Yes. You read that right. I auditioned to be a Disney Princess today.
I made an actor’s CV (thanks Scott!) and printed out a headshot (thanks Christina!) and off I went to Pineapple Studios, 7 Langley Street, London.
I prepared very thoroughly by watching The Princess and the Frog, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, and half of Mary Poppins. I also practiced my royal wave.
First, I should explain that it wasn’t actually an audition to be a Disney Princess. At least, that was only part of it. The specific audition was to be a character performer at Euro Disney, Paris. This means that you may be a princess (and that’s certainly how they advertised it) but you may also, or only, be a character in a furry suit.
Part one: turn up, get a number, and fill in the form with your basic details.
Part two: listen to a PowerPoint presentation on what it means to be a character performer with Disney. I can’t tell you any of the trade secrets, or it will forever spoil the Disney magic for you and for children around the globe. And they might sue me.
Part three: have your height measured (they don’t adjust the costumes so you have to be within a certain range), and hand in your form.
Part four: create and perform a six-character animation series to some happy Disney music.
Part five: perform a choreographed dance. But my fairy tale was already over by then when I turned into a pumpkin as I was sent home after the animation exercise. If you pass the dance audition, you may be lucky enough to go into the wig fitting and make-up trial to see if you can be one of the specific face characters. Your chances are better, clearly, if you’re male (as ever, the pretty girls auditioning far outnumbered the pretty boys* auditioning) and if you are of a specific ethnicity that works well for, say, Mulan, Tiana, or Jasmine, the odds may ever be in your favour.
*Incidentally, on my way to the audition, I had the sudden thought that this would be the perfect place to meet a Disney Prince! Not true. (1) Few boys, (2) Even fewer attractive, and (3) Even fewer heterosexual. Sad face.
I am of course indignant and flabbergasted that the casting team didn’t think I was Disney Princess material. (I’m practically perfect in every way.) I’m also very disappointed that I didn’t get to give them my beautiful actor’s CV with my headshot and all my fabulous experience, or show them that I also speak French. Zut alors!
My am dram experience in Geneva has certainly prepared me for the audition process, although it’s amazing how nervous you can still get, even when you’re doing something for fun. Unfortunately I didn’t practice any improv though I had intended to, and when it was my group’s turn to perform I lost count so my cowgirl merged into my pirate and my dwarf got confused. But, if I’m perfectly honest, I would with almost complete certainty have been sent home after the dance audition if not before. This way, I got to leave just in time for lunch.
Confused dwarf aside, another reason they may have sent me home was my honesty in answering YES to the question on the form: “Are you claustrophobic?” This is apparently a key barrier since, as the casting director told us repeatedly throughout the morning, everyone has to don the furry suit at some point. This means a lot of time spent sweating away in a big heavy costume while not being allowed to eat or drink, to sit down, or to talk. Maybe not so appealing.
I am very sad, however, not to have had a chance to wear the beautiful princess gowns. In The Big Bang Theory, the girls go off to Disneyland and get full hair and make-up and beautiful high-quality costumes to take home – I’ve never seen this being offered, surely that’s not a real thing? Because if it is, I’m booking my ticket to Paris (or Florida or California).
Oh and thank you in advance for your shared indignation and flabbergastedness that Disney did not want me. Sniff.