Does your child love to sing, dance and act and have a particular knack for it? Do they watch Disney Channel or Disney XD all day and fantasize with being the next Selena Gomez or Bridgit Mendler? Well, here’s their chance to shine in the Disney spotlight!
Disney Channel and Disney XD just announced that they are hosting a Nationwide Talent Search for kids ages 10-17 who can act, sing and dance for upcoming Disney Channel and Disney XD series and movies. The search will begin in Southern California with casting directors for Disney Channel and Disney XD visiting elementary, middle and high schools, performing arts schools and academies, dance studios and after school programs. That means that your child doesn’t need to have previous experience, or a reel or casting book. They could just be discovered by doing what they do best and just being kids!
What’s really got me excited about this talent search is that Disney is looking to throw a wide net and make sure their on-air talent reflects the reality of the diversity of our kids’ generation.
“Diversity is the guidepost for Disney Channel programming and our talent search is another extension of our efforts to try and meet with actors who might not normally have the chance to be seen by a professional casting director,” Judy Taylor, senior vice president of Casting and Talent Relations for Disney Channels Worldwide shared with me via email. “We continue to experiment with new and innovative ways to make the auditioning process more accessible to everyone. During the talent search we are looking for actors for a variety of Disney Channel and Disney XD series and movies.”
And along with a diverse population comes a multitude of languages spoken at home, with the second most-spoken language in the U.S. being Spanish. Of course, I’m a huge advocate for having more kids’ content available in Spanish and even more so to have positive role models that are bi or multi-lingual that our bilingual Latino kids can identify with. Disney understands that and will take a child’s language skills into consideration as well. Yet another huge motivating factor to make sure our kids are acquiring much-needed language skills!
“While one’s acting ability will be the driving factor in our search, we absolutely love when kids are multi-talented and have an additional aptitude for singing, dancing, sports, and language skills,” Taylor shared. “This is a search for new and fresh talent and we look forward to meeting everyone.”
The site to visit for additional information and upcoming dates is www.DisneyChannel.com/talentsearch. When you go there you’ll notice that the official email account is email@example.com. Latweeno? As in Latino tween?* One can sure hope this means Disney is working on a show for and by Latinos, because while Disney has led the way in making sure Latinos and other ethnicities are well represented in their shows, there’s still a long way to go to fully represent the richness of our culture and heritage. Disney stars like Selena Gómez, Demi Lovato, Jake T. Austin, Adam Irigoyen and Bella Thorne are making Latinos proud and we know there are many more that can follow on their footsteps.
*UPDATE: CORRECTION June 8, 2013 – According to Disney officials the updated email address to enter the talent search is: OfficialTalentSearch2013@gmail.com. The casting director is indeed a Latina, but she works independently of Disney. Her personal email address, originally listed, has been replaced. No one at Disney has officially stated that this talent search is specifically for Latinos (but one can still hope!)
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