The music video for Deva Mahal’s deeply personal relationship song “Stand In,” about not being someone’s “second best,” employs film production themes to tell the song’s story, definitively playing on the double meaning of the term “stand-in” as technically a worker used in TV and film to set up a shot in place of a principal actor and more generally a replacement person.

Have a watch — and make sure to keep watching for the surprising turn!


Featured Lyrics

The painful relationship song, exquisitely performed by Mahal, features this chorus:

I’m no stand-in
I’m no one’s second best
I’m not your maybe I might call her
When there’s no else left to impress

More lyrics here.

The Music Video

While nothing in the song lyrics signals stand-in work in TV and film, it’s the video that does the heavy lifting there.

The set features Mahal sitting in a talent chair and lights, giving the music video the illusion of being on a set on a beach.

Granted, most stand-ins don’t get those types of chairs on set. Those are typically reserved for principal case members, as well as directors, producers, and the like. Sometimes, stand-ins are lucky if they even get a chair! But stand-ins do typically get some chair, just not the type Mahal is sitting in.

TV/Film Stand-In Fight Song?

Stand-in work in TV and film can sometimes be a bruise to one’s ego, or even worse, a barrage of shots to one’s self-esteem. Using Mahal’s words, it can feel like a terminal place as “second best” to actors working on a set, or even the whole crew, given that stand-ins are sometimes seen as “crew” except when they’re excluded from things to which other “true crew” have access.

Mahal’s song helps one fight back against the slippery tendency to let a TV or film job beat down one’s self-esteem when working as a stand-in. Her song and soulful delivery empower listeners to recover from a beating to assert one’s place among others and not simply stay relegated to the background.

What do you think of Deva Mahal’s “Stand In” song and music video? Post your reactions in the comments below!