I recently came face to face with a dilemma about my height. As a stand-in, I promote myself as 6’0″, and I tend to book stand-in gigs for actors in the 5’11-6’1″ range. There has never been a known issue with my height when I’ve stood in, and, besides, 6’0″ is what I’ve known my height to be for some time.
I recently stood in for an actor at a camera test who is promoted as 6’1″. I wore athletic shoes with taller heels to the camera test because I knew he was promoted as 6’1″, and I’d be just a little under if I wore shoes with a normal heel. Quite to my surprise, when I showed up at the camera test, he looked a lot taller than me! Asked for his height, he confirmed it as 6’1″. To me, he looked more like 6’2″, but who would undersell his height? Admittedly it was hard to gauge how different our heights were given that I was stuck in my body and there wasn’t mirror around for me to compare our heights in passing.
I got the job nonetheless, and on the first day of shooting our heights didn’t seem as dramatically different to me as they did at the camera test. But the initial sight got me a bit paranoid: Was I truly 6’0″? How did I even come to the height I promote? An inch in height difference for a stand-in may not seem like much, but depending on the Director of Photography, camera department, or other teams of people on a TV or film set, an inch off here could equate to a loss of, say, $10,000 or more for a stand-in in gross wages earned from a production.
I thought I’d turn this experience into the second Stand-In Central Poll. What height do you promote as a stand-in? Do you promote your height without shoes on, or with shoes on? If you promote them with shoes on, do these shoes have a normal heel or a high heel? Or do you lie about your height? Maybe do you promote a height range for yourself? Use the anonymous poll below to mark what height you promote.