Universal Orlando is always on the lookout for performing arts professionals. From actors to stilt walkers, and from dancers to inline skaters, performers are needed at both theme parks and various CityWalk venues. Hundreds of extra performers are hired for annual special events such as Halloween Horror Nights and Mardi Gras.
To get hired by Universal (or any other theme park chain), you do not necessarily need an agent or any professional experience - but you will need to go through a professional audition. Keep an upbeat, positive attitude, follow all instructions precisely, and remember you are being assessed at all times.
From my experience (which includes working a variety of roles at Universal and Disney), these are the 6 essential steps to take to land your dream job.
1. Get informed
Universal Orlando posts upcoming auditions on its website, https://www.universalorlandojobs.com/auditions/. You can register a career profile on the site and request e-mailed audition notices. This streamlines the process by letting the notifications come to you, rather than you having to remember to check the site.
While you are on the website, take a few minutes to read the descriptions and requirements for each type of performer. First and foremost, all auditionees must be at least 18 years old and eligible to work in the United States. You will not be allowed to audition if you are 17 years and 6 months old, or if you are a foreign national without a work visa already in place.
In addition, you must have strong skills in the designated performance category. For example, singer/dancers must have both excellent vocal abilities and strong dance abilities, while stunt performers must be in peak physical condition. You don’t want to anger your potential employers, so be sure you meet all the requirements for the designated role before attending an audition.
Auditions are usually held by category, so don’t show up at an actor audition and ask to sing, or at a stunt performer audition and ask to dance. Make sure the audition you will attend matches the job you want.
2. Prepare your material
Some auditions, such as scareactor auditions for Halloween Horror Nights, do not require any prepared material at all. For the majority of auditions, however, you will need to prepare in some way. Actor auditions require a one-minute upbeat or comedic monologue, while singers must prepare 16 bars of an up-tempo song. Both animated character and stunt performer auditions require you to be ready to pass a physical fitness test, as well as to learn and perform a movement combination (animated characters) or demonstrate stage combat skills (stunt performers). Dancers must be ready to learn and perform a dance combination. For some auditions, such as Grinchmas musical theater performers, you must prepare both a monologue and a song, and be prepared to dance. Audition requirements are always subject to change, so look for the latest information in the audition notice.
Another part of preparation is deciding what to wear. Read the audition notice carefully. Are you expected to dress like a specific character? Are workout clothes requested? Do you need dance shoes or sneakers or business casual attire? Make sure your clothes are clean and in good repair, and fit you well. Don’t try to appear larger or smaller than you are by wearing a different size. If clothing is not specified in the audition notice, choose comfortable yet attractive pieces without distracting logos or patterns.
3. Bring everything you need
Singers need an instrumental CD or sheet music. Dancers need proper shoes. Musicians need an instrument and inline skaters need skates. In addition, all auditionees should bring a pen and note-taking paper. Depending on operational needs, Universal Orlando sometimes hires on the spot, so it is always best to be prepared with hiring documents such as your driver’s license and unlaminated social security card.
Although it is not strictly required, Universal recommends that you bring a current headshot and resume. Your resume documents extra skills that could be valuable, while the headshot helps the audition team remember who you are. A headshot and resume also signal to the casting team that you are a serious, professional performer.
Also consider your physical health and well-being. Auditions can be nerve-wracking and physically taxing. Bring bottled water, healthy high-energy snacks, and any medications you require.
Just as important as what to bring is what not to bring. Do not allow friends, family members, or your significant other to tag along unless they are auditioning as well. Children are especially frowned upon at auditions as the space is limited and not child-proofed. Bringing your child could cause injury to your child or another performer.