Want to perform with Disney, or another popular production company or cruise line? Learn what to expect at Nickelodeon and Disney singing auditions — and how to put your best foot forward –in this guest post voice teacher Liz T...
Have you ever thought of auditioning for a job with a Disney or Nickelodeon production? Well, there are a few things you should know before your audition! As a performer myself with Disney Live, Radio Disney, and Nickelodeon at Sea, I am here to give you insight into what these types of companies are looking for at their performer auditions.
Here’s what you need to know about Disney singing auditions and the like…
Don’t ever pay money for an audition
Unfortunately, there are a lot of scams out there that convince families to pay large advances to so-called “agencies” to get your kid seen in front of a Disney or Nickelodeon Casting Director. This is not the way to approach landing a role. If someone is asking for money just to give your child a chance to be seen, their promises may not be true.
Also, you should never pay an agent any money upfront — most deals end up at only 10-20% if they actually help you get contracted work.
Presentation is everything
For the actual audition, Disney and Nickelodeon hold many casting calls each year in Orlando, New York City, and Los Angeles. It’s common for them to list auditions on websites like Playbill, Backstage, Walt Disney, and Feld Entertainment. Sometimes there are workshops in these cities where you or your child can participate in a master class with a casting director.
Remember: from the moment you walk in the audition room or send your headshot for review, you are being considered for a part! Both Disney and Nickelodeon look for actors who are positive and confident. They don’t want to see you walking in the audition room with your head down and a sourpuss face (even if you are auditioning for a serious role). They want to see a smile, an upbeat personality, and someone who can hold an intelligent conversation!
I suggest wearing a nice, bright-colored outfit to your audition to show you care about your presentation (also, make sure your clothes are free of logos). Imagine if you were meeting a friend’s parents for the first time — you want to make a good impression right from the start! They also want to see that you can work well with others and do not give off a diva-like impression.
Maintain a positive image
If you are lucky to get a job with Disney or Nickelodeon, you will be in the public eye. This means that many kids will look up to you as a role model, so it’s important that you lead a healthy lifestyle.
Disney and Nickelodeon want to give off a positive, clean, healthy image to kids. They also do check-ins constantly, so even after you are hired, you still have to maintain a healthy lifestyle while performing. They are very strict with this, and do not tolerate bad behavior at all. Many well-known actors have been dropped from their TV show contracts or record labels for not maintaining these lifestyles.
Choose an appropriate song and monologue
To work for companies like Disney and Nickelodeon, you also need to have great energy and high spirits! So, it’s important to show this in your audition. Pick an audition song that is appropriate for your age and range, and make sure it doesn’t include any offensive material.
You can sing a Disney song or use a monologue from one of their movies or TV shows for their audition, but I also encourage you to change it up! Research some old, classic musicals, or even use some new and currently popular material for your audition. Most audition panels love funny material, and they love to laugh! They want to see big personalities, and that you would be a fun, lovely person to work with.
How Do Disney Auditions Work?
There are many different ways you can audition for Disney or Nickelodeon. For example, I made an audition video and sent it into Disney because I was not able to attend an audition in person. In my video I included some clips of past singing, acting, and dancing performances.
I finally received an email almost six months later, asking to do some more interviews and auditions over Skype. After another month, I was finally offered a role with the company! So, it paid off being patient and making that video, because you never know what opportunities are in store for you.
How Do Nickelodeon Auditions Work?
For Nickelodeon, I attended an audition in person. The audition was a very positive experience, and they took a lot of time getting to know me as a person and not just as an actor.
I spent about an hour with the panel, and they asked to hear me sing, read from a children’s script, and learn and perform a new dance combination. This is very rare for auditions, as most only last about two minutes. At the end of the audition, they offered me a job right on the spot, which started in two weeks! I was very lucky, as this is not particularly common.
I happened to be at the right time and right place for both these auditions. A little luck may have been on my side, but it would not have worked out without my hard work, determination, and practice for many years.
Looking for more? Check these resources out!
Other TakeLessons tips:
- How to Prepare for a Singing Audition: Ten Tips for Success
- What Are the Best Songs to Sing for an Audition?
- Vocal Audition Crimes: 3 Mistakes That Turn Judges Off
- 5 Tips for Singing with an Accompanist
- Disney Open Casting Call
- Nickelodeon Casting Calls
- Casting Call Hub Singing Auditions List
- Video: How to Audition for Disney Channel
- 7 Tips for Dressing Your Child for Auditions
These companies are very professional and look for the best of the best — hard-workers who are serious about performing. I suggest not going to your audition until you are extremely prepared and confident.
It’s a good idea to build up your experience with other auditions first, and then try out for these major companies when you’re truly ready. And of course, working with a voice teacher or acting coach is a great idea — your teacher can help you choose the right song and monologue, and teach you how to present your best self at the audition.
Good luck with your Nickelodeon or Disney audition, and let me know how it goes!
Photo by Ricky Brigante