Wildly-talented Disney Internships and Programs participants take center stage at Disney’s Hollywood Studios twice each year, at the Night of Stars Talent Competition. Held in the Premiere Theater, the red-carpet evening attracts an audience of hundreds and showcases singers, dancers, instrumentalists and specialty acts from within the programs family.
This semester, the entertaining evening, hosted by 2013/2014 Walt Disney World Ambassadors, Tye and Rich, unfolded on Nov. 13, and featured 22 diverse acts.
So, let’s start at the beginning, because it’s a very good place to start: auditions. Roughly two months prior to showtime, a series of auditions is held around the Disney Housing complexes. Auditionees are given three and a half minutes to perform their talent, with the understanding that their audition performance will mirror what they plan to perform in the show. Of the three hundred plus students who audition, a select few are extended an invitation to perform at Night of Stars.
Between auditions and the event itself, lots of work takes place behind the scenes. From a planning and logistics standpoint, the Disney Internships and Programs Events team collects music and act-specific information from performers, and compiles these details into a precise production schedule, to share with Disney Entertainment partners. The Disney Internships and Programs Communications team scripts, edits and films themed video transitions and supporting video pieces, designs the program and day-of collateral, and prepares the show script. (This really just scratches the surface – it’s a huge team effort!)
Then, it’s time to let the performers shine! Call time is bright and early, to accommodate two run-throughs of the show. Run-throughs enable each act to adjust to the stage space, get a feel for the room and practice with the technology they’ll be using later that evening. For the professionals that handle lighting, audio and special effects, it’s an unmatched opportunity to work with the performers in their element, to create a look/sound that’s fit for a superstar. By mid-afternoon, the performers hit the red carpet, brimming with anticipation for the evening ahead.
And what an evening it was! 750 supporters filled up the theater seats, and with them, they brought signs, personalized T-shirts and more – the energy and excitement of the audience was tangible!
As the night progressed, a wide array of performances were enjoyed in their entirety; from a tuba rendition of “The Bare Necessities:”, to a stand-up comedy act – here’s the results from the dynamic evening.
Best overall: Justin C.
Showcasing his knack for musicality and movement, Justin wowed the crowd and judge’s panel continuously with his hip-hop routine. He attends Arizona State University and works at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, in theater attractions.
Best vocal performance: Caitlin B., Hannah K. and Kelly C.
Known as the Dapper Dames, these lovely ladies performed a lovely, harmony-filled rendition of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”. The trio was comprised of Cast Members from Oregon and Massachusetts, who support food and beverage, attractions and entertainment at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Best dance performance: Anissa R. and Paul-Mael P.
Hailing from France, this extraordinary duo prepared a high-energy routine reminiscent of the king of pop. When they’re not dancing, both Anissa and Paul-Mael support the team at Les Chefs de France at Epcot.
Best instrumental: Benji B.
He may be from Alaska, but he sure did melt our hearts, by performing a guitar and vocal mash-up of lost-love inspired tunes. Benji makes magic with the Agent Phineas and Ferb World Showcase Adventure team at Epcot.
Best specialty act: BreAuna G. and Tayler G.
Colorado born-and-bred sisters, BreAuna and Tayler teamed up to perform a Night of Stars first – an impressive contact juggling act. By day, the sisters work on the attractions team at Magic Kingdom Park.[hr]
Sara, Disney Internships & Programs Housing