Antuan Magic Raimone shares all things related to the life of a performer. He spills all about his Hamilton journey, what exactly is a swing role, and so much more!
It’s not a position that people seek out, rather it is a position that is offered to you. All of the swings in the business that Magic knows didn’t know what the position was. The first swing position he was offered was for In the Heights as a vacation swing, but he didn’t know what it was! It is a very unique position because it requires a lot of mental power, physical endurance because you are covering multiple roles in a show. For Antuan in Hamilton, covering 6 different men in a show where no two are the same.
The way his brain works is so conducive to being a swing. Magic really enjoys it, however he has only been a swing for In the Heights and Hamilton and he trusts the creative team. It’s also come at a great time in his career. For him to be a universal swing for Hamilton at the age of 40, it saves his body and voice because he’s not doing 8 shows a week.
Courage Up as a Performer
He moved to New York in 2006. From the beginning of February to the end of March, he was auditioning at least 5 times a week. That’s almost 30 auditions. From those auditions, he was hired for 4 - 5 shows, which was able to give him work for the rest of the year.
Antuan has learned from auditioning, if you go in prepared for what you can do and have to do and you leave secure at what you’ve done in that room, the rest is not up to you, it's not your responsibility. He just does the best with the things he can control.
On a Thursday, he auditioned for the first time ever for Hamilton. He was in the first group to go. Ninety men were seen that day. They took them in thirty at a time. They selected some people to come back that afternoon to sing. Magic came back that afternoon to sing. He left the audition.
Fast forward to Saturday, he gets a call from the associate choreographer, Stephanie Clemmons and she asked, ”Would you be interested in being the universal swing for the show?” Antuan didn’t know what that meant so said he would be interested in the conversation.
She told him things are going to move quickly, someone is going to call you tomorrow, and then you’ll meet with the director and music director. Antuan heard it as someone might call you, he didn’t hear it as definitive as she said it. He had a date that Saturday and he tends to sleep with his phone off. He woke up Sunday and turned off his phone to many missed calls, voicemails,and some texts from Stephanie saying the casting office was trying to get a hold of him.
Casting office calls again and asks the first question: 1) Are you in NY 2) Are you able to get downtown to 38th and 8th in the next hour? This is 10:30am on a Sunday. Most auditions for musicals do not happen on Sundays. He said yes. He did not stay home, so he had to go home to get his songbook, then head to the audition. Without showering or changing clothes, he was in a cab heading downtown from his uptown apartment. The rush was because the director and music director were traveling to London to start auditions for the London company. Stephanie asks if he could meet her Monday to get him on tape for Andy, the choreographer. It took about 45 minutes. He leaves. He gets home by 10:15. His agent called and said we have an offer for you to be an universal swing and your rehearsals start tomorrow!!
His first audition was on a Thursday and he started rehearsal on a Tuesday.
You are the greatest source of love that you have. It’s not something you have to seek from anyone else. It exists within you and anyone in your life adds to the love you already possess. They are not the source of love.
“As long as you know you are, no one else will ever be able to tell you who you are.” Antuan’s mom
Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
Connect With Magic
Facebook: Antuan Raimone
Connect With Ming:
Facebook: Ming Shelby
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