The world is your oyster!: A Dream is a Wish your Heart Makes        

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dance parties
dressing up
love :)


My name is Heather.

I am 22 years old.

I am an East Coast girl
who also loves Utah.

I love my life. How could I not?

The world is my oyster :)
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Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Dream is a Wish your Heart Makes

Yesterday morning, Disney held princess lookalike auditions for the female cast members. I was sure I wouldn't be chosen, but had decided to go, just for the experience. So, I woke up at 6:45. I put on a white skirt with black and red flowers, leggings, a black headband, and a black turtleneck tee. I ate some breakfast and went to the bus stop, where about 40 other girls were waiting for the J bus as well. The J bus came and we piled on.

There were blondes, brunettes and redheads, girls in yoga pants and girls in dresses. Any other morning, we would have put in our headphones and closed our eyes to catch a quick nap, or pulled out a book for the bus ride. This morning, however, we all paid a little extra attention to each other. We looked in one another's faces, smiled awkwardly, and turned to look at someone else. We struck up nervous little conversations with each other. We introduced ourselves and promptly forgot one another's names. It was 7:35 when the bus left Chatham, but the air felt alive with energy. Hope was coursing through all of us, and it was electrifying.

The bus emptied when we got to the Animal Kingdom casting center. Forty something girls fell into the line that was already out the door, an hour before the auditions were supposed to start. We didn't mind the waiting. We shared everything with each other as we slowly made our way through the halls of the casting center.

Adrenaline is like super-glue for friendships, and we quickly felt comfortable with the girls standing with us. We lavished praise on one another, certain that we would all make it through to the final round, when we would be told that all of us were going to be princesses. We were giddy with optimism.

At last we made it to a large ballroom, where a table was set up at one end of the room with a next to it. When we got to the table, we were measured and received a number (268 in my case). We were then told to wait until our number was called.

They took us in groups of 50, and this was when girls started to get cut. This part of the audition was nerve wracking, but didn't require us to do anything but smile. I don't think I have ever smiled so hard in my whole life!

There were two casting directors, Kelly and Kent, who explained the process a little bit and then turned on some music so we could feel more comfortable with being stared at. I smiled right at them. Kelly said something to Kent. They both looked at me again. I smiled and smiled. My cheeks felt quivery with nerves and the effort to appear natural. They finally moved on down the line and I relaxed a little.

After they had looked over all 50 of us, Kelly called out 2 numbers and asked the rest of the girls to go home. The two numbers called were 268 and 291. I felt disappointed until I remembered that that was my number! The girls I had made friends with in line all gave me hugs and wished me luck. I missed them immediately as I watched them leave.

291 was named Renee, and she grabbed my arm as we walked back to the giant ballroom. "This is so crazy!" she squealed. "I can't wait to tell my mom!" More bonding as she called her mom and I txtd mine. We couldn't believe we had made it through the first round. Making it through that first step was intoxicating.

463 girls later, there were 50 girls left in the ballroom. They called us all back into the room where Kelly and Kent stared us down once again. I didn't have as much trouble smiling this time :) This time when Kelly turned off the music, she and Kent only called out 6 numbers. The rest of the girls were thanked for their time and sent home.

I felt shaky as I lined up with the last of all the potential princesses and watched Renee leave. Even as I introduced myself and stated where I was from, I couldn't believe that the casting directors cared about my name at all. I kept thinking, "Is this real life?" And it was.

The next part of the audition was one of my favorite parts. Kelly and Kent left, and some trainers came in to help us learn how to dance like princesses. We twirled, curtsied, and waved. We were told that it was an exercise in grace and poise, and that we should be very conscious of making all of our movements very fluid and regal. We were to smile the entire time.

We also learned how to move like a fur character. We exaggerated every movement. We looked ridiculous, and we didn't even care. No one looked at anyone else. We were very much concentrated on our own movements.

Kelly and Kent came back in at this point and we showed them everything we had learned. Apparently they had no complaints, because they decided to keep all of us and let us all get fitted to be princesses!

I listened as they went down the line, assigning each girl to a princess. "Tiana, Aurora, Snow White, Ariel, Aurora....and Cinderella."

I couldn't believe it. Cinderella? I was flabbergasted and thrilled, and immensely flattered. I felt a little numb as I followed the other girls into yet another hallway. We suddenly found ourselves just outside of the closet with all the princess costumes. I felt star-struck and woozy as I got my picture taken and was then directed behind a curtain, where I was to change into Cinderella's dress.


I pulled up the skirt, which weighed about a million pounds, and a costuming assistant helped me zipper it. She then helped me into the top half of the dress and snapped it onto the skirt, twisting and tugging until it looked just right. They gave me some character shoes and sent me into the makeup room.

Working at the Boutique, I always try to talk to the girls whose makeover I am doing. I feel like I'm doing a bad job if we aren't having a nice, steady conversation. But today, as a nice Asian lady covered my eyelids with blue eyeshadow and spread a layer of pink on my lips, I began to appreciate how hard it is to have a conversation while you are having your hair and makeup done. It was all I could do to keep up with the whirlwind of thoughts going on inside my head. I was relieved that I wasn't supposed to form complete sentences, too.

All of the characters are wigged, so we also got to wear the wigs. Once I was all made up and the wig had been securely fastened to my head, I was able to look in the mirror. It was the most surreal experience, because I could see my face, and I knew that it was me, but Cinderella looked back at me. I vaguely wondered if the girls who came into the Boutique felt this way when I turned them around to see themselves for the first time. I hardly felt like I was looking at myself....I felt like I was looking at a princess who just happened to raise her eyebrows when I raised mine.

The wig was a little big, and so was the top of the dress, since I basically have no boobs, but my friend Brittany told me that if I get approval to be a princess, they will give me a wig that is custom-made for my head. Also, the dresses in the casting center are not the only sizes they have, and the sizes go pretty small, so they have a dress that fits me somewhere. Aside from these concerns, I really felt like Cinderella.

Once I was all dressed, I was given a laminated sheet of paper that told a little bit about Cinderella's character, how she was supposed to stand, etc. At the top of the paper was a short monologue, but I was told not to worry about memorizing it. I stood in front of a blue sheet and got about 5 pictures taken from different angles. I wondered whether they looked like me, or like Cinderella, or like me dressed up as Cinderella. I wondered if it mattered if it looked like me dressed up as Cinderella.

After that, I had a few minutes to practice my monologue before I was shown back into the room where we had learned how to princess dance only about an hour earlier. I again said hello to Kelly and Kent, who asked me to look at the camera, state my true name, and then perform the monologue.

I cleared my throat, stood like Cinderella, and smiled right at the camera. Kent pointed at me; I said my name, paused, and then went into my monologue.

"Oh, what a wonderful ball," I said. In my head, I thought: "Oh, what a wonderful audition."

"To wear this beautiful gown, and glass slippers, and dance with the prince all night...." I said. In my head, I thought: "To wear this beautiful gown, and character shoes, and dress up like a real live princess....."

"I wonder what Anastasia and Drusilla would think, if they knew it was me?" I said. In my head, I thought, "I have to tell EVERYONE!"

Smilingly, Kelly and Kent thanked me and asked me where I went to school. They asked about my major and a couple of other things. Then they told me that they would contact me if I was approved to be a princess. If I didn't hear from them, it wasn't a match, but they were still happy that I had come in and auditioned. As I listened to their spiel, I didn't even care what happened next.

If I get to be a princess, I will stay until August. I will dress up every day, with the help of my fairy godmother costuming assistant. I will dance with a prince. I will tell little girls that their dreams will come true. I will pose for pictures and smile until my face falls off. And then, a makeup artist will come along and put it back on for me, and I will go out and do it all over again.

If I don't get approved to be a princess, I will stay until April, just like I had planned before. I will continue to work at the Boutique, which is a magical place on its own. I will get to go home for a month to see my family before going back to Utah in June for some summer classes. I will miss the muggy Florida heat and will spend my summer, instead, in the dry heat of Provo in the summertime. I will work at Coldstone and the Writing Center, and when I'm not working or taking summer classes on campus, I will set up camp by the Raintree pool, eating free hamburgers and otter pops.

Have I mentioned that I absolutely 100% love my life? With all my heart and soul?

After auditions, one of the girls who was fitted for Aurora offered me a ride home. We decided that if we don't get to be princesses, we will go out for ice cream to console ourselves. But I don't think I will need too much consolation....just getting to try on Cinderella's dress, and gloves, and choker, and headband, was more wonderful an opportunity than I ever dreamed I would get.

But I did get it, and if Djuana Barnes is right, and "dreams have only the pigmentation of fact," then the large majority of this story would not be true. Friends, it is all true, which is why I now have a renewed faith that dreams and reality are not always so far apart as past disappointments would have us believe. In fact, there will be times in our lives that the chasm between dreams and reality is little more than a paper-thin line. And those times are the very best.



  1. heather I'm seriously so happy about this that I like, teared up while I read it. I know, I'm a dork. Like, it is such an amazing experience! Also I think I'm wayyy tired andddd I was listening to Disney Channel of Stars, "A Dream is a Wish" bc I thought it was massively appropriate for this situation but it just served to get me all emotional. Anyway.
    If you stay till August I'll be able to see you! :D :D <3!!!! :) :)

  2. Heather that is awesome! Good luck!

  3. That's soooooooo exciting!!! I hope you get it! You'd be the most adorable Cinderella ever!

  4. AH! heather i'm so happy for you!! you're adorable and you do lead a charmed life! miss ya :)

  5. Sarah says, "i know that you will be a princess and that even though i wasn't there i still know that you did a wonderful job. you are pretty and smart. i can't wait to see you!

  6. haha nicole you are so cute!

    thanks mont!

    haleigh, if i get it, i will totally give you tips for your disneyland audition!

    i miss you too danielle! i hope the wedding plans are all coming along nicely :)

    thank you sarah! you are pretty and smart too and i can't wait to give you a hug in a few days!