Auditioning for Disney… How Does it Happen?
For many kids who love acting and singing, getting cast on a Disney show is the ultimate goal. And contrary to many conspiracy theorists, Disney stars like Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, etc. are not grown in a lab somewhere. They are kids just like yours. However, each one of them had to go through a long, drawn-out process of auditioning, before they were finally cast for Disney channel.
The Walt Disney Company is perhaps the world's leading provider of entertainment for kids and teens, including, but not limited to, motion pictures, cartoons, and television shows. So there’s no denying that Disney is particularly picky with their casting choices. Each actor they hire becomes an ambassador of the brand, that is why the auditioning process is especially meticulous. This, however, does not mean that your child has zero chances of ever getting hired by Disney. And if they ever get a callback from them, keep this in mind:
1. As we mentioned earlier, the auditioning process can be fairly long and drawn out. There will be multiple casting sessions that usually start with a casting associate trying to identify new talent to show to the casting director. Assuming the casting director likes what they see, they will do what is known as a "producers session." This is where the producers/writers of a show see the casting choices identified by the casting director.
2. Keep in mind that you’ll only meet the Disney team if your child passes those sessions. At this point, there will be an initial casting session (sometimes referred to as a "network session" or "studio session") followed up by as many additional sessions as might be needed to be sure your child is the right choice for the role. Help your child stay calm and relaxed for all those sessions. Practice audition lines with your kid and even arrange for your child to perform in front of other people. If your child is used to performing in front of others, the audition won't be as scary.
3. Now’s time for the final audition (phew), called the “testing session”. At this point, the Disney team, producers, and casting directors have narrowed down the selection to 3 or 4 choices. This will be the first time you will be presented with some sort of paperwork which will contractually hold your child for the production period (to avoid them going somewhere else while Disney makes a decision). The testing session is where the final choices are made.
Be aware that ALL of your child's auditions will be videotaped. Those tapes are shared with a number of people and are often kept on file with the casting office to use as a reference. So prior this stage, try filming your child at home. Review the videos and make necessary recommendations. Also, this will help your child to feel more relaxed in front of the camera.
1. Support and encourage your child through each auditioning step.
2. Get ready for auditions together. Practice lines. Film your child. Practice in front of an audience.
3. Don’t let your child get discouraged if they don’t get the part. Disney is a huge corporation and has the most talented actors and performers auditioning for them. Treat this auditioning process as a learning experience, which will only be beneficial for your child’s career in the long run.