lson said much of the early training is done in front of a mirror.
"When a new actor comes into the show, it’s good for the company and good for us,” Wilson said. "We get ... to show them what we’ve learned and help them learn what to do. We’ve got a new person coming in next week who will play a giraffe. It takes about two weeks to get up on stilts and moving properly. It’s all about balancing.”
Visiting Wilson’s backstage area is a bit like walking into a toymaker’s shop. There are benches and tables lined with masks and puppets, each of which will be used in the next production.
"On performance days, we’re here from 10 a.m. until the end of the show,” Wilson said. "If anything goes wrong, we can fix it. It might be something mechanical — a cable that operates Scar’s mask might break, or Zazu’s wing might stop working properly. We never want to stop the show to fix something, so we have backups.”
Thanks to Wilson’s expertise, the two dozen animal species appearing in "The Lion King” will continue to captivate audiences. And though he doesn’t get to take bows with the cast, Wilson admits he is happy to have played such an important part in the show’s success.