Sunday, October 19, 2008

Regarding Disney Cast Members

Ever since I was accepted to the Disney College Program, I have had to explain to pretty much everyone that although I am working at Disneyland, I will not be walking around in a duck suit, I will not be singing, and I will not be dancing.

First of all, everyone at Disneyland is called a Cast Member. There are no employees. You are given your role by Disney Casting, you put on a costume instead of a uniform, and you perform you role in the great show that is Disneyland. I had known all this before, but it was re-explained to me at my College Program presentation.

This is a hard concept for people to grasp. Someone will ask me, "Your going to work at Disneyland? Won't those suits be hot?" I explain that I will be a Custodial Cast Member and I will keep the park clean, and that I chose not to audition for a Character role. I then explain that everyone at Disneyland are called a Cast Members and they all contribute to the giant performance of Disneyland and without fail I get this response: "So you will sing and dance while you are sweeping?"

Is there something wrong with just having a normal job? Can't someone work at Disneyland without having to wear a character suit or dance in a parade? Does any body stop to think what Disneyland would be like if there were only characters, singers, and dancers? There would be trash everywhere, none of the attractions would work, the characters would get mauled, and the sound of screams would fill the night sky, which would be silenced shortly thereafter due to the giant bats that circle the perimeter of the park.

I guess because my interests lie in Performing Arts, people expect me to have a performance based role that involves a lot of singing and dancing. I guess people think that I just couldn't stand to do a normal job like custodial work. Maybe it's more exciting to say, "I know the guy who plays Goofy at Disneyland" instead of "I know the guy who cleans up the urine from the horse that was pulling the carriage that Goofy was riding in."

Well the point is, I will be a Custodial Cast Member at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA. My duties include sweeping, mopping, taking out the trash, cleaning the bathrooms, etc. Although I will contribute to the atmosphere of Disneyland by being cheerful, efficient, and by occasionally humming a happy working tune (with an accompanied bell-kick), I will not be singing or dancing in any formal capacity. But I am stoked nonetheless.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Can I Tell You Something?

Sometimes it bothers me when a person says something that makes me feel warm, or makes me laugh, or makes me take a good look at myself or a good look at the world, and then makes no effort to cite where the quote came from, leaving me to believe that the person who said it thought it up.

Just the other day, I was watching a movie I had never seen and I heard a phrase that I had definitely heard before (several times). I had previously believed that the quote I heard originally came from my friend, but instead it came from this great movie.

I'm not talking about just any quote or common phrase, but I'm talking about sayings or phrases that are used by someone to make another person feel something, to inspire someone, or to make someone think. When someone has caused me to do these or any other things as a result of something they said, and then does nothing to give credit where it is due, I get angry.

I don't become an outraged maniac or anything, but I do get upset. I feel like I have been lied to. Someone said something very insightful to me, and I respected them for that insight, but then I find out it isn't even their own! It's lying by omission. By leaving out the source of the material, you are in fact lying. I respect a person who will acknowledge the original source, or at least make an attempt to, more than a person who tries to pass off someone else's thoughts as their own.

It's easy. Even if you don't know the original source it is easy. Examples:

"I read somewhere, maybe Entertainment Weekly or maybe it was People, that..."

"I heard a great quote from [INSERT MOVIE TITLE], and it really made me think. It said..."

"Have you ever read [INSERT BOOK TITLE]? There is a great quote that really applies. It said..."

"I'm not sure where I heard this, but I heard somewhere a saying that really captures this situation..."

It is important that you know that I don't stay angry for that long, and when I say angry, I really mean I'm bothered a bit. I just think that we shouldn't take credit for something that isn't ours.

Also in the category of things that bother me: Disseminating information as if it were fact, when in reality, you have minimal or untruthworthy information about the subject.

NOTE: This is by no means definitive. I think there is kind of a code of ethics that applies to the subject. Does the information really require a citation? If so, how thorough? Is it common knowledge or common language? And so on...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Garfield Minus Garfield

I have a new thing to do while I am on the internet. It is called

I think I first read about this in Entertainment Weekly, maybe, but I may have read it somewhere else. Basically It takes the Garfield comic strip by Jim Davis, removes Garfield from the strip leaving only Jon Arbuckle. Although the result is amusing, you really do kind of feel bad for him.

Here is the description of the project taken from the website:

Garfield Minus Garfield is a site dedicated to removing Garfield from the Garfield comic strips in order to reveal the existential angst of a certain young Mr. Jon Arbuckle. It is a journey deep into the mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness and depression in a quiet American suburb.

I used to read Garfield a lot when I was younger. I thought it was hilarious. It is fun for me when I recognize some of the comic strips that I read before Garfield was removed. It's a clever project that I am happy to add to my daily internet routine.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Steven Loves Horses

Steven and a Clydesdale at Busch Gardens, Tampa.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Happiest Trash on Earth

Well, last week was pretty good. Why, you ask? Well I'll tell you.

Last May I applied to the Disney College Program (Disney College Program is a paid internship accompanied by some general business classes and Full-Time Student status). After seven weeks of waiting for a reply, I finally received a letter of rejection.

So, here I am at Mesa Community College, and I saw a poster for the Disney College Program. Their presentation was going to be later that day. I wrestled with the choice I had to make. My inner monologue went something like this:

"Should I go and re-apply?"
"No. You'll probably get rejected again."
"But wouldn't that be awesome if you could do it?"
"Yeah, it would, but what if something better comes along next semester?"
"Wait a second, what could be better than a semester at Disneyland?"
"Brinner (breakfast for dinner), but why couldn't I have my Brinner and eat it Disneyland?"
"Just go apply, and if you get it, awesome. If you don't, whatever."

So I went to meeting. I scrambled all the required information together (application, role checklist, etc.) and I applied. I had a phone interview a few days later, and they told me I would know in two to three weeks. Now, due to the seven week fiasco that was my last experience with the Disney College Program, I figured I would have to wait a while. I estimated about 3 and half weeks.

But I was wrong.

Not even two weeks later I received a packet in the mail. I knew right away who it was from. Mickey Mouse was pictured in the return address. Already this was a good sign. My rejection letter was a small envelope with a sad Mickey Mouse in the return address (not really). I opened it up and found a vibrant purple folder that read "Disney College Program" on it. I opened the folder and read the letter inside:

"Dear Timothy,

Congratulations! You have been selected to join us as a Disney College Program participant for the Spring 2009 season as a Custodial Cast Member..."

Woooo hoooo! I get to clean up the happiest trash on earth! No don't get me wrong. I am so excited. This is a dream come true (one of the millions during the Year of a Million Dreams). Danniey made a really good analogy. She said it was like getting your mission call to Boise, Idaho. You are still stoked and you will have an incredible experience. It's going to be a wonderful experience. Just listen to some of the job description of the Custodial Host position:

"Sweeping (using repetitive wrist motion), picking up debris (animal & human waste, trash, etc.)..." (italics added)

I'm very excited. I will start on January 6th and finish on August 15th. It going to be incredible. If you are planning on coming to Disneyland, let me know!