Help Wanted: Detroit Underground Railroad Cast Members Needed!

Help! I need historical performers to take my tour to new levels!

Do you like to act? Do you like history? If you answered yes to both questions, then you might be the perfect fit to join the Incredible Journey to Midnight: Detroit Underground Railroad Tour and take on the persona of an important historical figure from Detroit’s rich Underground Railroad history!

Position available: White male to step in and perform short  monologues of four different 19th century men significant to Detroit abolitionist history  (Zachariah Chandler, Jacob Merritt Howard, John Brown & Seymour Finney). along the tour route. Dialogue is short and written in contemporary vernacular so audience understands it better. 

Before we go any further

  1. Are you available to perform Saturday nights at 8 PM (tours last about 2-3 hours), one Saturday matinee a month, & special performances as needed. (Check out schedule and tour details here). Also, I’ll be pitching this tour to schools, youth groups, churches, so we may end up with performances throughout the week. We’ll cross that scheduling bridge later! 

If you said yes, then here is what you need to do:

How to get the job

Read the Hometown History Needs carefully – you can find them below the Application Process.

Check out my website here to get a feel for my business and learn what we’re all about.

Email the requested information asked for under Application Process (or send me a short video).

Application Process

Email the following information (no resumes) and a photograph to me, Karin, at k_risko@yahoo.com

Basics: Name, age, address, email address, phone number.

Plus answer the following questions in a coherent manner. Better yet! Take a quick video (nothing fancy) via your phone answering the questions and email it to me!

  • Why you want to be part of this tour?
  • Why would you be good at it?
  • What experience do you have at public speaking, acting, and/or working as a historical interpreter?
  • Which role are you applying for? Why?
  • What kind of singing voice do you have? Be honest! Only need a couple excellent singers. The rest can just help out! (If you’re sending a quick video – sing a line from Swing Low Sweet Chariot.
  • What can you bring to Hometown History Tours that will help me grow
  • How will you get to work each week?
  • Provide two examples that demonstrate your reliability.

Hometown History Tours Needs

I’m looking for reliable, creative, outgoing people with a flare for drama to help me grow my tour business.

Be part of the Incredible Journey to Midnight: Detroit’s Underground Railroad Story, a new tour that’s launching this  downtown Detroit. We have an 8 PM tour scheduled for this Saturday Jun 15.

Rather than just I serve as the guide and storyteller, I’m looking for people to help amp up the tour and turn it into an EXPERIENCE. An attraction that draws people downtown and celebrates our history.

Scripts are not long, usually a page at most. Basically tells the story of that particular person at that particular spot. Frederick Douglas & Sojourner Truth will have to memorize a portion of a speech.

Pay is crummy / but job is cool and fun!

  • $20 for any rehearsals
  • Performances $30 / actors split any gratuities.

It’s my intent that this will become a regular Saturday night gig along with a monthly Saturday matinees and special private tours. So you’ll need to be available on Saturdays through the end of September.

Also, I will train those interested in becoming tour guides for the See-the-D monthly walking tours (as well as private tours) and guides/narrators for the Notorious 313 True Crime / Ghost Tours.  First, though, I need to concentrate on the UGRR tour and make this spectacular!

Immediate Available Roles: 

Due to a tight budget, I need actors who can play multiple characters with minor accessory changes

  • Black female – Sojourner Truth (ability to sing helpful) and a package (freedom seeker) Filled
  • Black female – Lisette Denison Forth and a package (freedom seeker) (ability to sing helpful) Filled
  • Black male – George DeBaptiste and a package (freedom seeker) Filled
  • Black male – Frederick Douglas and a package (freedom seeker) Filled
  • White male – Seymour Finney (abolitionist, tavern owner), Jacob Merritt Howard (US Senator/author of 13th, 14th & 15th Amendments)
  • White male – Zachariah Chandler (Detroit businessman, US Senator, abolitionist), John Brown (abolitionist)
  • White female – Quaker woman, asst director, props Filled

Ability to sing as part of a chorus helpful for all characters

Actor requirements

  • Able to be downtown on Saturday nights and Saturday afternoons as needed as well as for special group tours we hope to cultivate
  • Able to move quickly from stop to stop, be in place BEFORE tour goers arrive and portray characters as needed
  • Reliable
  • Able to pull together a simple wardrobe to give impression of character (HHT will try to help with this too. We are keeping it simple though)
  • Able to remember & deliver lines without reading from script
  • Able to project loudly & dramatically
  • Able to quickly transform self into another character (easy things like removing glasses/ putting on top hat, changing tie color, etc).
  • Possess an interest in Detroit/American history
  • Although the pay is crummy, put forth your best effort , be enthusiastic and have a desire to help grow this tour.
  • FAST LEARNERS!

About the tour

Tour begins with actors congregating outside Greektown People Mover singing chorus (A Capella) to Swing Low Sweet Chariot & other spirituals. We then process to various stops located downtown, sometimes walking – other times via the peoplemover. Actors will perform their roles at the different sites.

Well, if you’ve read this far, you just might be interested. If so, I hope I hear from you! Or, if you know someone else who just might love this job –  please forward this information to them!

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

Karin Risko, 

Founder & Director

Hometown History Tours

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