When I decided to attend Chapman University in Orange, California, there was one thought wandering in the back of my mind: “HOW COOL WOULD IT BE TO HAVE A JOB AT DISNEYLAND?!” It wasn’t necessarily an idea I was getting my hopes up about, but I was planning to giving it a try. The summer leading up to my freshman year of college, I was constantly refreshing the the audition website when BAM! There it was! My first opportunity to be a part of this magical company! I watched “audition tip” YouTube videos to get myself prepared and hoped that would be enough. I anxiously awaited the day I would get to perform for the casting directors and (hopefully) show them that I deserved to be working for the Walt Disney Company.
When that day finally came, I tried to play it cool, but there was no use in authentically trying to hide my excitement and nerves. I had to wake up at 5:00am to get down to Yorba Linda early. I was sure there would be endless rows of girls with the same dream as me and I was hoping to get there before everyone else. As my number one fan, of course my mom headed out with me. Having her drive me even allowed me to take a little cat nap on the way there. Secretly, she seemed to be even more nervous than me, but of course she wouldn’t admit this until AFTER the audition.
She dropped me off in front of Momentum Dance Studio, and I nervously approached a never-ending line of girls that stood before me. I had my headshot and resume in hand and was going to attempt to make some friends while anxiously waiting for the next hour. I don’t quite remember the names of the girls I met, but we instantly began conversing about our lives, goals, and backgrounds. This was my first audition, but these girls had been to plenty. I was having the best time hearing about their past experiences and was getting a better idea about what to expect. They were sweet and I was impressed at how easy it was to get along with these strangers. Every person I’ve ever met at a Disney audition has been nothing but the epitome of sunshine and rainbows. The community is incredibly warm and made the overall experience less daunting when I felt like I had a friend by my side. After all, everyone auditioning has the mutual goal of working at the "Happiest Place on Earth." That should say something about one’s character, right?
When the line started moving, groups of people were being let in at a time. So I continued to wait, this time truly feeling my heart beating as rapid as Thumper's foot. I began to look around. What was everyone else doing? What were they wearing? I started to feel a bit uncertain about my own audition attire because I didn’t look like anyone else. I realized that’s not a bad thing though; after all, it seemed as if everyone was wearing something different and I wanted to stand out without showing up in a banana suit. I decided to have my hair half-up, with leggings, a hot pink tank top, and matching shoes.That was what I personally was comfortable in, but I'm sure there were others who felt completely different.
When it was my turn to funnel into the room, I tried my best and was BEAMING the longer I was kept. Unfortunately however, my friends didn’t make it with me. Although it was disappointing to see them leave, I'm thankful that they were a part of this day. I found it surprising how easy it was to narrow down such a large group of people, but I guess they had an idea of what they were looking for.
I was a little shocked that I had made it as far as I did, but was extremely blessed at the same time. Regardless of what was going to happen in the next few hours, I was proud for putting myself out there and gaining experience at my first actual audition since graduating from high school. I didn’t want to get my hopes up and knew that I should expect nothing. If anything, it’s a free dance class?
I felt as though this audition was right up my alley and my nerves seemed to fade. I was genuinely having fun and didn’t even care about what would happen next. I felt like I did well, but so did most of the other girls. Again, I knew it was important to expect nothing and if I happened to get it, then it would be an exciting surprise. All I could do was perform the best I could, and accept whatever my fate would be.
After we were done sweating for the panel, we were sent into another room to express our availability; after this they would be making their final decisions. The thought of this made my heart cringe. Would this be a job I could balance with school? At that time, I was only available on the weekends. I guess we would see. I eventually came to find out that they a lot of availability was required…Mhm….Yikes.
I’m sure you can probably imagine what happened from there. They came to announce the numbers who were being offered positions. I’ll give you a hint: mine wasn’t one of them.
In the end, this opportunity wasn’t for me. Maybe someday, but not THAT day. Of course having my number not called wasn’t ideal, but I wasn’t necessarily feeling heartbroken about it. Going into this audition with an open mind and low expectations was probably the best thing I could have done for myself. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and on that day, I believed my time would come if and when it was meant to. This just goes to show how important it is to never give up. It sounds so cheesy, but an audition does not determine your worth and it shouldn’t discourage you in fulfilling your ambitions. This is what I told myself and my mom as we sat eating at the local In n’ Out in Yorba Linda. After all, I could always try again in 2 weeks. Perhaps that next audition would be my time.