Looking for Disney Channel Auditions in 2020?
While this article has been up for sometime now, it seems that some of what I discuss below is still going strong and the companies involved have learned how to skate under the radar and cover their rears as to not get caught up in the legalities of it all.
Disney Channel and Disney movies are a popular audition topic. Kids love their Disney shows and many will look online for Disney auditions.
However, there are many shady companies that will take advantage and talk people into spending money they should not. If you ended up on this page looking for more information about if that Disney Channel audition is legit, your gut instinct is most likely right and that audition may not actually be legit.
If you are reading this, you must have some concern, so read on…..
A few points when dealing with kids looking for Disney auditions:
Actual Disney casting directors DO NOT charge upfront fees.
Disney does not advertise auditions on the radio or walk around malls and grocery stores looking for cute kids to put into a Disney movie.
Disney Channel is not in the business of selling classes, photos or convention services.
If you are asked for money, it is most likely a scam.
If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is not true.
The best way to get an audition for the Disney Channel or a Disney movie is by working hard and getting a legitimate agent. Most auditions for Disney are not open calls. They are handled through agents. Why? you may ask. The answer is simple.
There are millions of kids, most of whom have at some point dreamed of being a Disney Channel star. If every character for a Disney show was cast through an audition that was open to the public, the casting directors would be bombarded with thousands, 10’s of thousands of kids and teens all looking for their big break. Most casting directors don’t have a way to handle 1000’s of kids in one day. The cost would be enormous and it would take weeks to get through that many people. … most of which probably don’t even fit the part. For that reason, casting directors depend on agents to send them talent that fits the role, has the experience, training and the talent.
So, for most Disney, or even Nickelodeon roles, you will need an agent….. a legitimate agent. Legit agents do NOT charge talent, they pay them. An agent gets a percentage of the talent’s pay… once they have booked the role. So, a talent agent makes zero if the talent they have never gets a role. For that reason, agents are very selective in who the represent and usually talent must first prove that they are capable of doing the job. That is where the working hard part comes in. Most agents expect that talent comes to them with a resume. Getting things for your resume, for a kid, may not be as hard as you think. They will be looking for some experience and maybe some training. They need to know you can handle the pressure and do the job. So where can someone get experience? All over. It could be the Christmas show at your church, school plays, community theaters, commercials for local businesses, student films and more. Now, you would not be getting paid for any of those but you will be learning and gaining valuable experience that you can list on a resume. Training is also helpful. Most community colleges and schools offer low cost classes. Those classes will also help you learn the ropes and maybe even make some great contacts. Since I am talking about classes…. beware of the scammers there as well. Fake agents know that we all know that agents should not be paid up front, therefore they go the route of… I will work with you… only if you pay $XXXX for these classes. The classes they offer are sub-par and may even hurt your resume as every talent agent knows who those people are. Before taking classes do your research. Make sure the person teaching is respected in their field. Classes usually cost a few hundred bucks per class, not thousands.
Once you get all that, then an agent may take a chance on you. You may be naturally talented, but it doesn’t matter, you still need the training and experience. Talent is just one of the things you need, the others are commitment and passion for the art. Doing free gigs to build a resume goes a long way to proving that you ARE committed.
Now, many families, kids and teens believe there is some magical shortcut. Many have been led to believe that if they pay someone some money it will fast track them to Disney fame. People have come to believe that because there are countless FAKE agencies that are trying to convince them of that. These fakes approach people in malls, invite them to auditions which are nothing more than sales pitches and convince them that for 1000’s of dollars they will make their kid a star…. really? If it was just that easy, every other kid in America would be on Disney Channel. See How to Spot a Modeling / Acting Scam for more on what to watch out for. Always remember that this is a job, an acting job, but a job none the less, which means THEY pay you for your work…. You do not pay them! In California it is not legal for an agent to ask talent for money to get the job so anyone doing that is not a REAL agent. If you are unsure if one is legit, ask for the license and check with the Union SAG / AFTRA to see if they are franchised.
Always remember that an agents job is getting THEIR talent booked which means they spend all day talking to production companies and casting directors about the talent they represent. Legit agents do not troll the malls and walmarts looking for “new faces”. Why would they? There are more kids than roles. Anyone approaching you anywhere about getting your kid into Disney Channel is not on the level.
OK, so until you get an agent…. how else can you try out for Disney? Once a year, the Disney Channel and Disney XD hold an open casting call. They have done this for over a decade and most have been at certain locations. This year, the Disney open auditions where actually held online and kids in every state could tryout without leaving their homes. The Disney open auditions are usually held in early summer and announce between May and July. See this years for more info on what to expect… Disney Channel & Disney XD Online Open Casting Call.
Also, every now and then Disney does a talent search to fill a role in an upcoming movie or commercial. Those happen a few times a year and no one can tell you when it will happen next. You just have to keep your eyes open. Such events DO NOT advertise. They will not appear on the radio. Those are listed through the casting directors.
Hope all that helps and break a leg!