My *successful* Disneyland Performer Audition

I became a performer for Disneyland in May of 2015, so it’s been quite a few years since my audition- luckily I kept a journal at the time and documented my entire audition experience.

I wore a green dress- I remember thinking, “nobody wears green” and thought maybe I’d stand out. I didn’t wear very much makeup at all. I did my eyebrows lightly, I concealed some spots, and I put on a bit of mascara and chapstick.

I got there and there were already hundreds of girls in line before me. I think my number was in the four-hundreds. Hundreds of girls also came behind me, I wanna say there were around 1,200 girls there. I talked to the girls standing next to me, and I started to get really nervous. A lot of the girls had headshots, acting classes, and multiple auditions under their belt.

I had none of that. I was going in pretty much completely blind- just hoping for the best. The reason I went is that one of my friends had just been hired and told me I should go. Before that, I didn’t ever once think about auditioning for Disneyland- I didn’t even realize it was something that someone could do.

They let about 50 girls in at once, and once I finally got inside they lined us up in lines of 10. All they did at this point was look at us. Literally, just stare at our face. At one point they had us introduce ourselves by just saying our name- to see how we sound, and how we look when we talk. I made it through this round, and then came the waiting. Waiting and waiting and waiting.

This entire day took about nine or ten hours- mostly from the standing around in between rounds. The next round they narrowed us down just based on our looks again. I couldn’t believe I was even getting through these.

By the time there weren’t that many of us left, we were handed scripts. The scripts had written on them a certain story that we were to tell. I practiced mine in the corner, but I was nearly shaking I was so nervous. When it was my turn to perform it, I had to get up in front of not only the casting directors but all the other girls competing for the same spot as me. I don’t know who I was more nervous about.

I said my lines and they corrected me. They asked me to talk a little slower and to say it again. I remember clearly thinking, “okay, I’m done for.” Every round that I passed I’d tell myself, “Wow, now I can say I made it this far!”

When I said my lines again all they did was ask me to go stand back in line- I had no idea what that meant. They made cuts again and¬†somehow¬†I was still there. I know I keep saying this- but I couldn’t believe it.

Little did I know the next round would be the scariest yet. There were only 8 of us left at this time- and it was time for the dancing round.

I’d been a dancer when I was little for almost ten years, but that couldn’t help me or my nerves at this point. I couldn’t remember any of the steps I was being taught. It seemed like I was instantly forgetting them. When it was my turn to perform, I honestly just winged it. I remembered only a few dance moves, but I smiled and performed like my life depended on it.

This is when I got some of the best news I’d ever get. I had a callback.

It was for three days later.

Those were some of the most agonizing three days of my life. I laid in bed at night just thinking about what they were going to have me do at the callback. I watched Disney movies on a nonstop loop. I sang and danced around my apartment every second.

When the day finally came, I got ready to go. I tried to copy my audition makeup exactly, very minimal since I knew they obviously liked what they were seeing. I got there and met up with the other girls that got a callback as well. We had already bonded a ton from the experience, and I can still call them some of my closest friends to this day.

All they had us do was try on costumes, and then go in a room alone with just the casting directors and read a script again. I was feeling much more confident after having practiced the last few days. I went in and did the best I could do. I truly had no idea how I had done because they all had such great poker faces. They could’ve hated it or loved it and I’d be none the wiser.

All five of us girls left gathered in a tiny little conference room. I’ll never forget the next moments. We were just giddy to be there and overflowing with energy. I’m not a religious girl, but we all joined hands in prayer. All of us huddled around a little office table with our heads bowed. I don’t even know what was being said- or if anyone was even talking out loud. I prayed in my head as hard as I could that the next moments would change my life. And they did.

The directors walked in on us mid-prayer (they got a little chuckle out of the sight of us), and they asked us to come back into the other room where we gave our performances.

This is when we were told we would all be becoming performers at Disneyland. The moment was ethereal. I expected to start screaming for joy, but I had more of a sigh of relief. This audition had put me on edge for so long, and it was finally all over.

I couldn’t wait to tell all of my friends and family.

It was one of the best days of my life- and a day that shaped me into who I am now.

A few of us went into the park after and took everything in for the first time as ~future cast members~.

Now as for what happened over the next three years that were to come- well that’s a story for another blog post.

I’m so happy I got to share this story, as it means a lot to me. If you have any questions about the experience, or you yourself have an audition coming up, let me know in the comments below! I’ll make sure to get back to everyone.

Love, Shaaylo

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