Some friendly reminders that often get forgotten when auditioning for a Disney Character Performer
Hey, all you Disney dreamers! So you wanna be a character, kid? Well, whoop-de-do!
JK. I love that song though. If you didn’t get the reference, that’s very sad. Very sad indeed.
Anyway, as a 14 year old girl who has never auditioned to be a face character before in her entire life, I can’t give you any tips about how the auditions will go, what to do, etc. I am, however, a very involved theater actress (both plays and musicals) who can give you’a few reminders that are not meant to make you feel bad or doubt yourself, but to think about and work on. I am a very firm believer that anyone should audition, even if just for the heck of it, and you never know who will get cast. I also believe that you should audition even if you think that you have too many flaws, because others may not think you do.
First, a kind reminder that you have to be able to act to be a face character. If you think that you have all the looks and the moves, but you keep auditioning and still haven’t been cast, maybe it’s just that you’re not a very good actor. Being any kind of character performer, fur or face, is basically doing improv all day long. You don’t have a script, which is tricky. Improv is one of the hardest parts of acting. Luckily, acting is something that you can work hard to be good at. You can always take acting classes wherever you live and even online to boost your chance of being cast. EDIT: Apparently they just want you to be able to the character (which is acting) but they make you better at acting during training.
Dancing. Yup, dancing. Fairly big part of the auditions next to A.) being able to act, B.) looking like the character(s) and C.) fitting in the costumes. If you know that you’re a bad dancer, consider taking a couple dance classes. It’s not that big of a deal since face characters don’t do a lot of dancing in parades. Just arm movement, really. But it is a big deal in auditions since (and correct if me if I’m wrong) it’s one of the last parts of an audition. From the second dancing part (the more challenging dance part), I believe they move on to costume fitting. EDIT:Correction: Dancing not really important, they take bad dancers and they’re really just looking for grace.
Be confident. In the acting business, they always say to “fake” auditions. Meaning, even if you’re nervous, try to act confident. Don’t be overly confident, they don’t want annoying extroverts, but if you’re shy, quiet, and nervous, I’d be surprised if you got cast. I’m sure that you’ve noticed how outgoing and happy face characters always seem. You want to be like that, but don’t act like a certain character. Big no-no. Don’t dress like a certain character, either. Also big no-no. You want to seem like you really want the job because you’d be happy doing it and that you’re not afraid to be the center of attention. If you are an actor, you’d know how important this is. If you’re shy and nervous, how can you stand in front of thousands of park guests daily and put on a show? When I say “center of attention,” I don’t mean that you have to enjoy being the center of attention, you just can’t be afraid of it. Again, I’m not trying to offend anyone, confidence is something that you can work towards but does not automatically happen. So if you’re a very shy person who hasn’t had much stage experience, I would suggest working on your confidence and how you act during the auditions.
Remember to smile! Face characters are always super smiley and posing for photos, so don’t be afraid to show off those pearly whites! Also, no one likes a frowny person. It makes people not want to approach you, even if you really are a nice person. Even of you’re super nervous, it really helps to smile, I promise! You’ll feel a lot better automatically. I find talking to other people during auditions really helpful, too! You may find that even the people who appear confident are really super duper nervous!
Dressing appropriately. No heels, ladies! I can’t really speak here much for the guys, but just use some common sense when dressing for any audition, really, especially a Disney audition. Don’t wear dresses or skirts with cute heels or flats, because you’ll look ridiculous when dancing, no matter how cute you think your outfit is. Also no jeans because those are the absolute WORST to dance in. For you guys out there, I’m sure that you understand what I mean. I don’t see any of you wearing dresses or skirts unless that’s your thing. ;) Here’s what I wear to any audition that includes dancing (applies to girls and guys):
-Comfortable pants that allow you to move freely. Yoga pants and sweats are best. (Or sport pants for guys, too.)
-Non-cotton t-shirt or tank so that you don’t get super sweaty and gross.
-Jazz shoes, or sneakers if you don’t have jazz shoes. I recommend jazz shoes if you don’t have any because they’re super comfy and you never know when you might need them again.
-Little to no makeup is best. This is for a couple of reasons. First, if you wear too much makeup, it’ll look like you’re trying to hard. They want to see you naturally so that they can figure out what you’d look like with the right makeup for a certain character. Second, if you wear a ton of makeup, you’re going to sweat it all off and it’s going to get gross and start to clump on your face. If you really don’t feel comfortable not wearing makeup, I suggest a light coverage foundation, lip gloss, and mascara. Eyeshadow is even going a bit too far, however, a natural color wouldn’t be too bad.
-Wear your hair back. Not only will this prevent hair from flying into your face, it will help them examine your face shape to judge if you’re right for being a face character.
And lastly, (I almost forgot!) don’t forget a HEADSHOT AND RESUME! SUPER IMPORTANT OMFG! If you don’t have an official headshot, you can get a nice photo taken of you for not very much money. A picture of you in a school play or you opening Christmas presents, or even a school photo does not really count as a headshot. You want to look professional. Same with the resume, that should look professional, too. Include previous acting experience, dance experience, etc. EDIT: I’ve been corrected, head shots/resumes not necessary.
Again, these are just tips for going to the audition, or any audition at that. If you’d like actual tips on what auditions are like, DO NOT GOOGLE SEARCH OR GO ON YOUTUBE TO FIND SOME. They are never accurate, according to my cousin who is a character performer at WDW. Feel free to message me with questions and such. I know quite a bit about Disney auditions even though I haven’t done one before. I’ve learned everything I know about them from my cousin. I’m still not a terrific person to talk to about them. There are also many people here on Tumblr who are character performers and people who have auditioned, but make sure you’re always using a source that’s actually made it past the auditions. Many people on YouTube and such have never gotten past the last dancing part. There are some former character performers who have shared their audition experience, but the auditions have definitely changed since they were cast members. So be careful where you get your info. I purposefully am not talking about audition experiences because A.) I don’t want to be incorrect and get something wrong and B.) I’ve never even auditioned.
On the other hand, I am an Ariel character performer in my city in New England (self employed), so if you’d like tips on how to interact with children/guests, pose for photos, or how to set up your own party entertainment business and make it successful, I’m always happy to help, just message me.
I hope that you found these helpful. If you have already auditioned before, you might have known about these things, but you also may not have. If you are an experienced Disney auditioner but still haven’t been cast, try to figure out what the problem is. If it’s meant to be, you’ll be cast. For those of you who haven’t auditioned yet but plan to, I hope that I haven’t boosted your anxiety or anything. These reminders are meant to help you prepare for auditions of any kind. (Most of them, at least.)
Questions, comments, critiques? Drop a message in my ask box and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can! :) To learn more about Disney auditions, go to www.disneyauditions.com
Hi i really want to work as a disney princess i was wondering if you could maybe help me with info
Hi, there! I’d be happy to help - anything to help dreams come true :)
So I’ll give you a full rundown of what happens and how to maximise your chances of reaching your dream!
First off, auditions are open to everyone and details of upcoming auditions can be found here. The details for time, place, and what they’re looking for is listed under each audition. For WDW you need to be sixteen to work, but at all other parks you must be 18, and - obviously - willing to move. If you don’t live in a city, or (even country!) where there is a park, there are housing opportunities. Not sure if you’re American or if you live elsewhere, but just a side note - in Disneyland Paris a common assumption people make is that you need to speak French - you need either French OR English, and the same goes for Hong Kong Disneyland – English speaking. And obviously English for everywhere else.
On the website above, it also lists the height range for each character. They’re usually a little flexible, especially if they think you look like that character, so your Disney height is usually 1 or 2 inches shorter than your normal height.
So, the audition process! Each audition has a few rounds, and after each round they call out the numbers of people who progress and the others are free to leave.
The rounds vary depending on the type of audition (you’ll know what sort of audition it is as it says so on the audition website). Some auditions are just for lookalikes, which are just the face characters, in which case they’ll look at your features and measure you first, take some photos, and then do some cuts and progress. Another type of audition also looks for parade performers, in which case you usually start with a dance, and later on some people are separated to learn more dances and go for a chance of being a parade performer or a face character that participates in parades.
Edit: Recently I’ve found that some of the rounds are in different orders depending on the audition and the park which you’re auditioning for. I recently auditioned for Disneyland Paris for the 2015 summer jobs (character and parade performers) and they started off with the animation round. But the rounds are still the same: animation and dance, and then through to reading lines and trying on outfits so that the casting directors have an idea what you’d look like in costume.
The dance you’re taught is apparently quite simple, for a couple of counts of eight, you can find videos on YouTube where people show you the dance, but I wouldn’t rely on that in case they decide to switch it up in the audition! As well, you need to prove you can learn something, because if you end up becoming a parade performer then you will be taught choreography. For the dance, smile and have lots of energy!
The next round consists of another dance (a little more difficult so maybe take a jazz class beforehand or look online for some basic dancing stuff if you’ve never danced before) for the parade performers or possible dancers (this will also depend on the audition and whether they see potential for parade performers) and some animation, where you do a bit of improvisation. The choreographer tells you to do a short routine where you try to be as creative as possible and act out the character trope they ask you to. Each part of the routine is for eight counts. Start by walking forward as a cowboy, around in a circle like a pirate, stand like a dwarf, walk like a villain, curtsey/bow like a princess/prince and exit the stage as yourself.
Later on there may be another improvisation round where you’re asked to act out a story (usually something like washing a dog, or planting a tree). The choreographer teachers you the dance, if you have any questions - ASK! They want to help you succeed. With your animation, try to keep it simple, but creative! You want the casting directors to know what you’re portraying, but also to remember you.
You perform in small groups - anywhere between 4-10 people depending on how busy it is - in front of the casting directors. Beyond that, a difficult stage to get to, and one a lot of people only get to after multiple auditions, you are given a script and try a wig and/or costume on to really envision you as a character. They may take a few more photos and then you’re free to go.
A few things happen beyond that; recently some people have been asked for a callback, where they send in an online audition reading lines for characters, some people are put into a character pool, which means they may not have positions open at the moment, but if a position opens up, they’ll call on you and you’re in! Or sometimes they get back to you soon and ask you to come onboard!
These are some of the best general tips I can give you:
1. Smile a LOT - look excited to be there! They want enthusiastic people to be a part of Disney.
2. But at the same time, be professional, you need to show that you’re taking this opportunity seriously and do want the job. They also want to know that you’ll be able to work well with them in training or just being part of the team!
3. Arrive early. Make sure you know where you are and you’re not panicking about getting there in time. And you do NOT want to arrive late; in some auditions they turn away people who are late. And it doesn’t look very good.
4. Following on from above, it’s often said to try and be in the first 50 people (you’re given a number at the beginning when you sign up and that’s how you’re referred to and how you’re called upon). This means that you’ll be some of the first to perform in front of the casting directors - especially if you’re in a big group; because you can imagine how tiresome it can be to sit through and watch 150-250 people do the same choreography. But it’s up to you; if you’d prefer to get it over and done with, try to go first, but if you’d prefer time to wait until you perform as the others perform before you, try to be in the earlier groups, but not up first. When you’re being taught the choreography it’s a really good idea to try and get close to the front so that it’s easier to see for YOU. That way you’re not relying on knowing the dance or animation from the people in front of you. You’re also going to be closer to the front for the casting directors to see you. And if you’re part of a big group, then you want to be some of the first people that the casting directors see,
5. Clothes: try to stand out. Wear bright, but comfortable clothing - make sure it is comfortable so you can manoeuvre well! Also think about wearing something that flatters your silhouette, as they do ask you and take it into account. Try to wear comfortable shoes as well. It’s usually recommended to ensure your teeth are looking white, so you could look around online for different options for that - some people use a bit of lemon and baking soda solution and brush their teeth, or go to a dentist, or use whitening strips; it’s up to you - or your teeth may be beautifully white already :D
6. Don’t try to look like anyone or any character. Just don’t. Be you; wear your clothes, do your make-up naturally and keep your hair out of your face so it’s not in the way, but also because when/if they take photos of you (sometimes in the earlier rounds and then far later rounds so they have a reference of you) they ask you to have your hair out of your face.
7. Be friendly. At the audition you are always being watched - show that you have that friendly, loveable, Disney spirit! Talk to people, make friends, have fun!
8. Examine the Disney face characters. Watch videos of them, see how they interact with people; they always look engaged and pleasant. Big waves, big smiles, using your whole body to portray that character. If you have an idea of who you could be cast as (through height, facial features, size, etc.) then examine that character and their personality, the way they interact with people, their signature faces and moves, how they stand, even how they smile – just to give you a bit of an advantage if you get through to the final rounds.
9. Bring a snack and some water. You get thirsty with all that activity and you could be there for quite long time. Bring something easy to eat which will give you a good burst of energy; a muesli bar or banana or something.
10. Try, try, try again. If you don’t get through, don’t lose heart. Many of the Disney face characters took multiple auditions to get to where they are! As well, not many people know that over time, their brief for each character sometimes changes, so whilst you may not have been what they were looking for in one audition, a few months later you could have more of a chance of getting hired. Keep trying because you never know!
And, as I always say, in show biz it always looks good when you come back. You’ll get used to the process, lose the nerves, and if they remember you it only shows your dedication and love for Disney.
Here are a couple of my favourite sources for extra help or to get you into the spirit!
- wdwauditiontips- tips on the auditions and how to ace them. Great Instagram.
- Confessions of a Retired Disney Princess1, 2, 3- 2 retired face characters who reminisce and give advice for future princesses. Lovely, lovely girls, I love them a lot. Jennifer also has many other awesome videos on face characters on her YouTube and Rachel actually coaches young women for acting auditions! Her inspiring blog has a way to contact her if you’re interested :) They both try to reply to as many people as possible who contact them - Rachel once replied to me and I freaked out and was smiling all day because she’s so lovely.
- who do I look like?- I know a lot of people who want to know who they look like. I’m not very good at that, but a lot of other Disney or face character blogs do accept submissions and suggest who you may resemble if you’d really like to know. This blog here is very helpful and lovely and accept submissions. Just keep in mind, the casting directors know what they’re looking for, so don’t get something set in your head only to be let down or find yourself trying to look like that character and putting the casting directors off! And, as always, just be wary that if you submit a photo you are putting a photo of yourself out there on the internet, although this blog is lovely and I do trust them.
If you have any specific questions at all, let me know, I’d be happy to help. I just rambled on enough and I can’t tell you everything because you’d be reading all day! So if there’s something I didn’t answer here shoot me a message and I’ll do my absolute best to help you out :)
Sorry this took so so long to answer, lovely, but I want to give you the best chance and I’ve been away for the weekend!
I hope you’re feeling inspired and have a magical day :) <3
Me and my friends (one was black and the other is Asian) were in a group text earlier .
I was telling them about my audition and you know what one of them said that kind of messed me up?
She said sometimes she wishes she was white because there are so many options for when you audition for face characters that are white whereas with us we could only be really one character .
So this is interesting. These are the roles for a WDW audition next week. Looks like they are bringing the fairies back not just for that limited time magic thing huh?
And look it says Disney Princes
Normally it just says Aladdin, who is out frequently. But the interesting this is it is a Character Look Alike audition, and its for meet and greets, not performing in parades or anything so it looks like they may be bringing the princes back for more limited time magic or permanent? What do you all think? iM EXCITED! ?