Sunday, April 7, 2013

HOW TO ACT LIKE A KID by Henry Hodges - book signing

reporter: Miguel Dominguez

On March 26 at the Drama Book Shop I had, thanks to events photographer Theresa Keil, a mutual friend of Henry Hodges and I, the wonderful treat of attending the book signing of How to Act Like a Kid: Backstage Secrets of a Young Performer, which also included a staged session of Henry elaborating on the experiences written in his book. The interviewer for the occasion was Tim Federle, who like Henry, started as a performer, but excels as a comedic writer...the frothy kind.

Published by Disney EditionsHow to Act Like a Kid: Backstage Secrets of a Young Performer was written by Henry and Margaret Engel with the intent of being a guide to stage and screen from a young veteran of Broadway, and therefore aimed to teens from 14–18 years of age. Young aspiring performers will be able to read about, learn from, and be inspired by an extraordinary young actor through his own words. 

Nineteen-year-old Henry Hodges has spent the last fifteen years either on stage or in front of a camera. From playing Chip in “Beauty and the Beast” to Jeremy Potts in “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and Michael Banks in “Mary Poppins,” Henry has practically lived on Broadway for most of his young life. He began acting at the age of four. He has appeared in productions ranging from Shakespeare to Disney and he was featured in How Does the Show Go On. Hodges has also been featured on Disney 365, the Today Show, The Tony Awards, and Entertainment Tonight. In between auditions, he enjoys unicycling, playing his ukulele, and archery.

In How to Act Like a Kid, Henry uses his considerable experience to give young readers advice on open calls, auditions, rehearsals, dance and voice classes, child wranglers, studio teachers, and how to do homework in green rooms! Most of all, he relates how to live a normal life while devoting your time to performing on stage and screen.

He covers all the ups and downs of childhood acting, including disappointments: he didn't get the role of Tiny Tim when he first auditioned for “The Christmas Carol” because he was too small, but returned to win the role for two seasons.

Author Tim Federle

Margaret Engel, a playwright and journalist, has known Henry Hodges since birth and has seen him grown from Tiny Tim to Jem in To Kill a Mockingbird. She is a former Washington Post reporter and is director of the Alicia Patterson Journalism Foundation. She is a playwright whose work has been produced by the Geffen Playhouse, Philadelphia Theater Company and Arena Stage. 

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