Extras, parents, kids, there’s plenty of room for everybody over at Disney’s! Simply check our secret tips.
Disney Channel is the dream destination for a lot of young talent – as well as for the young talent’s parents or adult actors who must impersonate …again: parents!
The American basic cable and satellite television network is a part of The Walt Disney Company with a history of over two decades. First-run TV series, movies for both theater release and made-for-cable and other third-party programming belong to the channel’s programming. Initially developing programs for families, the age target moved towards younger children by the late 1990s. The current targeting is aimed at kids aged from 6 to 14, while Disney Junior is dedicated to children ages 2-7. Solely in the United States, Disney Channel is currently available to about 96.2 million pay television households, but it is spread around the globe as well. No wonder acting for Disney Channel shows is the main goal for young actors to achieve at the start of their career.
How Do You Book Participation at Disney Channel Auditions
There are several ways to make yourself remarked at a casting for Disney. Let’s list the approaches for you to make a good entry, valid regardless of your location. You could be in NYC, in Las Vegas or in Houston, something will work for you eventually.
Land a Talent Agent Who Works with Disney
Passion and motivation aren’t enough (strategically speaking), if you plan on making yourself remarked around your competitors. Booking a role with Disney isn’t really piece of cake and you or your kid must have the endorsement of a skilled agent and also impress the casting director.
Even if the castings which are addressing kids are not expecting a certain acting experience, we recommend that children take acting lessons before they try to obtain an agent or to participate in an audition or open call. Unless they are totally born to do this, every craft and talent might use some polishing, especially in the case of kids and comedy – combined.
Also, a little preparing won’t hurt.
How Do I Find out what Agency Collaborates with Disney?
Usually, using your Internet digging skills! Alternatively, use the features and insights from www.imdb.com, which has a Pro version that can reveal what agents and managers work with what actors. If you don’t want to pay for a Pro account, you can try the free 30 days trial. Then you can search for agents, agencies and managers or look the other way around: browse for actors you consider successful or whom you appreciate from Disney Channel’s cast. The next step is to create a list of their representatives and contact the agencies, pitching yourself to land an agent. That is how you have a guarantee that you can approach Disney from the inside.
How Do I Apply For Working with a Talent Agent?
Disney Channel usually films in Los Angeles, to make your chances the best that they can be, you need to relocate in order to be available nearby. You also need to have a portfolio. Learn what a good portfolio includes:
- A collection of professional photos of you: The more revealing the shooting and the headshots are, the higher your chances to convince your agent.
- A resume: List previous acting experience and workshop or classes participation, even if you don’t have a lot or you attended courses in your hometown at the local school.
- Footage is also welcomed (and recommended): Disney casting directors appreciate comedic skills and good acting, and your agent will likewise appreciate them. Just make a good tape/recording and include it in the portfolio.
Before sending out an email to the agency, try to obtain some personal recommendations. Perhaps someone you know has an entry for an agent and you can ask to use their name when addressing the agency. If not, simply opt for a friendly approach and make sure to follow up over the phone after a few days.
- We tried IMDB Pro in order to do the recommended research for the character of Jessie Prescott from the Jessie TV series on Disney Channel (featured above). The actress Debby Ryan was born in May 1993 and performs ages 17 to 25. She is affiliated to AFTRA / SAG and collaborates with Creative Artists Agency. Her Theatrical Talent Agent appears to be Nick Styne from CAA and her Talent Agent appears to be Steve Smooke from the same agency. Michael Hepburn from Industry Entertainment is listed as her manager. Debby was born in Alabama, moved with her family to Texas, then to Germany, returned in Keller, TX only to move again to Los Angeles, where she is currently focusing on developing her acting career.
What Options Do I Have if I Don’t Live in Los Angeles?
There’s more than one way to secure an audition for Disney Channel. You should follow the activity online at http://disneychannel.disney.com/open-call or http://disneychannel.disney.com/talentsearch in order to learn in due time if there’s an upcoming open call near you. Open calls aren’t as efficient as an agent pitching you directly to a casting director or securing you an individual audition, because competition is high and the schedule is pretty demanding. It’s harder to be remarked among of so many talented kids, but it’s a shot you definitely need to take.
Secret Tip #1
This isn’t a regular audition method, but it’s a way to put in all possible effort in order to network with the right people. You could benefit from participating in an acting or voice acting workshop with a Disney casting director. That obviously doesn’t pose any certainty, but it’s the best context in which you could reveal your craft. You are also more relaxed, as there is zero pressure to secure an audition and get cast and it’s a wonderful occasion for a casting director to observe your acting and also your other skills. As you might guess, it’s a bonus if you can dance, sing or play an instrument, according to Judy Taylor, VP, Casting and Talent Relations on behalf of Disney. She firmly mentioned that acting and good comedic skills are essential traits to be appreciated at Disney, but any talents are obviously to the “owner’s” benefit. During a workshop you can also establish good interpersonal relationships, which are superior to any kind of networking assets or portfolios in the world.
Secret Tip #2
Consider starting as an extra. Several agencies are specialized in recruiting talent for background acting. This experience could be highly constructive if you never acted before: you get an insight to the whole mechanism, you learn without tension and you also observe more experimented people who can teach you things without meaning to. Extra agencies like Kids Management and Central Casting could land you an agent who would introduce you to acting and it would be an easy entrance for you, if you get yourself remarked. It is also beneficial to be included in databases of actors, you never know when a character is needed with your exact figure!
According to the same aforementioned Judy Taylor, several actors with whom Disney currently collaborates have been selected after a callback: they were either extras or already recruited. So, even if you get a small part of a background role, it’s still a very good start! Disney Channel is constantly looking for talented kids who ideally have other skills as well. There is always a high demand for good acting, excellent native comedic skills, ability to play an instrument, sing or dance. The roles are attributed in a manner that would mirror the best capabilities of the actor in a “nurturing environment”, so Taylor.
Adults are also cast in Disney Channel productions and shows, as someone needs to play the parents too! The procedure in this case is the same as in the case of any other auditions, perhaps with the same hint towards Los Angeles. The number of open calls is perhaps smaller in this case.
Depending on the scripts, Disney Channel auditions are usually very firm about age ranges, taking into consideration that a show is maturing in two or three years, as a child or teenager will grow and develop. Once you sign with an agent, your representative should be experienced with this kind of a situation.
How To Increase Your Chances
Take singing lessons! Learn to play the piano. Don’t skip your dancing classes. Keep trying something new every now and then, be it sports or any other thing that develops your skills and shapes your individuality. Research all possible resources, there is plenty of real content available online for aspiring actors, for free. Go to your local acting classes and try to pick up anything you can in school. Form yourself around a character type as much as you can, because agents function through typologies.
There are auditions and open calls periodically at Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, ABC and many more. It’s not impossible to find opportunities in other cities like Georgia, Atlanta; Miami, Florida; Dallas, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Denver, Colorado or Boston, Massachusetts. Fingers crossed!