Today we’d like to introduce you to Devon Elora.
So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I moved out to Los Angeles a year after graduating college. I made that long drive from Alabama to Cali with the goal of working in the entertainment industry- not really having a specific job in mind. As soon as I arrived, I began calling casting directors on the phone to see if they had an audition that I fit. One of them asked if I was blonde and could make it to the John Freida salon in an hour. I was in like Flynn.
When I got there, they asked all 30 blonde lovely ladies to stand shoulder to shoulder. A man walked down the line and picked through every woman’s hair, one by one. When he reached my head and began to lift up all of my strands, he gasped and said, ”Wait a minute! This is all natural?!” I replied, “Yes, sir!” He asked, “You know we are going to cut and dye this, right?” I said, “Nope, but thank you so much for the opportunity! Good luck!” I gathered up my belongings and was about to leave when the hairdresser came back with the casting director and offered to help me become eligible to join SAG if I took the job. That meant they wanted to hook me up with three SAG vouchers. Their clients were flying in that day from Paris, and they didn’t have a model yet who fit the bill. Enter Devon.
I had to contemplate long and hard. I went into the bathroom and spoke on the phone with my mom. She yelled, “Don’t cut that beautiful hair, Devon!” Some of you are probably thinking, “Why didn’t you immediately take the gig?! Don’t you know how hard it can be to join SAG?!” I didn’t at the time. Plus, I had never dyed my hair before. It reached down to my waist and flowed with various natural golden-blonde shades. I felt like Rapunzel growing up. After a while, another Beverly Hills hairstylist knocked on the door. After she asked if I was ok, she offered me a deal. I could keep coming back to the salon after the commercial shoot ended. She agreed to bring my natural hair color back for only $20 a visit. She also asked, “If you wouldn’t do this for a commercial, then how would you cut and dye your hair for an acting role?” I took the job and became Charlize Theron’s hair double for a L’Oreal commercial directed by David Lynch. I got into SAG-AFTRA (SAG at the time) and received a $3200 buyout rate.
Since then, I have worked as an actress and stand-in for the last 16 years. My last television show was “The Rookie” and I have also been the Dolores stand-in on “Westworld” for the last three seasons.
On Malibu Rescue, there was a newer stand-in who didn’t have much knowledge about the job. He told me there were no books written about the job. After training him, I decided to write a manual that would shed light on what a stand-in does in the industry and help others excel at the job. I became the first author of a book called ”Standing In for Single Camera” that can be found on Amazon.
During the pandemic, I host online jackbox, card games, Netflix parties, and family zoom meetings so my family and friends feel loved and less lonely.
Has it been a smooth road?
Everyone struggles. We’re human, but honestly with working hard but always remaining positive, I have worked project to project from referrals quite easily. A smile goes such a long way.
My main struggle was with dating but I finally fell in love for the first time last year and we are moving in together in a couple of weeks.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am the author of “Standing In for Single Camera” and hope to teach the world about how important our job is in the entertainment industry. Like stunt performers, we are sadly rarely thanked at award ceremonies for what we do.
I also have a private group of 200 hardworking stand-ins that I help find work for without any ulterior motives. I am kind of like “mama bear”.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I hope that our industry realizes how essential stand-ins are for production needs and we remain working after the pandemic. My goal is to shed light on what we do and how much we are needed to help production run smoother and faster.
- Website: https://www.amazon.com/Standing-Single-Camera-Devon-Elora
- Instagram: @devon.elora
AJ Photography (for my headshot)