duo TankTopNYC):
Expectations are preconceived disappointments.
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/BillyNDB
Background & Stand-In Casting
Alanna references two offices based in New York City that handle casting of background actors and stand-ins for television series on which she’s worked.
- Grant Wilfley Casting: http://www.gwcnyc.com
- Roman Candle Casting: http://www.backstage.com/resources/detail/castingdirector/roman-candle-casting-76157/
More Information on Standing In
For more information on the job of the television and film stand-in, Stand-In Central has provided information about the job since 2010. It offers a handbook on standing in, a cheatsheet on callsheet codes, and a weekly blog on the finer points of standing in.
- Stand-In Central: http://standincentral.com
- The Stand-In Handbook: http://standincentral.com/handbook
- The Callsheet Cheatsheet: http://standincentral.com/cheatsheet
- Stand-In Central’s Tips & Tricks Blog: http://standincentral.com/blog
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