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  1. #1

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    Future CM Advice

    Dear present CM's...

    I know i'm not supposed to be posting here, but I really want to be a CM after High School. I have questions, and this is the only place that i feel i can get them answered. So, please, help me.

    1. Is the competition intense to be a CM in general? What are employers looking for in an applicant?
    2. I will be starting my Sophomore year in the fall of 2011. What classes should i take in order to prepare? What clubs should i try out for at school?
    3. What degrees should i try to major in in college? Are there any programs that i could participate in at Disney that could help me?
    4.

    -My Qualifications are as follows...
    1. Knowledge of French (3 years)
    2. 8 years Acting Experience (Theatre)
    3. 3.10 average GPA

    -Roles I am considering...
    1. Character Attendant
    2. Toy Soldier (acting as a toy soldier)
    3. Ride Operations (Roller Coasters)
    4. Magic Shop Employee
    5. Jungle Cruise Skipper
    6. Innoventions
    7. Photo Imaging
    8. Disney Dance Crew Dancer

    I know i may not be right for some of these, but do feel free to recommend positions for me to consider applying for. Once Again, thank you for understanding.
    -Jo4brains1
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  2. #2

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    Re: Future CM Advice

    They look for reliable, hard working people with a flexible schedule, a great attitude a Disney fan and a person who will provide great guest service!
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  3. #3

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    Re: Future CM Advice

    There are two kinds of jobs at DL: ones you apply for and ones you audition for. All entertainment jobs (parades, shows, characters, etc.) are handled by audition. All other positions are done by a traditional application process, with one catch. You don't get to specify what you're applying for. They will ask and you can tell them which jobs you would like the most, but ultimately it will be "Here's what we have. Take it or leave it."
    Do be honest when you tell them what jobs you would like. If you say, "I don't care. Any job is okay," be prepared to model those lovely custodial whites.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Future CM Advice

    Looks like you are well on your way. Just some notes:

    *Magic Shop Employee- The Magic Shop is now operated by an outside company, Houdini's Magic. So you would not be hiring through Disney. I don't know about further qualifications, but the manager on site, Gino, is a good person to speak with for questions.

    *Ride Operator, Roller Coasters- Just keep in mind, that generally Roller Coasters are not hire-in attractions. I think the same with the Jungle Cruise. What this means is you will be a Ride Operator for something else, and must then cross-train after your 6 month probationary period into those attractions.

    *Competition depends on the role. Entertainment Roles, especially face characters are by far the most fierce. Ride Operations less so. And probably some of the easier ones to get into would Photo Imaging, Stores, Custodial and Foods.
    "If we cut the budget are you going to be the one standing at the exit explaining to guests why the ride they just rode is a piece of crap?" - - John Lasseter

  5. #5

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    Re: Future CM Advice

    What's the 6 month probationary period?
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  6. #6

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    Re: Future CM Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Jo4brains1 View Post
    What's the 6 month probationary period?
    After you get hired in, you can't transfer to another dept. for at least 6 months.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Future CM Advice

    But, what about auditions, which entertainment roles are the hardest to land? (Disney Dance Crew, Innoventions, etc.)
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  8. #8

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    Re: Future CM Advice

    Disney Dance Crew is difficult, but Innoventions has auditions about every 6 months or so, next one is probably due sometime around June or July, and isnt that hard to get into. Just know that Innoventions isn't in Entertainment, even though you have to audition.

  9. #9

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    Re: Future CM Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Broadway Guru View Post
    There are two kinds of jobs at DL: ones you apply for and ones you audition for. All entertainment jobs (parades, shows, characters, etc.) are handled by audition. All other positions are done by a traditional application process, with one catch. You don't get to specify what you're applying for. They will ask and you can tell them which jobs you would like the most, but ultimately it will be "Here's what we have. Take it or leave it."
    Do be honest when you tell them what jobs you would like. If you say, "I don't care. Any job is okay," be prepared to model those lovely custodial whites.
    Actually, when they asked me what role I saw myself playing in the Disneyland show, I told them that it really didn't matter....I told my interviewer that I had always wanted to work at the park since I was a youngster.

    So instead of taking that route of specifying a location, I played the flexibility card, and told her I just wanted work at Disneyland.

    I got Tomorrowland Attractions.

    Of course, this was back in 1983, so things may have changed.

  10. #10

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    Re: Future CM Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Wally View Post
    Looks like you are well on your way. Just some notes:

    *Magic Shop Employee- The Magic Shop is now operated by an outside company, Houdini's Magic. So you would not be hiring through Disney. I don't know about further qualifications, but the manager on site, Gino, is a good person to speak with for questions.

    *Ride Operator, Roller Coasters- Just keep in mind, that generally Roller Coasters are not hire-in attractions. I think the same with the Jungle Cruise. What this means is you will be a Ride Operator for something else, and must then cross-train after your 6 month probationary period into those attractions.

    *Competition depends on the role. Entertainment Roles, especially face characters are by far the most fierce. Ride Operations less so. And probably some of the easier ones to get into would Photo Imaging, Stores, Custodial and Foods.
    I was a CM from '83 through '94, and back then, JC was just another attraction in Adventure/Frontierland. I might be mistaken, but I think a guy was just as likely to train on that first as he was to train on Tiki, or Mark Twain, or any of the other Adventure/Frontierland locations (excluding Thunder). JC is a fan favorite, and a classic, but from the training perspective I don't think there was anything deemed special about it. It wasn't necessarily an attraction that guys "worked up to."

  11. #11

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    Re: Future CM Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by CASurfer65 View Post
    Actually, when they asked me what role I saw myself playing in the Disneyland show, I told them that it really didn't matter....I told my interviewer that I had always wanted to work at the park since I was a youngster.

    So instead of taking that route of specifying a location, I played the flexibility card, and told her I just wanted work at Disneyland.

    I got Tomorrowland Attractions.

    Of course, this was back in 1983, so things may have changed.
    Foods and Custodial are the highest turnover departments for obvious reasons, which is why I said what I did. There are other factors, of course, for example, when you interviewed. Generally, Attractions openings are easiest to come by in the early spring when they're building up their summer workforce. Back then too, appearance also played a part, so there may have been something about you physically that just screamed "Tomorrowland!" Or it may have just been plain dumb luck on your part.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Future CM Advice

    If you want to be an entertainer in a formal onstage environment that is one thing.

    If you like interacting with people you have never met before, and putting a smile on their face, then you might want to try Specialty Restaurants (that's table service restaurants like Blue Bayou, Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue, etc.) or Attractions. I've worked at Bayou and Ranch for 1 and 1/2 years and I look forward to going to work everyday, and I have a friend in Fantasyland Attractions who seems to feel the same way.

    If you just want to work at Disneyland, but you're not comfortable dealing with strangers, then a 3rd shift job (when the park is empty of guests) still might work fine for you.

  13. #13

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    Re: Future CM Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Broadway Guru View Post
    Foods and Custodial are the highest turnover departments for obvious reasons, which is why I said what I did. There are other factors, of course, for example, when you interviewed. Generally, Attractions openings are easiest to come by in the early spring when they're building up their summer workforce. Back then too, appearance also played a part, so there may have been something about you physically that just screamed "Tomorrowland!" Or it may have just been plain dumb luck on your part.
    Understood. In fact, I figured I'd probably be placed in a foods, custodial, or merchandise as a beginning location.

    When I got Tomorrowland Attractions I was a little surprised.

    And it very possibly could have been "dumb luck" on my part. Especially considering it was really hard to get a job at Disneyland back then. And it wasn't because of the economy. It was just a highly-coveted job at that time and the park knew it. They could be really selective.

    As to the "appearance" and look....that definitely played a huge role back then. More so than I knew at the time.

    In fact, there was a "behind the scenes" book written about Disneyland a number of years ago, and it discussed this very thing. I'm pretty tall, and I think this book said that taller people tended to end up in Tomorrowland.

    And I think I was a little too boyish-looking for the more rugged roles on the Westside. A couple of my friends even joked saying they were surprised I didn't end up in Fantasyland with the "look" I had. At that time there were a bunch of cute young blonde/brunette/red-headed women in the area. And the guys were very clean cut, boyish looking.

    Mixed in with the older veterans, of course, who probably had similar looks when they started.

    I do remember working with some pretty tall guys in Tomorrowland though. And fairly tall ladies for that matter. So you're right, casting may have been a big part of it.

    I was just saying that I took that flexible approach, and it worked for me. I might have had some things about me that screamed attractions over a behind the scenes role. But who knows?

    I don't think that is as much an issue anymore. I see all types working attractions now. I see all types working merchandise, custodial etc.

  14. #14

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    Re: Future CM Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Jo4brains1 View Post
    But, what about auditions, which entertainment roles are the hardest to land? (Disney Dance Crew, Innoventions, etc.)
    The hardest roles to land are the ones that don't open up very often. Otherwise it's simply up to your abilities as a performer, the competition, and the what the Casting Directer is looking for.

    All performers in Disney Dance Crew (with the exception of Mickey) are AGVA performers, so the competition is going to much greater. Most of the dancers in the show have quite a few years as professional dancers under their belt, and a few of them even came from Disney parades.

  15. #15

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    Re: Future CM Advice

    [/QUOTE]All performers in Disney Dance Crew (with the exception of Mickey) are AGVA performers, so the competition is going to much greater. Most of the dancers in the show have quite a few years as professional dancers under their belt, and a few of them even came from Disney parades.[/QUOTE]

    What's AGVA?
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