Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day! And Face Character Auditions!

So I've been sidelined with a nasty migraine for the past four days, to the point where I actually had to call into work for two days. Not pleasant. And just an FYI, if you do happen to get sick and you need to call in more than one day in a row, it's OK. I found out that they will still give you a point, but as long as it's a continuous illness, they will only give you one point, even if you're out for three days. I got a doctor's note, which I'm hoping will maybe give me some leeway and hopefully get the point off my record, but if not, it's not the worst thing in the world.

Anywho! Yesterday morning was the Face Character auditions at the Animal Kingdom rehearsal facility. I gave away my shift specifically so that I could go these, because Disney asked that nobody miss a scheduled shift to attend the auditions. The audition didn't start until 9, but they asked that people start showing up around 8. I took the bus with a couple friends and we got there at 8, and the line was already out of control. There was an unbelievable amount of girls there. We stood in line until our turn and then they measured us. The woman doing the measuring told me I was 66" and to remember that number. After that we went to a table with a woman sitting behind it who asked us to write down our names, heights, and gender (which was silly considering Disney had advertised this audition as a female only for CPs), and gave us numbers. I got to be 279 After that we sat down on the floor in this gym-like room until 9, at which point a guy came out and said they would be taking us back in groups. I think 450 girls showed up to this audition, this building was jam-packed with people. I ended up being in the third group of people to go back. When they called us, they first took us to this big dance room and had us line up along the walls in numerical order. They took groups of 50 at a time out of the room while the rest of us waited.

When my group was called, they took us down the hallway to a smaller dance room and told us to line up in rows of 10 on these markers on the floor. There was man and a woman standing at the front of the room waiting for us. The man happened to be the guy who coordinated the first audition I went to in Minneapolis for the CP, which was a nice little coincidence, but he wasn't really in charge here. They told us they were looking for girls for the "core princess group", which was nice to know since on the audition flier there were no specifics on who the audition was for. The woman told us that we would move forward in the room in groups of ten and all that would happen is that they'd look at us. If they liked you, they'd call your number at the end and you'd move forward in the auditions. That was it. They also made it a point to tell us that just because our number doesn't get called doesn't mean we aren't attractive, it just means that we don't have the features they're looking for in the characters. They also said that if we came up to them afterwards and asked what we could do differently, they'd say absolutely nothing, they don't want anyone crash-dieting or changing their face to get a face character role. That just sounds insane to me, I can't imagine getting plastic surgery JUST to be a face character. Definitely not worth it.

At any rate, they looked at the groups of 10 pretty quickly and at the end they only called out two numbers. It's kind of depressing but at the same time, we're all in the same boat as almost everyone else, so I'm not going to let it get to me.

I think the audition is a good experience and I think that everyone should go to one at least once, but it's also really unnerving. Not because of the casting directors, but because of all the other girls at the audition. I have never felt like I was being judged as much as I was yesterday. At one point when I got up to go to the restroom in the big gym, every single person in that room watched me walk out. It's a really terrible feeling. Wouldn't it be nice if we as women could stop hating and judging for like 5 minutes and realize we're all in the same boat? Good lord.

I'm also in the process of trying to think of more blog topics but it's hard because it seems like I do the same thing every day at work. So we'll see how I do as I go along.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Day Numero Uno: Teacups

Today was my first official workday. And it was crazy.

I got to work pretty early, just so that I’d have time to figure out where I needed to go and get myself checked in and whatnot. But I overestimated how well I know my way around Magic Kingdom. I checked in at the Entertainment base and they had a another girl who works in Entertainment walk me upstairs to the Teacups where I was stationed today. Normally, it’s the White Rabbit and Alice, but Alice was playing in the Queen of Hearts’ rose garden today, so Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum made a special appearance. The thing about special appearances is that it makes guests go crazy, because it’s someone they wouldn’t normally be able to see. Which means really long lines, no one listening, and people getting angry when the Tweedles needed to go check in with the Cheshire Cat. Yikes.

At one point, a family came through my line and the little girls had forgotten their autograph books at home, and they were scrambling to find park maps and such. I handed all of them notecards so they could get the White Rabbit’s autograph and they were really grateful. After they were done, the littlest girl came up to me and handed me a Thank You card, which seriously made my day.

How cute is this!?

I also underestimated how hot Florida is in the “winter”. Everyone was saying how it actually gets cold here in the winter, like down in the 30’s and 40’s. I have yet to experience that. All I can say is that if you have a job in the sun all day, get your job’s corresponding hat at costuming. And wear sunglasses and sunscreen. I would have been absolutely fried today if I hadn’t. An interesting little tidbit I read too is that if you eat 5 tablespoons of tomato paste and 2 teaspoons of olive oil per day, it can increase your resistance to sunburn by up to 40%. It’s something about the lycopene in tomatoes and the olive oil aids in absorption. It could very well be completely in my head, but I think it’s helping. Just an FYI :]

I also got my first Make-A-Wish family today, which was pretty heartbreaking. When a Make-A-Wish child comes to Walt Disney World, they get a card that says they can bypass the lines for attractions and also the lines for character meet and greets. When it comes to the meet and greets, attendants ask the person at the front of the line if it would be alright if the Make-A-Wish family goes before them, and most of the time they say yes, which is really nice. It’s just a really eye-opening thing, at least for me.

Yesterday was my first day off since I’ve been here, so I went to Animal Kingdom with a girl from training and her roommates. I got there later in the day (overslept of course) and I had never been before, so we got to do Everest and the Festival of the Lion King, which was absolutely breathtaking. My jaw dropped the entire time, it was so good. We ended the day with Kilimanjaro Safaris at about 4:30, which must be the perfect time to go, because we saw all (and I mean all) of the animals. I took some really great pictures, so I’m including them to end on a happy note :]

I can never like Wildebeest because of The Lion King

Second-favorite animal on the Safari (Giraffes will always be #1)


Try and tell me that doesn't remind you of Mufasa.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Final Training Day

Fourth and final day of training – completed! Actually it was yesterday, but I was too tired to post about it then. It’s a funny thing, because I don’t feel tired when I’m at the parks, but as soon as I get on the bus to go home, it’s like I just lose all my energy. I make all these great plans to work out and clean and Skype people at home, but that has not happened once yet. Hopefully I’ll get used to this schedule again soon and it won’t be so bad.

Anywho. Yesterday started out in Epcot Entertainment again. We went over more rules and things and then we played with the characters before lunch. I was super excited because I got to play with Gideon (from Pinocchio). After lunch, we played with the characters some more and this time I got Gideon and Foulfellow (also known as Honest John). I was SO excited about my characters, because those two almost never come out to do meet and greets. But it was somewhat difficult too, because most people didn’t recognize them, and Foulfellow is really tall and kind of intimidating. It’s hard to convince people to come visit with them when Mickey is standing right next to them, but they still got quite a few visitors. I know that most of the time I will be working with more popular characters, so this probably won’t be an issue.

At the end of the day, we had to take an assessment to make sure that we actually understood our training (HA!). It was easy, but I’m getting a little bit nervous at this point. I hope that I actually absorbed the information I was supposed to and I can actually do my job. My first official day is tomorrow, bright and early at 8:15. AND I get to work with Alice at the Teacups. I don’t think people fully appreciate just how much Character Attendants are doing and how much they have to keep track of. It is definitely not just standing by the line and taking pictures for people, like I thought.

On a lighter note, yesterday was the welcome event for my arrival date. I took the bus to Vista with a girl from my training group and her roommates. They had free pizza and drinks and a dancefloor type thing. And of course, we had special visitors. :]

And with that, I will try to blog again soon!