"It has that thing - the imagination, and the feeling of happy excitement- I knew when I was a kid." -Walt Disney
Well, I've been doing Fantasmic! A LOT. As in just about every night. I have favorite parts of the show, have memorized much of the music, and I'm well on my way to knowing Mickey's finale dance. And even then, it's still an amazing show and I'm mesmerized each time I watch it. Crazy huh? It also means I know when maybe there were a few goofs. One night the Dragon (whom I have since learned is called "Vivian") was too wet to open, so Maleficent stood on her really tall podium and swung her staff around a lot. And John Smith was having a heck of a time last week. One night he didn't swing across on his rope, and then the next night he swung too far and slipped! Oops! That's okay, it made the action more harrowing.
When I first went into this internship, I was REALLY EXCITED! Each night I looked forward to going to work because it was going to be something new! Something exciting! And I thought to myself, is it really going to be like this all the time? Surely once I've gotten the routine down, it will become duller, more like work and less like a new adventure.
Well, after a month, I think it's time to reflect a little. I'm not going to say every night is still an exciting experience like those first few weeks were. That would be a bit of a stretch. But I will say that each night is something I still look forward to. Only now it's for different reasons. I've made tons of friends and now I look forward to going and seeing them. And without a doubt, interacting with guests is always a high point. When I worked for the rock gym at home, I used to joke about how my job sometimes meant making children cry. It was the truth in that case, because at the end of the day, the look on their face when I brought them back down from the very top was worth the "tough love". Well now my job is, without a doubt, to make children smile. I've begun to lose count of how many children I've made laugh and how many sad faces became smiles. That ability has become what I look forward to each time I go to work. Knowing that I can make family memories. I've been in tons of vacation photos and filmed a few times, dancing to some song decked out in Glow. Just last night, me and my fellow Cast members of Tower of Terror Merch put on an entirely improv concert for our guests, complete with High School Musical songs, some pretty funky beats tapped out on the Front desk, and dance moves that maybe got a bit out of hand... But the cool thing is, is that families will go home and look at those photos and that video and say "Remember when...". It's an amazing feeling, and one I hope I don't lose as I start racking up the months.
So this is an internship program...I guess a fairly reasonable question would be "What have I learned?" Well last week I learned how to deposit the money for the night. I don't think anybody would argue that Disney make A LOT of money. It takes a lot of dough to feed The Mouse. When I was first learning to count out the night's earnings, I found myself pausing and turning to the Coordinator that night, Andy, and saying "I don't think I've ever really held this much money". It's pretty intimidating! And your counts have to be correct too! The actual process is sort of long and requires a fair bit of paperwork and sequential actions. The cash room itself, where we go to deposit is SCARY! It's probably a bit smaller than your average dorm room and there are about fifty billion cameras in there. Okay...maybe not fifty billion, but still they can see EVERYTHING that goes on. And when you're making deposits you have to show your face to the camera and all sorts of other stuff. It's basically like going into a prison (not that I've ever done that before, just so we're clear).
In addition to counting money, I've also been learning a bit about the Disney style of leadership. There are posters all over the manager's offices. I was reading over them yesterday and I had to chuckle. Why? Because there were three "tenets" of Disney Leadership and once you got past the more Disney-esque flowery words, they all got whittled down to "Be, Know, Do". At that point the leader of that night was wondering why I was laughing. When I explained it to him, he thought it was cool, but didn't really understand why I was laughing. I guess you just have to go through NYLT for as many years at I have to understand how loaded those three words are...
Well, all things considered, I think it's been a very fun and very active first month. Emphasis on the active. I think I've run myself down a little too much because I've contracted one of the dreaded summer colds. Well, I guess every day at Disney can't ALWAYS be magical... Wrong! I'm really looking forward to this Tuesday, because it'll be my second Extra Hours deployment, where I get to go and work at a location other than my beloved Hollywood Hills. Destination: Magic Kingdom. That's right, I'm taking on the dragon that is MK. I'll be working under the Big Top which means it's off to the circus for me at MK's new Fantasyland. I went to MK's Costuming department today to pick up my costume. SUPER cute =P Nah, it's pretty nice. I've decided that working at Disney is just an excuse for adults to play dress up. Photos to come of my visit to the circus!
Until next time, which will hopefully be sooner rather than later!