So you watched Girl Meets World or Hannah Montana, and you are looking to be the next Disney kid. Can’t be as hard as it seems, right? Well… much like auditioning for any network, there is still a lot that goes into securing auditions for Disney Channel. So, let’s get to it – Here’s How to Audition for Disney Channel:
This is something you cannot control unless you have discovered this article at a very young age and you and your family are ready to take the leap into committing to a long-term career in the entertainment industry. (See this article on kid actors to learn more about what you are getting into). But in all seriousness… if you are looking to be the STAR of a Disney show, much like Shia LeBeouf or Selena Gomez, it is essential you understand the amount of years these young actors devote to the Disney community and the very young age they started. People see Miley Cyrus at 18 and 19 years old and think – “Hey, I’m 18, I can be on Disney like her!” But in all honesty, Disney tends to want at least 5 years to develop their actors (not a minimum requirement though) and appealing to a very young audience, mostly between 8-16, an 18 year old has very little chance of being groomed as a series regular. There are a ton of networks out there that have 25 year olds play 17 year olds, but Nickelodeon and Disney casting tend to stick to more realistic ages to relate to their younger demographic. Now, this doesn’t mean anyone over 11 years old can’t have an amazing career with Disney. Heck, some start when they are 16 years old (Lauren Taylor on “Best Friends Whenever”) but for the teens- 70’s, there are a ton of supporting roles in Disney casting calls; sisters, moms, grandmas, teachers, coaches, etc.
Work on Your “Disney Brand”
By wanting to target Disney, you and your representation will have to chat about a strong brand you will develop moving forward in your career. Think about all of the young Disney stars; you want to keep a clean image, and given that the audience is targeted toward middle schoolers and young tweens, having a positive social media presence is essential if you are wanting to pursue a serious Disney career. One of our team members chatted with an associate who works for a big Disney casting company and she explained how casting performs in-depth research on social media profiles for EVERY single actor they bring in to audition… even down to one-line co-stars.
So if you are closer to adulthood in real-life, whether you play younger than your real age or not, posting photos you drinking or creating an image anything less than a positive role model could have a negative impact on you and your Disney dreams. Now that you are pursuing a career in the eyes of the public, you need to think of the Disney brand and align yours with theirs.
Understand the Material
Almost all Disney auditions will be given through your representation, regardless of those radio ads and blog posts you hear of the countless cattle calls. When you go in to audition for Disney, do your research on the material and really understand the content. For instance, is this a single or multi-cam show? Typically in the Disney world, the kids end up being the smart ones and the adults end up being the knuckleheads. In knowing this, you will know how to place those off-beat characters. The acting also tends to be a bit broader and character-y. However, they still expect you to grounded and real so you need to balance both sides. Disney has recently been opening themselves up to more dramatic material. But remember, this still isn’t a 60 minute procedural, so a drama in Disney will still have some light-hearted moments and content.
In any audition, you should always in prepared. But Disney especially moves so fast, that if you aren’t nearly off-book, you can get lost with the rest of the “vanilla” actors who were just “okay.” If there is something that can set you apart, like really knowing the material ahead of time, then take the time to do it! Also, think about your outfit of choice…what would fit into the Disney world, into the Disney brand? Think bright colors, innocent, playful, family-friendly.
Our diagnostic expert, Ashley Bornancin, has interviewed a number of the Disney stars and says that each of those kids are ones that are able to handle his or her own show because they fully own who they are… which is very hard for anyone to do, at ANY age. Don’t overthink everything too much and be confident in who you are and what you are bringing to the table. Make bold choices, and be sure to have fun! Don’t be so overly prepared that you are too caught up in the choreography of it all that you aren’t focused on living in the moment as well. Break a leg at your Disney auditions!!