Disney College Program Fall 2013: Application and Character Performer Auditions

Well, I haven’t blogged in a long while, but something great has happened, so I will be blogging about my experiences. To start off, I just wanted to take you through my application and audition process.

So, I had always known about the Disney College Program and had always wanted to do it, but I never knew when applications were. But, this year, I was sitting at home on my computer on my last day of spring break, and I logged into Facebook, and there was a suggestion (the first suggestion I’ve ever gotten) and it said “Disney Auditions.” Well, since I am into theatre, I clicked on the suggestion and it took me to the page. I found the audition website and found that there were auditions for character performers in a week (March 23rd) near my current residence. I was super excited and looked up all the information and decided to audition. I, then, looked up information on the Disney College Program (DCP) and applied the next day. I made it past the web interview and scheduled my phone interview for two days later. The phone interview went well, I think, and the interviewer told me that I would know of their decision in 2-3 weeks.

A few days later, I attended the audition, and it was the most fun audition in which I have ever participated. I’m the type of person who, at auditions (dancing, singing, acting, or all of them together) gets really nervous. But, at this audition, although I was initially nervous, that soon faded away, and I was just having fun. As soon as my mom and I got in line, we met a few other people who were also auditioning . Everyone was very friendly.

First, we were brought into a room and we all sat down in lines. Then, they had each line of people get up and go into another room to sign in and be measured. That took a little while since there were over 200 people at the audition. I was measured at 4’11, though I’m pretty sure I’m 5’0. Whatever, though, that didn’t really matter. After that, everyone was put back in the big room and we learned a simple march. And when I say simple, I mean simple. You did not have to have any dance experience to be able to do this march. If you could walk and swing your arms at the same time, then you could do this.

So, we learned the march and then we were separated into groups of eight and they lined each group of eight in front of the casting directors table and each group took turns doing the march across the floor. I made sure I was very cheery and even though I have dance experience, I did mess up once, but I just kept going. After the march there was to be an initial cut. Here’s what I think they were looking for in people who did the first dance:

1. Height:

Even though at the beginning of the audition they said they weren’t basing anything off of height, I think height was a factor. If you were tall or short and were cheerful, you probably made it through. Also, I will note that because there were so many people auditioning, they didn’t have our names or heights in front of them, so they were going just based off of sight.

2. Look:

When I say look, I don’t mean you had to be pretty, cute, or handsome. I mean that they were looking for people who fit the look that they had in mind. I don’t know what that was, but I’m pretty sure that was a factor because most people who were chubbier did not get called back. Also, before the audition started there was this girl who was in full ballet attire doing plies and you could tell she was a dancer, but she didn’t get called back, so I’m thinking her height wasn’t what they were looking for or she didn’t have the look.

3. Cheerfulness/Happiness/Peppiness

Now, the first two are merely speculation on my part, but I know this last one was a big factor. Not only did they want you to smile and be big with your motions, they wanted to see that you were having a good time.

Okay, so after the march, they had us all sit down and they proceeded to call out the numbers of the people they wanted to stay. I was so nervous that they weren’t going to call my number, but, alas, after much anguish I heard the guy call out 139. They, then, asked everyone whose number was not called to leave and to audition again in six months. After the cut, there were only about 50 to 60 people left, and they told us that all of us were being considered for character performers.

Then, the remaining people had headshots taken. After that, the choreographer took us through some pantomiming exercises. He would give us a scenario, and then we would pantomime it (this was just practice and was done all in a big group). Our scenarios were planting a tree and washing a dog. They said be big and funny with it. I tried to be unique, so for planting a tree I acted like I was eating a peach and then planting the seed of that peach, whereas most people just started out digging a hole. For my washing the dog scenario, I just acted like my dog was reluctant to take a bath, which probably wasn’t too creative.

So, after the pantomime practice, we learned a dance. This dance, for dancers, really wasn’t very hard. For people like me who have dance experience but haven’t danced for years, it was semi-difficult because we learned it so fast. For people who have no dance experience whatsoever, I’m sure the dance was difficult. After learning the dance, everyone was ushered into the smaller room and we were called into the bigger room in groups of eight. Once inside the room, we planted a tree, then did the dance, then washed the dog, then did the dance again. After that was over they had us all stand in a line, and they looked us all up and down, then said we were free to go. There were a few people who were asked to stay, but I heard that was for face characters or parade dancers. Nobody in my group was asked to stay. On our way out, we were handed a paper that said we would hear back by April 19th (but at the beginning one of the directors told us that it was possible to hear before that time).

So, that was my audition, and then I waited. My next post will reveal whether I got chosen or not.

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