I've been blogging for the past few days about being a stand in on award shows and I suddenly realized that some of you may not know what that is. A stand in is a union actor who is hired to replace the stars of the show in rehearsal for lighting, sound and blocking purposes. This is not be confused with a seat filler. Those people just fill the seats of celebrities during the show so that on camera the viewing audience never sees an empty seat. Seat fillers are used when a celebrity has to present an award, after they accept an award or when they are performing. The problem is, sometimes those seat fillers don't want to give the celebrity their seats back!!
A stand in's job can be very grueling. That's why the celebrities don't do all the rehearsals. Award show rehearsals usually go on for a week before the live taping. Celebrity presenters come in once to read the monitor, learn their entrances & exits and where to stand to deliver their lines. The musical acts usually rehearse all on one day with a couple of other musical acts in the show. The stand ins are utilized all throughout these rehearsals wherever needed or sometimes we are assigned a specific celebrity for that particular show.
I started doing stand in in work because it was fun to be behind the scenes and to meet a bunch of celebrities. Just a couple of negative aspects in my opinion: stand ins are not treated very nicely by the production staff and some of the stand ins actually believed they were the stars they were standing in for. Yikes.
I said I would stop when it ceased to be fun. I can't remember the last time I worked as a stand in.