Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Audition Journal #5: Disney Parks and Cruises

Before I get into the craziness that was auditioning for Disney, I figured I would give a brief update in bullet points.
  • First off, my website is live! Please check it out and feel free to make suggestions or comments via this blog or the contact form on the site. It's still a work in progress, but I would appreciate your thoughts!
  • I ordered 100 prints of my headshot from Reproductions and I am very pleased with them. The print quality is great and their online order form allows you to format your prints the way you like (with your name in any corner, in either black or white, or not at all, borders or no borders, etc.) For an extra fee, they also have an option for a type of paper that allows you to print your resume on the back on your personal printer. Awesome? I think so.
  • UPTA sent me a list of all of the theatres that registered to attend with all the contact information and season line-ups. I picked through and found ten that I thought would be a good match for me. They have all been sent a cover letter, resume, and a lovely new headshot. Do I think it will amount to a whole lot? Probably not. But I take every opportunity to put my face in front of people.
  • I have applied for the Acting Internship at Florida Studio Theatre, who I auditioned for at KCACTF Region IV. They have asked me to do a filmed audition and upload it to YouTube by April 1st. This will be my first audition tape, so we'll see how it goes!
  • I just got an email from the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington DC saying they had received my application materials and would contact me if they wanted me to audition. I sent those materials in November and figured they'd been tossed out. Just goes to show that you never know what's going on on the other end of things.
Now, for Disney!

Date: March 20, 2011, 11:00 am
Where: Gotta Dance Studio, Atlanta GA
Auditioned For: Perky friendly Disney ladies!
Attire: Black yoga capris, close-fitting red tee-shirt and black dance shoes.

I traveled to Atlanta by train and stayed with my lovely friend Corinna as well as her cat, Kitty Charlie. Motion designer Nathan joined later. There was also a surprise visit from Darwin (check him out over at Me and Darwin Hull)and I got to catch up with my best combat buddy Jo and my brother, Human Charlie (there had to be a way to distinguish him from Kitty Charlie). It was a weekend full of burgers and zoo adventures and Yuengling and laughs. Much of the laughing was over the Disney audition that Corinna and I attended together on Sunday.

We arrived shortly after 10:00, which is when registration was supposed to begin. They had not finished setting up and we mingled with other auditionees until they called us into the studio. We filled out audition cards, received a number, and had a picture and our height taken (it's a sad day when I find out that I'm even shorter than I thought I was). There was more stretching and mingling. I started to notice the dancer types who can lift their leg over their head in a standing stretch and I began to wonder what exactly I was in for.

Oh, if I only knew then. They started the whole group (of about 50) doing what they call "animation exercises"-- short situations that we had to mime out in a way that was "Disney big." For example, we had to plant a tree. For this, it seemed like it was best to go all out and engage the face as much as possible struggling with said tree. Corinna and I were the only people making noise while most everyone else were being incredibly dancer-like, but man did we plant those trees. Then we all moved on to what they described as "movement." 'Tis not movement. 'Tis dancing. Lots of dancing. I stopped dancing when I was twelve and I wasn't even good at it then. Remembering dance choreography is just not something I do very well because it has no motivation or objective behind it (I'm such an actor) whereas combat is quite the opposite. They were constantly telling us that if we were not dancers or we messed up, that we should just keep going and have fun and that they were looking for personality too. But we all know that when they tell you in an audition that it's ok if you can't do something or it doesn't mean anything if you don't get a callback, they're lying 99% of the time.

But I digress. In spite of not remembering how all the choreography went together, I was having a great time with what little I could do. Then they had us put our animation exercise with the dance. There was much movement and much sweating. Bring extra de-o for the B.O. to the Disney audition, my friends. Once we had run through it with all the pieces together, they sent everyone into the lobby and called us in four at a time in numerical order to do the choreography all together. At this point, I was no longer looking like a princess. I was looking like a sweaty northern European who gets bright red in the face in the event of any exertion.

Unfortunately, it's not a miracle story in which I remembered all the dancing perfectly when it was my time to shine. Instead, I accidentally stepped on some guy's foot. But the good news was that my group of four did not contain a single dancer. We all looked silly and had a great time doing it, fully expecting it when we were not asked to stay for callbacks. Instead of worrying about it, we had fun in Atlanta, including a jaunt to the zoo:

There are certain limitations on how often you can audition for Disney parks and cruises. I believe your audition is good for a year and you can audition for the cruises again at anytime, but you have to wait six months to audition again for the parks. I think that's it. Don't take my word for it.

So should you audition for Disney even if you're like me and can't dance? Yes. It's fun, everyone there was incredibly nice, you get your face out there a little bit more, and it's free cardio training. Bring a friend for extra fun. Interested? Here's the link to the calendar of auditions.


  1. That audition at Disney sounds like a fun trip at least. Even though you did not get the parts, it was all worth the experience.

    1. Yes, the trip was so much fun and I am thankful that the audition gave me the chance to see such wonderful friends. I don't think I'd even trade that time for a job at Disney!