We made the trek to SLC in a morning blizzard that came out of nowhere and finally arrived at around 9:30am. It was an hour before check-in began and the room was already packed with an array of people. Some girls came dressed like they were ready to be Ms. America, some came with heir mickey mouse sweatshirts, backpacks, and lanyards in tow, and others came in full on dance attire including leotards and ballet shoes. I, on the other hand, wore leggings, a grey t shirt, and converse. I figured my day was over before it had even began but we found a corner and started stretching out.
Eventually we were able to sign in. I was number 21 out of 197. Funnily enough, 21 has been my lucky number for as long as I can remember. We were called back into the room in groups of 50 to learn a basic marching routine. It was only two 8 counts long with nothing more difficult than a grape vine and some jazz hands. We were also asked to "come alive" for an 8 count which was basically waving, blowing kisses, and winking at imaginary parade watchers. The judges sat at the front of the room and after about 5 minuets of learning the dance with the choreographer, we had to preform the routine twice across the floor. I didn't even know we were actually being judged when we were doing the routine across the floor but as soon as the group finished we all sat down and the director began explaining that he was now going to cut the group in half. I immediately figured I was done because I didn't even know we had already been judged. They started calling out number and surely enough 21 was called! I was ecstatic! We said our goodbyes to the people who were not called and the director congratulated us on making it past round 1! Woohoo!
Then the waiting game begun as we had to wait for the other three groups of 50 to go through the same process. About an hour later, 200 applicants was cut in half and we were called back in for round 2. This time, the director explained, they were going to teach us a much faster, much more technical parade routine. Great. I knew I was done for sure after this one. It was eight 8 counts, learned in about 15 minuets, to music with no recognizable beat. Lots of skipping, jazz hands, and princess twirls. Luckily I picked up the choreography pretty quickly (thank you cheer leading), but the technical side of things was where I struggled. Then we worked on animation where they told us to pretend like we were cartoon version of our self in a cartoon version of Disneyland. They would call out a park area such as frontierland or advnetureland and we had to pretend we were in there. This was actually way fun and a great way to get out the nerves. We practiced this a few times, went over the dance once more, and then left the room for 5 minuets before being called back in groups of six for the audition.
I was the only girl with 5 very tall boys in my group audition and I was also placed front and center. Yay.
The music began and we "came alive" for two 8 counts (waving, kissing, etc), then preformed the dance twice. I ended up preforming the dance better than I had the whole time practicing. I didn't miss a beat and even made some great facials and lots of eye contact with the director. Then we did animation where I was on a safari in Adventureland and had a shootout with Woody and Jessie in Frontierland. It was super fun. Immediately after, they called three number out of the six and asked us to stay. They congratulated me and two other boys of making it to round three. I was in complete shock that I had made it to the final round.
100 applicants was eventually cut down to about 35, including me! They called in a group of about 20 girls and one by one we went in to a room with the judges and they came up uncomfortably close to 'examine' us. Lets just pause on how badly I had to sneeze during this. Then they took a million measurements and 500 pictures of my face and body at all different angles. They explained to me that I had a terrific personality when I danced and had the 'Disney' look. They also said they were impressed with how quickly I picked up the choreography and even if I missed a step, I kept on smiling and entertaining. They asked me a little about my knowledge of Disney, my availability to work, and other basic questions. Finally they told me congratulations and that they wanted me for a Face Character. I had to hold back the tears of joy at this point but inside I was jumping up and down. They let me know they would be in contact with me anytime within the next 6 months, but most likely sooner, with available positions and to begin the hiring process.
WHATTTTTTTTTTTT??????? I literally could not believe it. I have had a smile on my face for 2 days now. The whole process took about 7 hours and I was dying of hunger and exhaustion by the time we were done, but I was so happy. Now I'm just waiting for the phone call. I know it could be anytime with in the next 6 months so my hopes aren't too high about starting work anytime soon, but every time my phone rings my heart skips a beat. This is a dream come true in every way and I am so so so so so excited! Yay for Disney!