One of the hardest parts about working for Disney was the audition process. I got cut from three out of the four auditions I went to – and believe me I was starting to give up! You get cut and you’re never really given an explanation as to why or what they’re really looking for. But somehow I made it! Reflecting back on my experience at Disney character performer auditions, I feel like I can start to see what the casting directors were looking for.
Curious about the audition process and how you can set yourself up for success? Here are some tips to help you be successful at your audition!
1. There are different types of auditions!
Out of the four auditions I attended, three of them were distinctly different. Not every “character performer” role is the same, and the audition may look different depending on what they are looking for. If they’re looking for performers to fit face roles (like Cinderella, Tinkerbell or Jasmine), they will weigh what you look like more heavily than for performers for fur roles. Auditions for countries abroad will need more performers who can do it all because they can’t have as many performers as Disney World can. In essence, there are different types of auditions because there are different types of roles for performers. Know your strengths and go to the auditions you think you’ll be the most successful at!
2. Come prepared!
Strengthen your improve and movement skills! Every audition I’ve been to has tested both for animation/improve and movement/dancing. Having the ability to do both of these is essential to being a performer! If you need some practice, research improve classes or basic dance classes in your area. They will do a world of good and will help your confidence in auditions!
3. You don’t have to be “skinny”!
I recently had someone leave a fun comment on my Disney audition video. They claimed they had to do 100 jumping jacks at one of the auditions they went to. They mocked that I said to “have fun” at auditions and expressed how much they didn’t have fun doing 100 jumping jacks. To that person I would say – this job isn’t easy, and if it’s hard for you to exercise, then this might not be the job for you. I would never say you would have to be “skinny”, because you can be skinny and not physically fit. But I would say that you should be healthy, both in food choices and with exercise. This job does require physical exertions, especially when carrying dozens of pounds of costume equipment in the sweltering Florida heat. If that’s something you would not enjoy doing day to day, I would take that into consideration.
4. Dress for success!
I’ve seen some interesting people at the auditions I’ve been to! I’ve seen girls do their makeup like Cinderella, wear fancy dresses, or even wear jeans to an audition. Tip number four is, don’t be like these people! Save your fun makeup and dresses for a night out and wear comfortable clothing that you can move in. I always wore athletic leggings, a tank top, and running shoes. If you feel more comfortable in a flowy skirt and dance shoes, that works too! In fact, it might be easier wearing that to a dance-heavy audition like the auditions abroad! I suggest wearing minimal makeup too, that way the casting directors can get an accurate feel for what you look like.
5. Be engaged – the whole time!
During some shifts as a performer you could be “on stage” for up to an hour and fifteen minutes! It takes some practice, but it’s still hard work! Treat your audition like a shift and aim to be engaged and “on” the whole time! You want to be smiling, interacting with the people around you and engaging with the casting directors/choreographers. It will really make you stand out, show you’re passionate about the job and you’re excited to be there!
6. Have fun!
I know that one person didn’t like me saying it, but I’ll say it again! Have fun! You have the opportunity to make friends with people you know you have at least one thing in common – a love for Disney! It is a really fun process and a great opportunity, even if you do get cut! I made friends at my very first audition that I still keep in touch with years later! Yes, I was always a big nervous ball of energy at every audition, but I was still excited and had fun in the process!
Make the most out of your Disney Character Performer audition – and happy auditioning!
P.S. have you seen the video I created for Disney auditions? Check it out!