Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Special Little Girl Named Ingrid.

I feel like the last couple of posts have shown the ups and downs I have been going through. Obviously my posts about Training show some of the downs. To say I was in serious self-doubt mode is an understatement. I have since come to realize that pretty much everyone goes through that during training. I think I mentioned in that post that I remember being hard on myself and having similar doubts when I went through attendant training. It really makes you wonder if the self doubt breakdowns during training is like built in. I especially feel like during character training they are really hard on you. If its on purpose I think that is BS. But its just as likely that its me. lol

I also have been having some costuming issues which have resulted in serious upper back/shoulder/neck pain. To the point where on Saturday and Sunday night I just came home and laid down because I was in so much pain. Those few days were really hard. But the point of this post is to say that even with these hardships I have begun to experience the pure magic that can be had with my role.

In fact the first truly magical moment I had was on Sunday, one of the days where I was in intense pain. I was working with Mickey that day and I literally told him that I did not want to put on my outfit and go out there. It was pretty much one of the last things I wanted to do since I knew it would be 45 solid mins of discomfort. But I of course put on my outfit and went out there with him. About 3 families in Mickey met a little girl who honestly changed everything.

Mickey told me that the first thing she said was "Guess what Mickey? I have a boyfriend!", to which Mickey responded with a head nod. She then said "Your my boyfriend Mickey!" He of course gave her a hug. It just got better from there. She explained that she couldn't come visit him all the time anymore because she had moved to Equador. She said "its ok though you know why?" and as she patted her heart she said "because you are right here." Mickey gave her copius hugs and kisses and when she said to not forget her he said that he loved her and that he would never forget her and that she would stay in his heart. This little girls name was Ingrid and she gave Mickey a letter and 2 drawings. Mickey let me take pictures of the drawings so I can share them with yall.

Watching Ingrid with Mickey was magical and for the rest of the set, I forgot the pain I was in and pushed myself to really interact. I am very grateful to Ingrid. She was the first guest to really show me the Magic that I can create when helping my furry friends. My days can be long, tiring, and sometimes painful but my job is one that has incredible potential to make magic and memories. This is something that I knew but didn't really KNOW. I hadn't experienced it until Ingrid and I can't help but be very grateful to her. She will never know how much she touched me. But she is my inspiration to push myself everyday and touch as many people as I can. Just like Mickey told her, she is going to stay in my heart forever. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"I should blog, but I don't know what to blog about."

I totally just said that to my roommate Kryssy. I feel the need to blog but I'm just not so sure what to write about. 

I guess I can start with work. It has been going really well. I have worked at Epcot, Magic Kingdom, and Animal Kingdom. The only day I didn't see someone I knew was my first day out of training at Epcot. I know I had mentioned I was nervous but it turned out really well. I made some friends which was nice and I also had my fellow training group shortie Ariel come visit me and Mickey. Oh! and my other friend Trevor did too. It was really nice to have visitors.

 Ariel and Mickey

Trevor and Mickey

My aunt, uncle, and two cousins are in Orlando this week to visit and play in the parks. It has been really nice to see some family and hang out with them. I haven't seen this particular part of my family since like  Christmas so it was nice to catch up. While at Animal Kingdom on Sunday they visited Mickey and got some fun pictures with him. 

Mickey and I have been having a lot of fun hanging out together. At first I was a bit intimidated with the thought of helping him out but I have discovered that he is a very nice guy and very easy to hang out with, although sometimes (read frequently) I end my days helping him with bruises. 

That is one thing that while they never really mention in any of the things you hear about being a performer. It is absolutely exhausting. I come home tired, completely sticky and gross, and so far always sore and often bruised. Obviously people come into the job knowing it is physically demanding but I'm not sure people realize how demanding it is.  I literally have come home every day with some sort of bruise. Be it from shoes or kneeling, they are not fun. And it is hard to force yourself to get up every morning when you are still tired and sore and know that you have to go back out and do it again. You hear a lot of people say children's hugs make it all worth while, but honestly a lot of the time (at least for me) it doesn't. Children's hugs don't make me want to get out of bed. The obligation to do my job is what gets me out of bed but don't get me wrong, I do love hugs. Its a wonderful role and I still feel truly blessed to be able to call it my job, but don't ever let anyone fool you into thinking it is easy. Performers earn their 40 minute breaks for 20 mins of work. 

I feel like this is a bit of an odd update but I suppose thats ok. Its an update. To end this little post I have a picture that I took of a computer screen (so excuse the funky-ness) of my friend and boss Mickey and a guest. It makes me smile. :)


Thursday, June 16, 2011

First Real Day!

So today is my first real day of work. I am honestly a bit nervous. I am working in an inside location but it is one where I have a whole group of people dependent on my ability to keep the line moving. Writing that makes me realize thats really not anything new. As an attendant I was in charge of keeping the line moving but I also realize that this time around its completely different.

In other news I am not as frustrated as I was yesterday about my face type out experience. I know of a girl who is friends with Kryssy who has had the same experience I had (being looked at and talked about) multiple times but has never gotten pulled. However I just have to hope that I will get pulled. I am feeling confident and very go get em tiger. I have to know that they saw something they liked and will hopefully pull me at the July 5th type out. Kryssy talked to a girl who went 5 times before getting pulled for anything. While I don't have that amount of time, I do know that nothing with Disney has ever come on the first try for me. I really can't expect that this will either.

One of my trainers used an analogy of cake to describe the entertainment experience. Everyone who makes it into the department starts out with cake. Some people get icing on their cake and some people get icing and sprinkles. It can take a while to get those extra layers and some people may never get them. But hard work and time can get you to those extra layers. I know how hard I worked to even get that piece of cake that I have. I am just going to give it my all and hope that my icing will come and maybe I will get some sprinkles too.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Not my day...

A quick update about the face type out I went to this morning...

Today was not my day. 

WOMP WOMP. It kinda sucked. Basically all you do at these things is stand in a line with a number on you and they stare at you and talk about you. They have music on and they tell you you can chat to others. But the whole time they are looking at everyone.

I got stared at a good long while. It was very awkward and so I just continued to chat with the girls beside me rather than stare at the casting directors and smile. I now can't help but be frustrated with myself about that. Would things be different if I had stared and smiled? I have no way of knowing. Suffice to say I didn't get pulled for anything. But there is another audition July 5th and I will attend that one. Who knows maybe I will have better luck next time. 


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Training Tidbits Part 2!

So on to the more positive side of training.

The first and most awesome aspect of training is that I got to train with my roommate and friend, Kryssy. I am so so so glad I had her with me. Having someone to share it all with was the biggest gift. I also developed a close bond with my other shortie Ariel. We got to be partnered up on our last day of training for our last set which was really awesome. I think we played off each other quite well.

I had a large variety of trainers this time around. First day started off with Auriel and Joel. Auriel stayed with us up to day 3 but yesterday was our day off, so she was not with us on our last day. Christine and Jenny stepped in on day 2 and Christine then stayed with us till the end of our training. On day 3, our first day of in park training, we had Brandon and Christine as well as Lori, and attendant trainier to help with out lines. In a very amusing twist I actually met Brandon the night before while at my friend Cory's birthday party. Day 4 consisted of Christine, Perry, and as previously mentioned, Ashley.

Ya. Thats my trainier. lol. 

In other fun news I spent Sunday (day 3) hanging out with the big cheese. It was actually quite fun. Mickey did tell me he had one young girl hit his nose and then stood on his shoe but other than that he said the day was quite good. I had several friends go visit Mickey and that was very exciting. My friend Cory and her mother visited Mickey and she sent me a picture. :) She said she had a very good time. 

Yesterday I got to hang out with my all time favorite character, Donald Duck. I was very excited about that but it turned out the be quite stressful for me. When I was having to redo my autographs Perry mentioned that I might be so hard on myself about things concerning Donald because he is my favorite. I am willing to conceded that this is probably true. Donald is number one after all and I don't want my helping him out for the day to bring down his amazingness. I think we were a pretty good pair though even though his autographs ended up looking like crap through my assistance. Unfortunately no one came to visit Donald while I was helping him so I don't have any pictures to share.

In other news, my twin left me to go vacation in the mountains for 2 months. I will miss him quite horribly but he needs the vacation and I probably need the time away from him.

Also in other news I will be attending a face type-out (read audition for current entertainment cms) tomorrow. I am hoping the casting directors think I look like a certain fairy. I have gotten a surprising amount of comments about our resemblance since being down there. I can only hope that the casting people see it too. I would love to get to hang out with her. :) So send me pixie dust tomorrow!!

Love you all!!


Training Tidbits

Hello everyone!

I am back and here and alive! I know its only been like 6 days since my last post but it feels like a millennia. Yesterday I finished training and I can't even begin to say how happy I am about that. Training has been a huge emotional roller coaster for me. I had moments where I was like Ya! I can do this!, moments of I got this! and then moments of feeling that I totally sucked and just wanted to crawl into a little hole and cry. Unfortunately I ended training on one of those moments.

I hate to write a debby downer blog post but it will probably be therapeutic so I'm going to write it anyway.  I was in a group of 8 trainees which was really small compared to the group that started on Saturday (we started on Friday). I like most of my fellow trainees but one somewhat annoys me. No big deal though. All of them either have dance, cheer, or theatre experience or really just performance experience. As has been documented in this blog I on the other hand have pretty much no performance experience. While that really doesn't matter I think it fed into my feelings of inadequacy. There were times when we were doing inprov and things like that and I just felt like I had no idea what to do and that I sucked at it while everyone else was good at it. I also kept remembering that I had failed to pass my audition 2 other times while everyone else passed on their first attempt. I kind of felt like I just wasn't very good at this role.

The final down note I ended my training on was my assessment. Everyone who trains for a role at Disney must complete an assessment at the end of their training program so that they can be approved in their role and begin working. For performers it is no different. Part of our assessment is signing the names of some of our furry friends. We had to do 4 and we are allowed to know which ones before hand. So when the time comes for the assessment I complete that part before going on the the multiple choice section. Halfway through the multiple choice section I glance up when I hear one trainer ask something of the other in a rather loudish whisper. I notice that they are talking about some signatures and that one of them picks up a paper which has the name of a certain bear who loves hunny. I was the only one who had to sign that certain bears name so I knew they were talking about mine. I don't remember what was said but I do remember them saying something about making me redo them. So before I ever finished my multiple choice section I knew I was going to have to redo my signature section. So when I turned in my multiple choice section I waited a few minutes and then one of the trainers, Perry, came and brought me my signatures back. They had glorious (read all sarcastic like) blue marker corrections all over it. After explaining all the things wrong with them, he gave me another sheet on which to redo them.

At this point I am just trying not to cry in front of everyone when all I want to do is just curl up in a ball and cry. I have no idea why this set me off but I guess with feeling a bit inadequate and then being the only one asked to redo all 4 of my signatures was just the icing on the cake. My redos were honestly worse then the originals. The harder I tried to make them better the worse they got and when I had no more squares to attempt to fill I just turned it in. Those then got more blue corrections and returned to me with more comments from Perry. The rest of the time we spent wrapping up training I spent trying not to cry. What was supposed to be this uplifting ending turned into a torturous waiting period for me.

I know I took that little incident far more personally then I should have but on the other hand I don't think it necessarily went the way it should have. Other people had comments and things wrong with their signatures but I was the only one that had to redo all of them. And for the most nit picky things too!! It just very very frustrating and it still makes me upset to think about it and write it now.

While I had a variety of trainers through the last 5 days I can say that the person I am most grateful to isn't even a character trainer, but instead an attendant trainer. Ashley, who actually spent one day training me while I was in attendant training, was there yesterday to help out with our lines since we didn't have an attendant group training with us. She commented at some point in the day that I was really hard on myself and was even when I went through attendant training. I do remember being hard on myself and thinking I would never learn and become good at all the things I needed to do, but I eventually did become good at them and honestly I was a damn good attendant. I don't know if her pervious experience with me gave her insight into what I was thinking but she seemed to know that I was getting down on myself. At the end of the day after we were finished she told me that I had to stop beating myself up because I was just going to psych myself out and gave me a hug. I am going to have to force myself to remember what she told me. I know I am amazing and it seems I am my own most harsh critic.

So that is all the bad stuff that happened during training. I guess I will just make another post with all the other stuff. I can already tell this is a massive post and I know if I add the other stuff in here it will just make it that much longer. So! on to Training Tidbits part 2!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Welcome to Entertainment!!

Hey everyone!! I thought I would send in a quick little post.

Today was my first day of training although I wasn't the fun training. I think I have mentioned before that since I trained as an attendant the way training goes has been changed. There is now a general entertainment class that you take before splitting into your individual areas called Welcome to Entertainment. The change is actually kinda nice in that it beings all areas under entertainment together including costuming, photopass, attendants, and performers. It also makes our training more similar to other areas in hat we now have a general day at Disney University to get us started.

Now that being said I found it rather boring. That isn't so much a negative reflection on the class as much as it is that I already know all the info they shared from attendant training. There was a nice tour part which was fun and included things I haven't done before. However considering I was waived through as an attendant I really should have been waived through this time. In fact the reason I am actually writing this ATM is because I don't have to do any e-learning and so can just sit outside killing time and getting paid. It's rather grand.

I will say though I am very glad I am taking the class because without it I wouldn't meet people. I'm not going to even act like I'm not annoyed by people. I can already see the subtle posturing and bragging. I'm not a theatre major or a dancer or in any real entertainmenty things so I'm not used to that sort of thing and I really have little patience for it. I know the entertainment department can be very hierarchal so I guess I will see how I survive.

On another note one of my W2E facilitators, Katy, is actually one of the trainers I had on my very first day of attendant training. Another random thing is there were two entertainment managers sitting in on the first part of our class one of which was a studios manager, Tracey. Both of them somewhat recognized and remembered me and once I mentioned how I knew them, were all oh yaaa! I thought it was rather funny.

So thats pretty much it for today. Tonight I am going to watch my twin drive in DEP. I start core training tomorrow and I'm quite excited about that. I'm not sure if I will have time (or energy) to do little updates like this but I will of course try.

Love and Kisses,

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Insanity Continues: Check In Day #2

Well Hello there!

Yesterday was the day I officially began my second CP. The night before check-in I met my roommates at DTD where we ate at Earl of Sandwich and then walked around a bit. We decided that we were going to get to Vista at 5:30 so we could make sure we got in the front of the line and got the apartment size and location that we wanted.

Monday morning I got up bright and early at 5:00 am. I had my bestie/twin there to help me with move in so he sat in the car while I stood in line. We were probably 5th in line when we got there at 5:30 and the line just got progressively longer as we waited. While I hate that I had to get up so early, I am glad I got there when I did. What time you get there greatly depends on the people in your season and so changes every semester but I also think that as more people do the program they hear that you should get there earlier so people just continually get there early. Kind of like a catch 22.

Roooomies!! (L-R Kryssy, Jenn, Kat, Me!)

They started walking us back at 8 am. We ended up being first in line because the people in front of us all had suitcases and had to walk their bags to the suitcase tent while we just went to the first table. First thing you do is get your program guide book which eventually gets a ton of stickers stuck on to it with all sorts of info and a name tag. Next station is when you fill out some paper work for housing including your contact info and agreeing to all the housing rules. Next stop is where you select your apt roommates/apt size/apt location. I was selected as the person to head up to get our apt. We got a 2 bedroom in Chatham and had a choice of the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd floor. We had talked about what we wanted before so I chose a 1st floor and it just so happened that we live in building 26 which is right next to my old building of 25. This time I am on the back of the building so we have a little patio without a fence. We are literally in the back right corner so we face a drainage canal which means greeeeeen and a fence in the way. Its actually quite nice.

After getting your apt number the next stop is picking up your apartment key. You then go to a station to sign your rent paper (telling you how much you will pay), then you move on to a table to pick up a bus route map, then on to getting your picture taken for your housing ID. Kat and I had problems with out IDs. They just wouldn't print out. I had to wait like 10 mins and she had to wait like 15 while our other roomies Jenn and Kryssy got theirs quite quickly. We ended up getting a bit separated at this point. Next stop is the car decal area (if you have a car with you) and then the last stop at Housing is where you get your Casting bus time and info about the rest of the day. I was given the 9:00 bus time but ended up being placed on the 8:45 bus with Kryssy and Jenn. We didn't actually end up leaving Vista till like 9:06.  Kat unfortunately got stuck on the 9:00 bus that didn't leave till well after 9:00.

After Housing we went to Casting. I'm not going to go into as much detail because.. well, I am lazy. lol. We got the location for our roles. Since I already knew mine and performers are park universal I didn't learn anything new. We turned in our I-9s and saw that there is a open audition for females 5'1 -5'7 and that CPs can attend. Usually CPs can't attend auditions till the end of their program and I assume the 6 month between audition rule is in place here too, but it was an interesting little side note learned at casting. When I got my fingerprints taken the man (which I am almost positive is the same guy that took them last time) told me I had really good fingers. Go Me! :) I then went through various other rooms before finally ending up in the room with all the trainers. Let me just say that the trainer for Entertainment sucked! I literally didn't learn anything. I know I have Welcome to Entertainment on Thursday morning and that I will get the rest of my schedule then. While I already knew that (and the rest of my schedule up till Sat the 18th) I was frustrated because she mumbled the whole time! I couldn't hear her over all the other trainers. I wanted to tell her to SPEAK UP! ugh.

I ended up getting out of casting first since I was able to skip a table which put me a bit in front of Kryssy and Jenn. I waited for everyone else to get out of Casting and we all took the bus home together. While I was at Casting my twin had brought all the stuff to my apt since he had plans later in the afternoon. I expected to have a bit of time in between housing and casting like I did last time, but I didn't. I did run my key to him before I got on the bus so he was able to get into the apt and put everything in there for me. I ended up having to get a late check out so that I could have time to get to the apartment, get my car, and then get back to the hotel. After I did that I spent a bit of time unpacking before my roommates returned and they then went to the housing meeting. I decided to be bad and not go because 1) I was an RA and its basically a hall meeting (which I conducted several times) and 2) I had already gone to one once. I also figured since all three of my roommates would be going, if there was anything I needed to know, they would tell me.

To end the night we all went to Port Orleans Riverside to have a check-in night dinner meet up. A few other people showed up which was nice. We had a good time. :) That is pretty much it for check-in day. . Kat, Kryssy, and Jenn went to Traditions today but I didn't have to since I am a current cast member. I did have to go get my CP ID and I got the new blue ID. It used to be that blue IDs were reserved for Managers only (white for cps, red for seasonal, and yellow for pt/ft). Now everyone will have blue ones and vendors/contractors will have green. They just started issuing the blue ones today so I literally got one of the first ones. :) My picture is horrible though because i didn't expect to have to take a picture today. Traditionally CPs don't have pictures on their IDs. I will try to continue to update with training and such. It was a bit hard to find the motivation to get this one done but I have promised to be dedicated to this, so I am going to be.

Anyways, LOVE YOU ALL!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

So Much to Share

Today was an awesome day. I mentioned before that I had picked up a Spare 6 attendant shift today at Studios. My bestie/twin picked up a shift at Studios too so he drove us there. We got there way early (like 2 hours) because it was a Star Wars weekend (hellish parking) and also because I had to get a costume. I have lost a good deal of weight since my CP so I wasn't sure what size shorts I would wear (or even what size shorts I used to wear).

Well after I got my shorts I went and checked in and sat down. I then basically sat there for an hour and a half till I could clock in. I had to take some silly update computer-y thing but then I had nothing to do. All of the other Attendants showed up so I literally just sat at base for my whole shift. At one point I thought I might have to go to Epcot because the were down an attendant, but I guess by the time my lunch had ended they had filled that hole because I didn't end up having to go. So instead of helping out Phineas and Ferb I decided to Early Release (ER) instead.

Two ish hours after I got my ER I finally got to meet one of the people I have been talking to online for months, Emily. It was really awesome to finally get to meet her. :) We watched the Countdown to Fun Parade, then went on Rockin Roller Coaster, GMR, and Muppets. We then headed over to the Animation building where Fantasmic characters were greeting and saw a few characters. We met Pinocchio, Pocahontas and Meeko, and Pooh Bear. To end our play time we took the animation class and drew Buzz Lightyear.

I love them, but especially my Fro-Yo. 

What a cuddly little bear. 

 <3 him (and her!)

We had a great discussion about how to say goodbye in Poca's language and if Emily and my hair flowers were the type Meeko liked to eat. 

While this day was quite fun the best part for me was getting access to EISS again. EISS is the entertainment specific scheduling system. Because I hadn't logged in since last July, my password had expired. I called IT today while at work and got it all reset and was finally able to see what height I am. Suffice to say I am SO EXCITED! Since it is saturday and schedules drop on Saturday I was able to look up where I am scheduled to work after training. :) Seeing that finally made it real. I am really going to get to hang out with characters. Its truly insane to me. I can't help but smile when I think about it. I will of course post pictures of my friends once I start making them but for now, I'm not really going to go into any detail.

It all starts getting really real on Monday when I check in to my second CP. Baaahhh!! I am so excited. :)  Life is good.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Will you let us know if you got face or fur? Or do you plan to keep that under wraps? :)

I honestly don't know. Lol. I'm not going to come right out and say it but I will for sure talk about my friends and share pictures. I don't think it will be to hard to figure out who my friends are.

Ask me anything

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Finally Made It!

Well guess what?

Honestly the best part about that statement is it means I have no more long distance driving to do. I can't even begin to explain how happy I am about that. I am SO tired of driving. I have basically spent the last 2 weeks in a state of transition and travel and I am so glad to say that period is done. I have made it to Orlando and can chill and not worry about long distance driving for a very long time. 

I decided to make a map of my road trip. I figured it would be fun to look at my trip and remember it in years to come. Each leg of the tour has its own color and how long the drive took. 

View DCP Road Trip 11' in a larger map

Well thats really it for this post. I'm really tired from driving all day and I am pretty much just being a vegetable and watching my twin play video games. My friend Cory and I are going to go watch him (my twin Josh) in MISICI tomorrow and probably play around. It shall be lots of fun. :)