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Pittsburgh—Point Park University graduate Perris Drew recently experienced a budding actor’s dream gig when he worked as a stand-in and understudy for the Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington.

Perris Drew, 23, graduated last month from Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts with a degree in theater arts and a concentration in acting. Drew spent three weeks last April acting as a stand-in and understudy for Washington when the actor was in town to rehearse his planned production of ten August Wilson plays over the next decade for HBO.

Drew said landing the acting job with Washington happened very quickly and was the result of efforts by his agent Jarod Pascoe of the Docherty Agency.

“He told me Denzel was coming to Pittsburgh and had the idea to cast a couple young actors from the city to be understudies and stand-ins during rehearsals.”

His agent recommended Drew update his resume, which he quickly did and 48 hours later, he was hired.

Drew was the understudy for the character of ‘Jim Bono’ who is Troy Maxson’s (played by Denzel Washington in the recent production of “Fences” on Broadway) best friend.

“The experience felt like a three-week acting intensive.   Having the chance to play opposite Denzel, and for him to share his experience and wisdom in such an intimate setting was truly life-changing,” said Drew.

With this impressive experience under his belt, Drew is ready to start the next phase of his career.  Having made several contacts with other professional actors during the rehearsal process, he hopes to move to Los Angeles soon to launch his career.


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