Hadley Meares

Hadley Meares

In a recent, hilarious essay posted on the curiosities website Atlas Obscura, Hadley Meares talks about her work for four seasons on the NBC television series Parks and Recreation as the stand-in for its lead actor, Amy Poehler.

In the article, Hadley walks the reader through the routine for the stand-in, from arriving on set through rehearsals with the camera department.

Hadley is careful to differentiate what her job as a stand-in is on set: “not a body double,” “not a stunt double.”

She describes her stand-in work lightheartedly:

I am a moving piece of furniture. I am a crash test dummy with a working mouth. I am the understudy that never overtakes. I am the cheat sheet. The technical term for my job is “stand-in.”

Hadley (perhaps humorously) also points up the value of learning meditation when working as a stand-in, given some of the unusual things stand-ins are witness to on set that any other person might find intimidating.  For example, DPs may stare at you (really, just your skin), and they may wave their hands by your face to see what light is hitting it.

Working on the comedy series wasn’t without its laughs, and Hadley tells the tale of how she once walked through a shot after she got up to use the restroom.  She also got to see that she’ll be “good looking as an old lady” after she sat for an age makeup test for the final episode.

Read her essay on the Atlas Obscura website:

I Spent 4 Seasons as Amy Poehler’s Stand-In — essay from Atlas Obscura

Did you stand in on a popular television series?  Get in touch by posting below!