Disney invests a lot of money into their productions and they trust that investment to trained and experienced professionals so they cast through talent agents and not open auditions. The one "open casting call" that Disney use to hold each year (I don't know if they still do) is more of a publicity stunt rather than auditioning for a specific role.
And you can't do it without your parent's full support. Professional acting is a business. It's not like American Idol - you can't just show up somewhere and be "discovered". Your parents will have to understand the casting process, actor unions, how to market you to casting directors/talent agents, things like that. There are a ton of people out there willing to take advantage of people who don't understand the industry. You NEED to have your parents involved.
Not saying you can't do it - but you should have an understanding of what you're trying to do. SOME of what you need to work professionally on TV (especially Disney) includes:
* Quality acting training
* Experience (theater and on camera if possible)
* Professional Head shots
* Acting reel (video of scenes you've done on camera)
* Several well-prepared monologues for auditions
* Professional resume
* A licensed talent agent
* To be a member of an actor's union like SAG-AFTRA (the actors union screen actors) or at least eligible to join
* Minors are required to have a California entertainment work permit and to have a trust account established in their name (called a "Coogan account")
* Parents with a good understanding of the business end of acting and a willingness to work as the CEO of your acting career.
I works like this. A casting director at Disney writes a "breakdown" (a description of the roles they want cast) and sends it out over Breakdown Services. These types of breakdowns are sent only to licensed talent agents and managers, not to actors and not to the general public. (The breakdowns released to actors/public are generally for low-to-no pay jobs people take for the experience.) That's why you need an agent.
And you can't just go out an hire an agent. There are a ton of people who want to be actors and so agent's have their pick. Agents are paid a percentage of what their clients make. (Never pay an agent up front.) Since they're paid only if their clients are paid, they are picky about who they take on as clients. Often people mail in a head shot, resume and cover letter to several agents with the hopes of hearing back from them to maybe get an interview/audition. So you need a good resume that will convince an agent that you could work professionally.
So we're talking about a big investment of time, effort and money for you and your family. And there's no guarantee of a return on that investment. If you're wanting to do this for fame, money, attention, popularity - you're going to be disappointed. In early 2012, the total number of child actors WITH agents, listed in LA, aged 0 - 16 is 20,017. Those with only managers, in other locations, or unrepresented are all additional to that 20,000 number. In general, you can assume there are about 1,500 children in your age range that you will be competing against who are from the LA area. It's even harder if you 're not in LA, because you have the added handicap of not being local. Last year only 11 shows had series regular roles for children--and that includes ALL shows not just Disney and Nick shows. Not good odds.
Not saying you can't try - but if you do, you should do it for the right reasons and with a good understanding of what you're trying to do.
Here's even more details about legitimate Disney auditions:
Answered By: Katrina E. - 10/4/2012