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How to Become a Disney Channel Actress: Your 3-Step Action Plan

I'm going to be honest: it's not easy to become a Disney Channel actress. In fact, it's damn hard. Many bloggers on the internet will fill your head with pretty little lies, but you deserve to know the cold, hard truth.

Here's an email I found in my inbox just this morning...

Hey there!

My name is Katie and I'm 14 years old. Ever since I was very little, I wanted to be on the Disney Channel. I love acting, singing, and dancing like Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez. They are my favorites! And I wanna be just like them. Do you have any tips on how to become a Disney Channel actress so I can see my dreams come true?

San Antonio, Texas, USA

I get hundreds of emails a year from girls who have the same dream. And if you're reading this, my guess is you have a dream too. So now you have two options...

One: You can keep on dreaming, sitting in your living room and watching Hannah Montana re-runs.

Or two: You can get up from that couch and take responsibility for your own destiny. And here's how you get started...

Your 3-Step Disney Channel Action Plan

Become a Disney Channel Actress
  • 1. Do your research. Don't you just hate it when I say that? But it's true. Lots of household names got their start on the Disney Channel: Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Fergie to name a few. (Anyone remember Kids Incorporated from the 90's?)

    And then there's the younger generation: Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, et al.

    Well, how do you think they got to be household names? It wasn't by accident, I promise you that. They knew exactly what they were doing, and they made all the right career moves.

    Study the trajectory of their careers. How did they make it happen? What choices did they make?

  • 2. Talk to the right people. Subscribe to The Call Sheet. (Formerly known as the Ross Reports for all you biz veterans.) Get in touch with agents and casting directors for the Disney Channel. (Which reminds me, see my article about the infamous acting cover letter.)

    If you hope to become a Disney Channel actress, you're going to need help. So find the people who can help you.

  • 3. Improve your audition skills. Notice I didn't say "improve your acting skills". Why not? Because acting and auditioning are two very different skill sets. So what's the difference? I'm glad you asked.

    Acting Skills Audition Skills
    • Voice
    • Movement
    • Scene Study
    • Character Development
    • The ability to adapt to any situation
    • The ability to take direction quickly
    • The ability to make acting choices immediately
    • The ability to think on your feet

    Catch my drift? It's all about booking the job.

So now I have some good news, and some bad news.

The good news: 99.9% of the girls who read this article will do NOTHING. Zip. Nada. Zilch. Which means that you have the competitive edge.

The bad news: There are still plenty of girls out there, killing it at every audition. And you have to beat them. (In the most polite and professional way possible, of course.)

So what are you waiting for? You want to become a Disney Channel actress. Just like anything else in life, it takes hard work, perseverance, and just a pinch of good luck. (And remember to thank all the little people when you reach the top. Especially me.)

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