March Bucket List

Hello. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Carol. For those who do, I want much more than this provincial life.

For my March Bucket List, I’ve decided to audition for a part at Disney World! I’m a big fan of Disney movies, bordering on obsessed, so I thought I’d might as well give it a shot. I’ve always wanted to work at Disney as a character, but I was too afraid of rejection. But this year is different, as you already know, so I’m finally going to audition for Disney!

Earlier in March, I went onto Disney Auditions Website and looked at what auditions were being offered this month. As I scrolled down the list for auditions near me, I saw a casting call for Belle in the Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage show at the park formerly known as MGM Studios (It will never be Hollywood Studios. I’m sorry, it just won’t). Now, I have history with this show. When I was younger, my family would go to Disney at least once a year, like most families with Disney-crazy kids. My favorite part of the trip was going to see the Beauty and the Beast show (as well as meeting the characters, the Snow White ride, and eating Mickey-shaped food). There is an old home video of a 3 or 4-year-old Carol B during one such trip where I’m sitting on my Mom’s lap, singing as loud as my little voice could go to the final “Beauty and the Beast”. The whole show was a magical experience for a 3-year-old Disney fanatic. So when I saw that Disney was holding auditions for Belle, I knew it was meant to be.

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The requirements for Belle were she had to be between 5’4″ and 5’7″, had to sing and act like an 18-20 year old, and you had to look like Belle. That means type casting. Guess who is 5’6″, can sing and act, AND kinda looks like Belle? C’est moi!

For the first fews days of March, I was in the mindset that I would go to the audition and just see how far I would go (Moana reference, you’re welcome. [OMG I DID IT AGAIN AND DIDN’T EVEN REALIZE IT!!]). I didn’t expect to go too far in the type casting portion of the audition, but I thought I’d try anyway for the experience of auditioning for Disney. Because it’s Disney… and it gave me an excuse to go to Disney World. However, as the day got closer, my mentality changed from “Let’s do it for fun,” to “I’m doing this to live my childhood dream!” to “It’s my dream AND a job!!” My enthusiasm went from 0 to 100 really quickly.

The whole week prior to the audition, all I could focus on was Disney. I watched YouTubevideos of the Beauty and the Beast show, strictly listened to Disney music, I read some blogs about other Disney Audition experiences, and saw the new Beauty and the Beast movie TWICE. I got into character as much as I could while trying to remain somewhat normal. I warmed up my voice on the way to work, and practiced my audition pieces on the way home and in my room at night before going to bed. I was in the zone. Come Friday (3 days before the audition) I had convinced myself that I was the best person for that part and that I was going to get it, throwing all logic and reason out the window. It’s ok to be confident for an audition, but when you stop thinking about the alternative ending (not getting the part at all), you set yourself up for some major heartbreak.

This Disney audition had a strange way of making me self conscious about my body. I practiced smiling in the bathroom to check if I had a Belle-worthy smile. I pushed myself extra hard on my Couch to 5K routine in order to slim down a bit. I only drank smoothies for breakfast and avoided excess sugar and carbs for the same reason. I questioned whether my freckles would lose the spot for me, or my bushy eyebrows, or the shape of my nose, or even my eye color!Everything I used to love about myself was suddenly put into question because it didn’t seem Belle enough. To say I was nervous about the type casting portion of the audition would be a MASSIVE understatement. I know I can sing, but the one thing I can’t change could lose me the role of a lifetime: my appearance.

Sunday night, I pampered myself to the best version of me. I washed, shaved, exfoliated, moisturized, and all. My outfit was planned for the following day (black leggings, black and white striped shirt, pink flats), and I went to bed as early as my energized mind would let me. Everything was going to be great… at least I hoped so.

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Audition Day:

Monday morning came around, and I was a nervous wreck. I did the vocal warm ups I had IMG_6349been practicing all week, got dressed, put on my usual daily make-up, and styled my hair away from my face. My Dad and I took off work for the day so we could drive up to Orlando together. When we finally got to the Animal Kingdom Rehearsal Facility, it was about 12pm
(two hours before the audition started). My Dad dropped me off at the front and went off to go play golf. From there on out, I was on my own. I walked into the red Disney Auditions door and saw maybe 30 or so girls waiting in line for the doors to open. None of them were dressed as casually as I was.

Nice floral dresses, professional headshots, beautiful theatre make-up, hair curled/ straightened, and heels. These girls looked like the stereotypical theatre girl (not that that is a bad thing). I was definitely intimidated. I wasn’t comfortable speaking with anyone, so I kept to myself and just smiled as girls went by me. I stood at the end of the hallway, furthest from the rehearsal room and waited until 12:30, when they opened the doors for sign in.

IMG_6351I was one of the first girls to enter Rehearsal Room 6. We were lined up along the edge of the rehearsal room and were introduced to Greg. He was a nice Southern man who was there to help us sign in. He explained what characters they were auditioning to fill (Belle and Casey from the Disney Junior Show) and the height requirements. He said those who are auditioning for Belle must pass a type casting audition before they sing for the casting directors. So you could have the best voice in the world, but if you don’t look like the character they are looking for, tough luck. Casey did not need to be type cast because she wasn’t an iconic Disney Princess, so those auditioning for her went straight to the singing portion of the audition. I could have auditioned for her, but I’m too tall. Darn.

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When I walked up to the sign in table, I told Greg my height, and he gave me a sticker with 54 on it, and asked me to sign in on an iPad. Afterward, it was the waiting game. I didn’t bring anything but my phone as means of entertainment because I didn’t think I would need it. My phone was previously used for directions so the battery was at 50% when I went in. I needed to be frugal with my phone usage. Most of the time, I spent looking around the room at the other girls, sizing up the competition. I felt terrible because lots of the other girls were doing the same exact thing to me. It’s cutthroat in there, I swear. I hated myself for judging these total strangers, but my mindset was “This is my part, GRRRRR!!!” and there was no way to turn it off. To avoid the roaming eyes, I resorted to staring at my music and humming to myself. After an hour and a half, 200+ theatre girls in dresses and crazy make-up were signed in ready to audition for one of two parts. I definitely wasn’t expecting so many girls to come out for this audition! It was probably because of the new movie that just came out. Everyone had the same idea as I did when they saw the movie: I want to be her.

IMG_6355It came time to do the type casting audition. My nerves were on FIRE! The worst part about the audition process was starting. Greg had the girls with numbers between 30 and 80 (that’s me!) enter another large rehearsal room to be judged. We were placed in 5 rows of 10 in front of 2 casting directors. They introduced themselves and mentioned that they would be looking for very specific qualities that match Belle. They turned on some Disney Mania version of “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?”, and looked at each row one by one. It was probably the worst feeling I’ve ever experienced. It felt like I was a prize cow on display waiting to be judged at the State Fair. I smiled the entire time (as you should always do at an audition), and when it was my row’s turn to be checked, I looked at myself in the mirror in front of me and instantly thought “I’m not going to get it… that smile is not a Belle smile. The girls next to you are so much skinnier. You look plain compared to everyone else. Why would they choose you?” It took maybe 15 seconds for the casting directors to move on to the next row. I was hopeful, but expecting the worst.

The song hadn’t even ended when the directors announced the numbers that would move on to the next stage. “41, 46, and… *PLEASE SAY 54, PLEASE SAY 54!!!* 51.” If there was an x-ray on my chest at that moment, you would have been able to see my heart stop beating, then drop to the floor. I was devastated. I wasn’t Belle enough. I kept thinking, “If they just heard me sing, maybe I could change their minds.” but that was it. Out of the 50 girls in my group, only 3 survived to the next round. They didn’t ask for my resume, they didn’t ask for me to sing. Done.

I cried the whole way home, and the whole night until I fell asleep, then a little bit the next morning. I was inconsolable. It’s a terrible feeling to be rejected because of something you can’t change. If they had turned me away because of my singing or my acting, I could have gone home, worked on it to become better, than auditioned again in a couple months. But that wasn’t the case today. There is no possible way I can change how I look. I will never have a successful Belle audition. My dream had been crushed, hastily put back together with Elmer’s glue only to be smashed into little pieces by a hammer, then a jackhammer, then a chainsaw, until it was finally buried in a sewer somewhere far, far away.

Looking back, I could have handled my rejection better, but I was so convinced I would get the part that I forgot it was possible for me to NOT get it. After a good run, some time to think, and a bit of writing, I’m finally ok with what happened. Sure it still hurts that I may never be a Disney Princess, but there are other singing parts at Disney. I’ll just audition for those, where I KNOW they will give me a chance to sing.

My tips for a Disney audition:

If you are thinking of auditioning for Disney (singing of not), here are a few things I wish I had known before going to Orlando.

What to bring:
Resume/CV and a recent headshot: Don’t worry if your entertainment resume isn’t the most diverse or full. White space is ok. They just want to see your experience and training. I also put a mini profile on the top of my resume with my age, height, eye color, and hair color for them to reference whenever. For the headshot, I just used a nice picture I had from a year ago. I haven’t changed that much and I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on a headshot, so I cropped an old picture and called it quits. Lots of girls had headshots in Macy’s or JC Penny’s envelopes (couldn’t tell which), so if you are in need of one, there are cheap options out there.

Audition sheet music: The Disney Auditions website asks that you prepare 16 bars/measures from two songs of contrasting styles. Pick something that is in your range, and if it’s not, find someone who can transpose it into a comfortable range (Thanks, Molly ^_^). I chose two songs that I thought worked well with my voice and were easy to act out for the directors. The songs resembled Belle’s personality and situation, so I chose them to show my shy side and my energetic “I want much more that this provincial life” side. I didn’t want a song from the actual show because I was worried so many other girls would choose that, and I wanted to give some variety to the directors.

Coming from someone who has been to plenty of singing auditions, organize your music so it is easier for your accompanist to read. They are sight-reading some hard music, for crying out loud. Invest in a 3-ringed binder and some sheet protectors. Photo copy the pages you will need for your audition and organize them so the first page is on the left side and the second page is on the right. That way, the accompanist doesn’t have to flip too many pages. P.S. I brought the original songbooks with me as well, just in case.

Book/ reading material: There is a lot of waiting. It’s best to be prepared with something to make the time pass (and get your mind off the nerves). Or you can just talk to people. Theatre kids are very open and love to talk to new people. Just find a group, introduce yourself, and they will do the rest. If you are an introvert like me, a book is the best way to go.

Portable charger: In the rehearsal room, there are no phone plugs. If there are, they were hijacked by other girls. I had to run outside the room and risk missing important information to charge my phone.

Snack: You never know how long an audition could take. Bring a light snack to eat outside of the rehearsal room while you wait.

What to wear:
Be comfortable!!! Lots of girls were in nice dresses, heels, and full theatre make-up. A couple were in jeans, leggings, T-shirts, and little to no make-up (me being one of them). Whatever makes you feel like yourself should be your outfit of choice. If you are looking to stand out, good luck. So is everyone else! Your outfit won’t matter in the long run. Make an impression with your personality. Had I gotten through to the singing portion, I was prepared to walk in speaking French to the casting directors! If you perform better in a dress and heels, do it! If you prefer yoga pants and a nice top, great! You do you. Whatever you do, DO NOT dress as the character you want! No Disney Bounding or Halloween costume here. Try to be a bit professional.
On another note, if you are going through a type casting audition, casting directors will mostly be looking at your body type and facial structure. I suggest wearing something semi form-fitting, hair out of your face, and minimal make-up. Casting directors want to be able to mold you into the character they need, so simplicity is best. Let your natural beauty shine through!

Top tips:

If you are thinking about auditioning for a Disney face character, I’d suggest going out with friend the night before and have everyone tell you how beautiful and amazing you are (if they are your real friends, they will do that without you having to prompt them. THANKS ACAPHILIACS FAMILY AND MOLLIE!!) This audition process makes you really self conscious and doubtful about everything you like about yourself. You need to remember that the way you see yourself is not how everyone else sees you. You may not look the part you want, but you are still a princess to someone.

With that being said, don’t take the type casting personally. They aren’t judging how beautiful or handsome you are. They are looking for a VERY specific face and body for an iconic character, which a very small number of people fit into. It’s not you, I promise. It sucks that the audition info isn’t more specific about the type of person they are looking for, but that’s Disney. Their task to find that small percentage of perfect look-a-likes is tough. They don’t like turning away people as much as you don’t like being turned away. Just remember: the millions of families that come to Disney are looking for perfection, and so must the casting directors.

Would I audition for Disney again after being turned away and going into a mini depression? Hell yes!! It’s still a dream to work at Disney. Just because I don’t look like Belle, doesn’t mean I don’t look like Snow White, or Cinderella, or Aurora, or Merida…

*fade out as Carol keeps naming a bunch of Disney characters*

Until next month,

Carol B

If you are thinking of auditioning for Disney or already finished an audition, please comment below! I’d love to hear from you and what you thought of the experience.

February Bucket List: Part 7

Hello. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Carol. For those who do, I’m so close to eating ice cream again, I can taste it (not yet… not tasting it yet…*sniffle*).

For the last day of Vegan Week, our menu consisted of: leftovers… Today was mostly a leftover day. Typical Saturday in my house. Getting rid of the leftovers to make way for more MEAT! I’m not obsessed with meat, but I do enjoy the freedom to eat whatever I want without having to read every label.

Breakfast:
Coffee, berries, and Longest-title-in-the-world Vegan Scones.

Lunch/Dinner:
Leftovers… I forgot to take a picture of lunch (or did I? I didn’t think you’d want to see another leftover photo). Oh… what’s that? Cupcakes!? HELL YES!!

I made celebratory Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes for the final day of Vegan Week. Because we deserve a treat now and then (Treat yo’self!). Yes, they were delicious. Honestly couldn’t tell the difference between regular and vegan cupcakes, they were that good! My dad, who doesn’t eat sweets, loved them because they were dark chocolate and not too sweet. He said he preferred the vegan frosting over buttercream! I’m definitely keeping that recipe.
You’ll be surprised with the secret ingredient in the cupcake. Don’t worry, you can’t taste it. I don’t know why it’s in there, but it’s still really tasty. I’m not telling you what it is. You’ll have to click the link below to find out. ^_^

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
Vegan Chocolate Ganache Frosting

And that’s that. I successfully finished February’s Bucket List. I might not ever go Vegan again, but now I know that vegan food can be just as delicious as non-vegan food. It forced me to eat a lot of vegetables which is good for my health, but also a lot of carbs (not so good). It was fun while it lasted, but tomorrow, breakfast is going to consist of Scrapple, a cheese omelette, and coffee with half and half. I’m hoping my stomach doesn’t get upset with the reintroduction of dairy…

Thank you for following me in my journey through Vegan Week. I’ll see you next month for another installation of my 2017 Bucket List.

Thank God that’s over,

Carol B

February Bucket List: Part 6

Hello. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Carol. For those who do, who am I? 24601.

I had the day off from work today because I had to go to the dentist and optometrist. So Mom, who has been preparing all the amazing meals we’ve been eating this week, let me make dinner tonight. I love cooking. It’s been a while since I’ve had time to cook anything, so I made the most of it.

After my eye appointment was done, I went to Publix to gather my ingredients. As I was looking through the shelves, I noticed a lady looking for something on the shelf behind my shopping cart. I thought I was in her way, so I said “Sorry” and moved my cart away to make way for her. She jumped away from me as I was moving my cart, and gave me a cautious look, which I thought was weird. She then took her cart and was about to walk in front of me, but she stopped, turned her cart around, and walked in the opposite direction. I thought the behavior was strange, but didn’t think much of it.

I tried to make different situations in my mind to explain what just happened. She really wanted to get away from me. Then I remembered my eyes: I forgot my eyes were heavily dilated from my eye appointment. I have big eyes to start with, so dilating them makes them creepy looking. Like, this-chick-is-on-drugs creepy. I actually got in trouble in middle school because of my big eyes. The school officer thought I was on drugs (for the record, I was not). Middle school was rough. So that was my adventure for the day. Some lady thought I was on drugs and ran away from me. Here are the day’s meals.

Breakfast:
Bagel with peanut butter and banana. (Shameless promotion)

Lunch:
Sweet Potato Taco with Chick Peas, Detox Salad, and Tahini Dressing (this became a conglomeration of whatever was in the fridge.)

Dinner:
Pesto Pasta, Roasted Root Veg, and Greek Salad.

Roasted Vegetables
4 Carrots, cut into batons
4 Parsnips, cut into batons
2 cups chopped red potatoes
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven 400ºF. Cover a roasting pan with aluminum foil. Place prepared vegetables on roasting pan and mix through olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place in the preheated oven for 30-45 minutes, or until a knife easily pierces the veg.

Vegan Pesto (basically regular pesto without cheese)
3 cups Basil
1/3 cup pine nuts
1-3 garlic cloves, minced (depending on how much garlic you like)
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and Pepper

In a sauté pan, toast off the garlic and pine nuts (be careful not to burn them!! Keep you eye on them just in case. I know from experience) Place basil, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor and pulse a couple times until the mixture becomes a paste. Turn on the food processor and slowly add in the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Greek Salad
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped fresh tomato (seeds removed)
1 cup kalamata olives (or whatever olives you have on hand)
2 tbsp chopped mint
Vinaigrette (whatever dressing you can find. A Greek vinaigrette would work great)
Salt and Pepper

Put all ingredients in a bowl. Mix. Done.

One day more (another day another destiny, this never-ending road to Calvary. These men who seem to know my crime will surely come a second time. One day more!),

Carol B

Now that song is stuck in my head… thanks.

Read the finale of my Vegan Week in Day 7

February Bucket List: Part 5

Hello. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Carol. For those of you who do, I’m ready to rhumble.

Just to clarify the details on this Vegan Week, I’m only paying attention to the things going in my body, not on it. I’m eating vegan food, but my beauty products have not changed. Recently, I’ve started using more cruelty free products because I think it’s a good cause to support, but it’s not an important part of this bucket list item. If you are interested in purchasing more cruelty free products, PETA.org has some great resources for you to use. It makes shopping a little easier if you are cruelty-free conscious. Target is a great place to start too. They have a bunch of PETA approved products and a much larger selection than in most drugstores I’ve been to.

Here is a link to their cruelty-free brand search engine or just look for the bunny, though not all brands have the bunny.
images.jpgI use this search engine a lot when I’m looking for new products. For a short list, here is an image from PETA with some common beauty brands that are vegan/cruelty-free.

Back to the food.

Breakfast:
Vegan Scones with orange marmalade glaze and fresh berries.

Vegan Lemon-Orange Pecan-Almond Hemp-Chia Ginger-Cardamom Scones : You’ll never guess what’s in these scones.

Lunch:
Tomato, Alfalfa Sprouts, Avocado, and Cucumber sandwich with detox salad

Post Holiday Detox Salad I love this salad. It’s really good, especially if you use cranberries rather than pomegranate.

Dinner:
Marinated Portobello burger with bean sprouts and tomatoes. Salads are cole slaw (without mayo) and Asian noodle salad.

Asian Noodle Salad We used soba noodles instead of spaghetti and replaced oyster sauce with Sriracha (to taste). This recipe makes A LOT of noodle salad. You would probably do better halving the recipe to start.
Savannah’s Best Marinated Portobello Mushrooms
Angie’s Dad’s Best Cabbage Coleslaw We replaced celery, carrot, and red onion with celery seeds because they are my dad’s favorite and used 1/4 cup of sugar rather than 1 cup.

It’s almost over,

Carol B

Continue reading more about my Vegan Week in Day 6

February Bucket List: Part 4

Hello. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Carol. For those of you who do,

Life is good. Can’t complain. I hate to say it, but I don’t miss meat. Dairy: heck yes. Eggs for breakfast: yup. Meat: …mmmm not really. I don’t know if I’ll go vegetarian after this is done, but I might consider eating less animal and more animal food.

Here’s the lowdown for the day:

Breakfast:
Southwest Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash. I walked into the kitchen this morning and I was instantly hit with the smells of fried onions and spices. Oh man, it was awesome. You should definitely try this recipe!

Southwest Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash (Minus the chipotle cream, duh)

Lunch:
Vegetable Curry leftovers. I never liked leftovers until college. During and after college, I LOVE leftovers. Its not that I’m trying to save money (even though I am if I want to backpack around Europe in the Fall). It’s more that the past version of Carol did the hard work of preparing enough food for an army for Future Carol to enjoy, because Future Carol can be a lazy sloth. Future Carol appreciates Past Carol very much.

Dinner:
Coconut Red Lentil Curry with rice. I think I’m getting the hang of this food photography thing… mmm, no maybe not. I just put some lime on top and thought, “That’s artist.” Usually after I take a photo, I just add more food on top of that. The pictures may say I eat pretty, small portioned meals, but that’s really not the case.

Coconut Red Lentil Curry

And now: chocolate time.

Carol B

Continue reading more about my Vegan Week in Day 5