Disney Casting Directors Seek Out Both Established and New Talent

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There are two types of casting directors that audition actors for Disney. The first type are called “in-house” casting executives. The VP of Casting and Talent Relations for Disney Channel is an example of an in-house casting director who usually auditions established actors for series regular roles or starring roles for Disney Channel Original Movies. On the other hand there are many freelance casting directors who have cast countless Disney Channel shows, as well as other shows on different networks. These freelance casting directors also audition established talent for series regulars and starring roles, however they do bring in newcomers to read for roles if they fit the look that is being sought for a specific role.

Newcomers are much more likely to be cast in supporting or recurring roles as opposed to starring or series regulars, but from time to time an actor with minimal credits does land that coveted top level role. And it is happening more and more frequently as studios vie to discover that fresh new face. However, any type of casting director will tell you that finding talented actors with little experience can be a daunting task. Disney Channel conducts open casting calls around the United States a couple of times each year for non-specific roles, and out of the thousands who show up, only one or two actually make it onto the air. Another example is when Walt Disney Studios held open calls at many cities during the talent search for the role of Mattie Ross in the 2010 film “True Grit”. In the end, they hired an actress who had professional credits, training, and a talent agent who submitted her for the role in Los Angeles.

The most important thing that casting directors look for on an actors resume is live theatre. Doing plays in youth theatre groups, community theatre, and summer acting camps is not only extremely fun, but is also an incredible learning experience. You do not get the opportunity to do multiple takes for each scene, rather you must nail your lines dead on in real-time. And the more experience that talent has doing that, means less takes for each scene when working on a movie or television show.

Training is also important, especially with reputable acting teachers and coaches. In the big markets such as Los Angeles and New York, there is an abundance of great acting teachers, many of which are well connected in the entertainmenbt industry. Often these mentors will bring in casting directors or talent agents to watch their students perform scenes. Specialized training such as singing and dancing is also a great thing to have on your resume.

A few of The Walt Disney Company holdings consist of Marvel Studios, Touchstone Pictures, The Muppets Studio, Disney Theatrical Group, Pixar Animation Studios, and Walt Disney Pictures. Their television divisions include Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Jr., and ABC Family among others. So there you have it. The opportunities are out there, you just have to make the right moves, stay focused, and follow your heart.

write by Ceridwen

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