A very common question young actors and their parents often ask is: “How do you get auditions for Disney Channel?”
For three years, my daughter was in a comedy and improv group called Giggle Gaggle. They had class and put on shows each week.
Not only was it fun, but it was great experience and training. It helped prepare her for Disney auditions as well as other auditions.
While in this group, she had the opportunity to do comedy and improv on stage with David Henrie, star of Wizards of Waverly Place, and Sammi Hanratty, recurring guest-star on That’s So Raven and The Suite Life of Zach and Cody. We now enjoy seeing them on the Disney Channel regularly.
So, exactly how do you get those coveted Disney auditions, and even more, land those career-launching jobs like your favorite Disney stars did? While there are no magical answers to this question, there are things that you can do to increase your child’s chances of auditioning for Disney.
The most common way to get auditions for Disney Channel or Disney movies is to first get an agent.
While this really is the best way to get auditions for Disney, it is not the only way.
The following are some things that may help your child get auditions for Disney Channel:
- Submit your child for Disney projects on self-submission casting sites.
- Watch for and attend open calls in your area for Disney projects.
- Attend workshops, classes, or seminars with Disney casting directors.
- Try to get extra work on Disney projects.
- Take part in showcases where Disney Casting Directors may be in attendance.
- Participate in comedy/improv groups where there may be referrals or visitors.
Is it any wonder that so many children and teens want to be on Disney Channel or in a Disney movie? After all, there is, and always has been, something magical about anything Disney.
And it is certainly exciting to imagine achieving the fame and fortune of Hillary Duff (Lizzie McGuire) or Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana). But it is also important to understand that most Disney stars did not achieve that stardom overnight. It took a lot of hard work!
Now that you have a list of things to do to try to get Disney auditions, you may wonder where to start in accomplishing those tasks.
First of all, how do you go about doing self-submissions for Disney projects? You need to join some online casting sites where auditions for Disney projects may be found and create a profile for your child on those sites.
The two most recommended casting sites where many legitimate audition postings are found are Casting Networks and Actors Access. These are the sites most often used by actors and their parents to view and submit for auditions.
I noticed several audition postings for Disney on the Casting Networks and Actors Access sites just this morning. For example, there is a posting for an advertisement for Radio Disney.
Keep in mind that most of the auditions listed on Casting Networks and Actors Access are located near big acting markets (e.g., LA, New York, Miami, …). Depending on your location and where the casting sessions are held, you might have to travel a long way to get to auditions and jobs at your own expense.
Sometimes there will be casting sessions at various locations (typically in fairly large cities) around the country, but they are less common.
There are a number of other sites that also have audition postings for actors with or without representation. Some of these sites may make the opportunities sound better than they are, so use caution and do your research before paying money to sign up on these sites.
One very important thing to keep in mind is to never pay money to audition for any jobs!
Sometimes there are open calls for Disney projects. I’ve recently heard about an open call in the LA Area which you can view along with other Disney acting auditions I’ve found in my Disney Acting Auditions section. Just be prepared when you go to an open call for the reality that there will be many people there, you may have to wait a very long time, and you may not be seen at all.
That is why we sometimes not so affectionately call these open calls cattle calls. So if you go to one, be careful and don’t get trampled!
There are casting directors who sometimes cast for Disney that do classes, workshops, and seminars. While many of these are in the L.A. and New York areas, sometimes they are held at various locations around the country.
If you keep your eyes and ears open, you might learn about one of these workshops or seminars to attend. Keep at mind that going to these in no way guarantees you any jobs or even any auditions for Disney. It can, in certain cases, increase your chances for a Disney audition or job though.
You can always watch out for calls for extras for Disney projects. You can sign up for extra work on various casting sites and watch for projects that are filming near you that might have calls for extras.
Being an extra on a Disney tv show can be fun, and in rare cases, if you grab the attention of the director, you might end up with an unscripted line or slightly bigger part than just an extra.
Showcases are sometimes held after an acting class completes to allow the class participants the chance to do scenes and/or monologues for industry guests. The invited guests for showcases might include casting directors who cast for Disney.
If this is something you are interested in, inquire about this before signing up for an acting class. But also understand that in this business there are typically no guarantees. Even if industry guests are invited to showcases, they may not attend due to other commitments.
Your child can take various comedy and improv classes. Sometimes the teachers have industry contacts such as Disney casting directors, producers, or directors and may invite them to guest-teach a class or to come in and watch the shows.
A casting director for a Disney project may call and ask for referrals from these classes and shows as well.
Watch in my upcoming posts for more on the topic of getting auditions for Disney Channel. I’ll also discuss that very important topic, how to get an agent or manager — which really is the best way to get Disney Channel auditions.
Also, be sure to sign up for Your Young Actor’s Newsletter to get more in-depth information on getting auditions for Disney Channel as well as on many other topics of interest for you and your young actor.