How To Get A Job On The Disney Channel – A Guide For Parents And Children

Everyone wants to know how to land a job on the Disney Channel. I get asked several times a week and everyone seems to think that I have a secret that will help land them a series.

Well, I do have a secret and I’m going to share it with you now.

A lot of people think that you get on Disney by being cute, that all  you need to do is get into the right audition, or get seen by the right people. This not the secret.

The people who do  get jobs with Disney only need to do one thing well. So…

Here’s the”BIG SECRET.”

To land a great role with a  great company (like Disney) all you have to do is… Have consistently excellent auditions. That’s all. Just do really really well on your audition. Every audition. Every time. Over and over again. The kids who get hired for a Disney series will do several auditions for any small roll, if it’s a series regular (staring role) then they will need to do as many as 5 or 6 or more and will need to be excellent every time.  If every audition is great, then you have a chance. Probably not the secret you were hoping for, but I wish to be straight with you and there is enough misinformation out there already. The absolute truth is, you need to be totally prepared for the opportunity. .

To begin, in order to get an audition you generally need a talent agent to set up the appointment with a casting office.  If you get an audition, you will walk in alone, with no help, just  your skills and experience. If you haven’t practiced enough to have the poise and confidence to “perform” in the office then Disney  won’t be interested. Disney needs to know that if they build a show  around you -  you will be there every day, lines memorized, ready to give 100% on every take on every scene (remember “being professional” means being able to do your best work even when you don’t feel like it).

Having the passion to be on Disney is not enough – you need to back  it up with preparation!

Just wanting to be on a professional athlete won’t get you a spot in Dodgers line up, but it is enough to motivate you to play baseball. Athletes don’t just show up for a  practice with the Dodgers and get on the team  – and actors don’t  just show up at a Disney audition and get on a show.  With acting, desire is enough to get you into classes. If you have enough tenacity and determination you’ll work hard in class, do  your homework, practice your scenes – day after day. Eventually, all that practice and dedication might lead to an audition where  you will have an opportunity to share your talent.

Disney is looking for talent and for personality too!

Not everyone  who tries will make it. But everyone who doesn’t try will certainly fail!  What can parents do to know if their child has the commitment they need? Parents can take their kids to an acting class and see if the child fully participates. Does the child do all their homework? Do they  look forward to going to class?  They need to practice and go to all rehearsals,  get their homework done every day. The young actor needs to do what they say they will do and generally be responsible for the work.  On a Disney show, every week,the kids must learn an entire script  AND go  to school full time, AND keep up their GPA, AND deliver a terrific performance, regardless of what else’s is going on in their lives.

Before getting on Disney show most actors have auditioned many times before. As well as, booked other jobs in film/television/commercials.  A good example would be the show Hannah  Montana. They searched for  a year or more, auditioning hundreds  of girls. I must have coached at least a dozen or more.  Miley Cyrus got passed over in her first audition and they came  back to her a year later after having seen dozens and dozens of talented young actresses.  Competition for any major role is  beyond fierce.

So what we are saying at the end of day, if this is something you are truly serious about, you’ll find a workshop or class, some training facility that will allow you to learn the craft of acting. If someone tells you that you don’t need classes or that all you need is a headshot,  then they just  don’t know how the industry really works. The expectation on young performers, regardless of age is great. The myth of overnight success is a great PR article but it’s just not reality. It may seem like the kids on Disney are overnight  sensations but for the most part they have been on this journey of classes, auditioning and working for a while.  Once every 4 or 5 years someone slips into a role almost by accident but in reality the stars have lined up in such a way that their personality coupled with their look and talent converge absolutely perfectly for what the producers were looking for. This is  not the normal route onto TV. An inexperienced newcomer getting  a big role is about as likely as winning the lottery. A more realistic example of ” overnight success”  is Ashley Argota, who had been taking classes, auditioning for roles on television and commercials along with performing with the American Girl  Theater show for years before getting a TV show. She worked 7 days  a week on stage and was obviously already  committed to this path before landing her big part.

So, if you want to be on a Disney show lets recap whats important.

Being  fully invested in your training and experience.  Being responsible for your school work and grades.  Finding legitimate talent representation to set up auditions. Being fully prepared for those auditions when they come.  Be persistent and get ready for a long journey and have FUN with acting along the way.  Remember it’s all creative play.  Whether we are talking about  shows on Nickelodeon, NBC, AMC, HBO, Paramount, Fox Studios, etc,  the above tenants will apply.  I understand that this path to becoming a working young actor is not easy but if one approaches it with a full and open heart, with genuine passion and a willingness to do the work, then there is no reason you can’t move confidently in the direction of your dreams.

23 thoughts on “How To Get A Job On The Disney Channel – A Guide For Parents And Children

  1. Who do I need to contact to have a chance. At an auddition for any role in anything? By the way I’m a 15 year old boy

    • Hi – I sure wish it was that simple! Re-read the article and it will tell you what you need to do. Get in class, do some plays, develop your talent and look for agents/managers. If you are not in L.A. you have to do a lot more work in local productions to get ready – if you are in L.A. get into a great class and really get committed to acting. Ask you teachers if you are READY for auditions. When they say “yes”, then you can start contacting people.

      If you want to get started try school plays, local theater companies, ads in the local paper looking for actors (but get your parents involved with that – there is a lot of crazy stuff that can happen if you are not careful!)

      Good luck!

    • Hi!
      If you are interested in coming to the Playground have your parents fill our the sign-up form online and we’ll bring you in for a meeting!

      FYI – “auditions” are for JOBS/WORK – at The Playground we have “Try Outs” (like for a sports team). It’s a small but important difference ;-)

  2. I live in Vegas. I go to a private school that’s very difficult but u keep my grades up. Im a 12 yr old girl. I really live acting. But I don’t think that I could get my parents to support me or even let me go through all the work of auditioning. What should I do? I also filled out a Disney audition form. It said that It would contact my number soon. Is that true?

    • Keep at it and keep your grades up. If you show your parents that you are really passionate about acting and that you are equally committed to doing well in your school work you might be surprised at how they will start to support you. If they still don’t come around, consider doing an acting minor at college and then take it from there. Remember, acting is not about “overnight success” it is a long hard road – the kids that have careers at 12 usually started at 4 or 5.

  3. Hi i live in the UK ! how to i get an audition for Disney Channel and how do i become a massive star like Selena gomez or just a star like Peyton List ?

  4. Hi I’m a12 year old girl and I want to be an actress and I have my heart and soul in this ,i have great grades plus I have a talent agent and everything but they haven’t been looking for any auditions so I started looking literally day and night and I can’t find anything …..sooo if you know where I can fill out a form or get an audition with Disney that would be great
    Thanks :)))) !!!!

    • I wish there was a form you could fill out to get an audition with Disney. Focusing on school and keeping your grades up is the most important thing. It’s great that you also have a talent agent. I recommend that your pursue acting in your school plays and local productions as well as taking acting classes in your home town to get as much experience as possible. Just keep doing what you enjoy to gain experience in acting whenever and wherever you can. Remember, acting is not about “overnight success” it is a long hard road – and only a small percentage make it. Its a big commitment that will require you to continually study to hone the craft of acting throughout your life. If your in Los Angeles ask your parents if they can sign you up for the Playground’s “Try Outs”. FYI – “auditions” are for JOBS/WORK – at The Playground we have “Try Outs” (like for a sports team). It’s a small but important difference. Our “Try Outs” give you and your parents an opportunity to see The Playground and meet the teachers to see if acting classes could help you http://theplaygroundlosangeles.com/kids-acting-class-admissions.html. With courage and determination you will get there!

  5. I always want to be an actress and i have my grade up im 13 and i always wanted to be on Disney do u no any acting classes i can go to

    • Unfortunately there is no form you can fill out to get an audition with Disney. It’s not that easy. Focusing on school and keeping your grades up is the most important thing. We recommend that your pursue acting in your school plays and local productions as well as taking acting classes in your home town to get as much experience as possible. Acting is not about “overnight success” it is a long hard road – and only a small percentage make it. Developing your skills as an actor is an essential part of this and it’s a big commitment that will require you to continually study to hone the craft of acting throughout your life. If your in Los Angeles or Orange Country and are interested in pursuing acting classes, ask your parents to complete the admissions form available at the link below and you will be contacted by an Admission Advisor who can outline all your options as far as attending acting classes at The Playground A Young Actors Conservatory.

  6. Hi I am Gabrial Coonrod, my friends call me Gabby. I am a 15 year old Female and a Freshman in high school! I have long brown hair,Hazel eyes, white ,female,and ’5’6′. I love to dance,sing,cook,and most of all act! I have wanted to be on t.v for as long as i can remember. I have always wanted to be involved with theater/acting! I hope we get in contact soon! Thank you!

  7. hi my name is yvonne im a mother of two kids my son is 2 years old and my lil girl is bout to be 2 years old both of them can really act they both does alot of funny things that would have you laughing i have video of them talking good and everything else they love disney they watch it everyday hope they can get a chance to be with you guys thanks

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