At age 3, my daughter told me she wanted to be on the Disney Channel. Granted, she wanted to be on the Mickey Mouse show and dance with Minnie and Goofy. But she was already asking to be on television and specifically on Disney.
Just like my own, your daughter or son may ask you day after day OR month after month how they can appear on the Disney Channel as an actor. They can totally see themselves there, right next to their favorite actors. They have the laser vision and a huge interest to act on the Disney Channel. But….. likely, you are not sure what to do with this information. You’ve heard the radio and TV advertisements saying that some school can help get your child on the Disney Channel, but you are not sure who to believe, as you’ve also heard that some are scams. The truth is NONE of those people can guarantee you anything and they certainly are not the ones to get you on the Disney Channel. Explained below.
(I want to preface the below by saying there are some parents out there that think they can somehow, literally, skip over the steps below, and just almost magically get their child on the Disney Channel or somehow buy their way in. That is not real, not true and not worth their time. They often jeopardize their child’s chances of really getting on there, by overstepping what they should be doing. Might some celebrities’ kids’get auditions earlier on in their careers? Well, yes, of course they might. But…Keep in mind, those children (no matter who their parent is) have to be great actors too. It comes down to the acting.)
What’s your next move?
-Do you wait patiently and think this shall pass, it may be a phase? Just try to ignore it? If they’ve only mentioned it a couple of times, you may want to let some time pass, just to see if it comes up again.
-If some time does go by and they keep asking to be on the Disney Channel, then, well, you may have a child that really does want to become an actor. They really may want to be on their favorite Disney show. However, they don’t yet know what it takes. They may not even realize acting is what they want to do. They also surely will not know the amount of commitment and time it takes to study the art and science of acting.
That is where you come in. The first step is to get them into professional acting classes for children. Do that, and the rest will follow. As far as getting them on the Disney Channel, they first need to advance themselves to a professional level as an actor in training. Once they have advanced within their classes, talk to their instructors or coaches and ask them to let you know when they consider your child ready for an agent. They should give you the honest truth. If a yes, that search will begin. If it’s a not quite yet ready, then have them keep working at their craft until they are ready to be in front of an agent. Once they have an agent, or even prior to that time (they may have a manager), they can go out on auditions with casting directors. Casting Directors are the ones who “cast” the Disney shows and help to recommend the best actors for the roles.
Most of the actors that go out for roles on Disney are not just starting out. Most of them have agents. Most of them have had other roles first, before getting on to a Disney show. They are usually considered seasoned child actors. It may take years for your child to even get the audition they are hoping for. Be patient with it and make sure they are consistently working on their craft. Whatever you do, don’t be that parent that thinks your child is entitled to skip training, auditions and putting their time in. Parents like that don’t make it very far in Hollywood and often end up hurting their child’s career.
What else can you and your child do?
Visualize. Yes. Correct. Set up a dream board and encourage your child to put very specific photos from magazines, write words on it, cut out pictures, photos, draw things, and collage the board so it has all of your child’s very specific dreams on it. Then hang the dream board directly over their bed, so it’s the first thing and last thing they see at night. Or, hang it close by the door, so they look at it when coming in and going out of their room. The trick on this though is to be specific. So, if there are certain Disney shows they want to be on, include that on the board or at least include the type of Disney show they want to be on. Have them spend a couple of minutes everyday looking at it and remembering the goals. This board should be updated as their dreams change.
It is not at all impossible for your child to get on the Disney Channel. However, you must take the steps above and realize they don’t just magically and suddenly get on there. There is most times a lot of work and years that go into that happening. Time is on your side, if they work for it and believe!
The reason I even started this post is I cannot tell you (cannot count) how many parents have asked me how they can get their kid on the Disney Channel. It is a common question.
Examples of those on Disney now and how they got there:
By the way, I personally know the parents of 4 young actors, right now, all on shows, on the Disney Channel. One got on there at age 6 and it was her first year of acting (exception to norm). One of them got on there at age 11, but had been acting for over 3 years. One got on there at age 13, but had been acting since age 7. And one got on their at age 17 and had been acting since 8 years old. There is no exact time frame on this, as each child’s journey is different. But, if they want it, they should just keep on their path.
Lastly, it’s up to you to set up the opportunities for he or she to train and talk to his or/her teachers to see when they are ready to be in front of agents. But, it always comes down to the audition. Your child has to do well in the audition room. If he or she is consistently doing well in audition rooms, that is one step closer to that Disney show dream.