If some of you did not know, the Disneyland Resort often reaches out to high schools in local areas for the chance to perform at either Disneyland or California Adventure. My high school was picked to perform at California Adventure on July 5th, and I have to say it was a bit of an negative experience.
The cast members in the parks were just fine. They were a bit disgruntled from the heat and the sight of an entire high school musical ensemble roaming the parks, but they were perfectly helpful and polite. (Especially the World of Color line-wranglers, my did they have quite a lot of parents excessively yelling at them...)
I'm an AP, so I'm used to the occasional rude cast member, and I usually understand that people have their cranky days. But this was a bit of a different monster.
The real problem was what happened backstage.
We lined up to go backstage at a certain to change into our uniform, and had a few stragglers that were late to the line-up. We had two cast members helping us, a man and a woman. I won't name them, but I will refer to them as A (the man) and B (the woman). A was completely understanding that we had a couple students coming in late, and told us not to worry about it and just to tell them to hurry. B looked increasingly irritated as the minutes ticked by, but the students came five minutes later. Our conductor apologized, and we hurried in. I understood her frustration, as I'm sure Disney likes to keep a tight schedule.
Because of this, we hurried to grab our things from the bus and prep ourselves for the performance. However, once we had our instruments out, the cast members had not given clear instructions where we were supposed to report to change into our uniforms. As a result, my friends and I ended up accidentally entering the back of the Aladdin stage show, running into a couple confused performers. A cast member from that building quickly spotted us and politely asked where she could lead us. She led us to the correct building, and B looked furious. A simply gave us a cheery encouragement to change quickly, which we did. We then took our instruments to tune and make our seating formation so that B could chart out how many seats we would need. Then she looked up at us and threw a fit.
She immediately began to single out multiple students who had "appearance issues." She told us that we were not allowed to have open-toed shoes, and told a few girls that their strapless dresses were not acceptable for performance. She also pointed out a girl's "inappropriate" combat boots. (The combat boots were just your standard lace up, all black boots.) We were confused, since our conductor's informational flyer had simply told us "tuxedos for the boys, and all black dresses for the girls." Our conductor apologized once again, and cast member A chimed in with yet another "don't worry about it, let's just try and fix it." We scrambled around to find extra articles of clothing on the bus that we could substitute to make the clothes acceptable, and in the end it all worked out.
Cast member B then tried to arrange us into position, by yelling. "I'm using my OUTSIDE voice, because you are not listening to me!" she kept screaming. I was surprised, since she had gotten my peers' attention, yet she continued to scream at us. I felt extremely guilty that my school had been so ill-informed/unprepared in the wardrobe department, but the fact that she was in such a terrible mood from the start began to irritate me. We were trying to be performance-ready as quickly and efficiently as possible, but they had not informed us where to be, what to do, where to go next. When my school had performed at Disneyland, it was not like this at all. The cast member at Disneyland had politely and cheerily told us all the information prior to sending us off to change, and everything had always gone smoothly. This was the first time that I had ever such an experience with performing at Disney.
While I was waiting to perform, I noticed that cast member A tried to calm his co-worker down, telling her that these things happen and the only thing that they could do was try to make it go as smoothly as they could. Cast member B snapped back complaining that all the incidents would have to be written down in her report, and that she would get in trouble for having us be late, wardrobe issues, etc.
Again, I felt bad, but her attitude towards us didn't make me feel too bad.
While we were ready, she addressed all of us, saying that the All-American College Band had gone ahead instead of us since we were running late, and that they were so professional, so wonderful, and timely. It seemed like a dig at all of us, and it caused a lot of glances amongst our group.
We finally walked out there, did our performance, and came back. We were instructed to stand next to a backdrop where they would take our photo, (where B did some more yelling in her "outside voice") and then we were allowed to change into our normal clothes and dismissed.
Now I know that we may have unintentionally caused some issues for the cast members, but B could have addressed those issues in a more mature, efficient way. Like how A was trying to handle the matter. I'm not trying to sound like a wounded, whiny teenager, but I felt attacked the entire time I was backstage. As I said before, this never, ever happened when I was performing at Disneyland. What do you guys think? Were we completely at fault, or could have the cast members handled it better?