Wednesday, 27 February 2008

It's still a small world after all...

Ok, so I have had about 9 hours sleep and feel slightly more refreshed than last night so I will continue my mammoth post about the interview day!

So after having a McDonalds, Sarah met up with one of her friends and they headed off, Jaques and I wished good luck to Izabela and Harry who had their interviews shortly and I went off into London to have a bit of a shopping spree. Well, quite a cheap shopping spree as I now have the guilt of spending money when I should be saving it because if I am given the job by Disney I will need as much money as possible for the flight and all the costs (Visa etc...).

So first I got on the tube at Westminster and caught the Jubilee line to Green Park and then the Picadilly Line to Covent Garden. It was lovely and sunny so just had a relaxing walk around the shops, bought a mothers day card for Mum and generally browsed. Got a bit confused direction wise and ended up just walking wherever - seen as I didn't have a map I didn't really know where I was heading. So got to a tube station eventually to find out it was Charing Cross which meant I had practically walked back to where I started!! So got on the tube there and caught the Bakerloo line to Oxford Circus (bit of a false start when I got it heading in the wrong direction and had to get off at Embankment and get back on so that I was on the Western line!) and then the Central Line to Marble Arch. It is funny that although I didn't really know where the restaurant for the interview was, I had looked up where the new Primark on Oxford Street was :-D And I knew it was by Marble Arch tube station. And I was right - yay!

So, I headed across the road to the biggest Primark I have ever seen in my life. Huge is an understatement - it only has 2 floors but the bottom floor was massive. For those BGSians who might be reading this in the future, it was probably the size of the Great Hall :-O It was so busy and full of clothes that I kinda got lost and I think I missed looking in a bit of the bottom floor. It was getting hotter and hotter as well although when I realised that Florida would be hotter than this, ALL the time it actually made me tolerate the heat a bit more! The second floor is a similar size to the bottom floor but it was full of underwear, shoes, pyjamas, mens and childrens clothes. Oh and some home stuff as well. After spending a good 50 minutes in the store, I ended up buying a glittery vest (£4), some bracelets (£1 and £3), a pair of flip flops (£2) and a tankini (£6) but I think I will end up taking the tankini back to our local store. Although it fitted a lot better than I thought it would (with it being Primark and all!) I think I could find something even better. However, all that stuff for £16!

So, needing to cool down after being in that inferno, I went outside and started walking. I spent the next 3 hours walking up and down Oxford Street, Regent Street and Carnaby Street looking in various shops. I didn't really buy much except for an Eeyore drinking glass in the Disney shop (couldn't resist really... :P) and a Subway. Decided I wanted to go somewhere to eat it so jumped back onto the tube at Oxford Circus and went 1 stop down the Victoria line to Green Park. It was starting to get a little chilly and the sun was setting so I ate my Subway on a bench in the park (by the way, the most expensive subway I have ever had... £4.80! Which usually at home costs me about £4.20! The stupid thing is that in America you can get exactly the same thing for the equivalent of about £2.50. Meh.) and then on the thought that there might be wierdos in the park I decided to head for Victoria coach station.

Just a side comment, I think there is something about me that attracts people to ask me stuff in the street. When we were sitting by the Thames eating our McDonalds we had one beggar come up "any change for a cuppa tea?" so I gave him 40p (mainly to make him go away to be honest) and then some random drunk guy asking for a light for his cigarette whilst swigging from a can of White Lightening, or something like that. He was quite amusing actually... he went on and on about the four of us looking like the Muppet Show (I know... wtf?!) and he eventually went away. Once I was on my own, people kept trying to get me to talk to them in the street... I told one charity worker I was busy but then when I walked back down the road he caught me again so I had to talk to him. I kind of lied about myself to him... I told him I was 17 (guarenteed to get you out of anything because you usually have to be 18 to sign up for things!) and that I was still doing my A Levels. Now, it's not that I don't support charity or I don't believe in the causes because I think its very important to raise money for those less fortunate than yourselves... however, I just don't like being caught in the street because it's kind of forcing themselves on you. This guy kept a horribly close distance to me so you couldn't escape his glare... but on realising I was under 20 (so I actually needent of lied...) gave me some facts about the charity and on I went...

Oh, but the most random one was some guy on Oxford Street who came up to me and said "Do you know how to get ahead in London?" whilst eating half a milky way. Errr what!?!

Anyway, I got to Victoria Coach Station and was pretty exhausted from all the walking I had been tried to scab my way onto an earlier coach however unfortunately I had a ticket which because it was so cheap meant I had to get onto the specific coach which I was booked onto. So I had to wait for an hour and a half for my coach (luckily it was Tuesday... thank God for Heat magazine...). At about 9.45pm I walked back to my car and drove home. Was in bed by 11pm :-)

My foot was in big pain when walking back to my car and when I got home I realised why. The nail on my 4th toe had managed to grow into a mini spike and was piercing the skin on my 3rd toe. Gross, I know but bloody painful! I had dried blood all over my toes!! Ewwww!!! That will teach me for wearing stupidly cheap shoes which don't fit properly.

Anyway, if you are still alive after reading this post, that was my day in London. I only go into so much detail because I have been reading Disney blogs in the lead up to my interview and they were really useful in letting me know what to expect so I hope that this blog can be useful to those people who might read it in the same position I was.


Tuesday, 26 February 2008

It's a small world after all...

Wooo interview day!! I am absolutely shattered, but at the same time quite awake... I've been up since 4.30am (I will go into explanation mode in a minute!) so please excuse any spelling mistakes and typos! Oh and beware, this is going to be a loooong post!!

Ok, so last night I got home from SJA at about 9.30pm and after calling Mum, checking email, having a shower etc. it was about 10.10pm before I even started straightening my hair. Once I had done that I decided to head for bed at about 11.15pm (my hair takes's a bit uber frizzy). I felt like a child the night before Christmas day... that strange sort of suppressed excitement which if you think about it too much then won't let you go to sleep :-) Eventually I fell asleep and actually didn't wake up until 1.30am when two of my housemates decided to get home (noisily) and talk (noisily) and laugh (noisily) in the kitchen. Which is right next to my bedroom. Yay. Been a little bit louder and they may have woken the whole of Bournemouth :P I don't really mind that much because to be fair, they had forgotten I had to get up obscenely early this morning and 1.30am isn't really THAT late...anywhoo they went to bed about an hour later and I fell into dozey, random and pretty rubbish sleep until my alarm gave me a heart attack at 4.15am.

I decided that to make sure I didn't fall back to sleep, I would set my alarm for 4.15am, then my phone for 4.30am and 4.45am just to be on the safe side! As it turned out, I only let it go off at 4.30am because I then got up. The house was bloody freezing... I'm a student and students do not get up before daylight has broken!! It felt way to early to eat so I just got up, got ready and made sure I had all my documents together. Seriously, if I had (God forbid!) lost my bag, someone would have stolen my identity within minutes... I had my passport, photocopies of my passport, spare photos, original birth certificate, photocopied birth certificate, proof of student status form and even a bank statement, payslip and my students loan letter!! Anyway, luckily I kept it very safe all day :-)

So I drove to the train station and parked my car very convieniently for only £2.50 for the whole day. Waited for the train which arrived on time and it was almost empty so I got a seat facing forwards which is always nice... to be able to see where you're going! It was quite a quiet train until Southampton Airport Parkway where it was like invasion of the suits! I swear every single person was wearing a suit, tie and briefcase. They all sat down and got out their Financial Times with their little polysterene cup of coffee. Loads of people went to sleep as well so it was nice and quiet. Bear in mind it is still only about 6.30am at this point, and still dark!

The train journey went without a hitch (for once) and I got into Waterloo at 7.45am. Then the wondering started. Maybe I should have been slightly more prepared to find the restaurant in which they were holding the presentation and interviews! I wandered almost up to the London Eye before realising that was completely the wrong direction, after asking a random guy I went the opposite way and then still couldn't find the restaurant. When I was wondering around I saw this girl and she looked as lost as I did and I wondered if she was looking for the same place as me....well.... Then I asked a street cleaner if he knew where the restaurant was and he took great exaggeration in pointing about 10 meters down the street where obviously I am completely blind because there it was, right there. And outside it? The girl I had seen earlier - Sarah.

So after timid introductions (always a little bit of an awkward situation!) and discovering that loads of people had had early starts like me we went into the restaurant and was given a form by the Yummy Jobs people to fill out. It was actually quite complicated, you had to write in your job history (not hard for me, I've only had one job :P) and qualifications and such. But you also had to put in your hobbies, special skills and positions of responsibility held! Suddenly I had a brainwave, it was as if one of those little lightbulbs had pinged on above my head like in the cartoons - I only spent a whole bloody year as a prefect, house captain and Year 7 form prefect didn't I? So that was good, I could fill that in :-)

After most people had finished, we went through to the function room of the restaurant and watched a presentation all about the program, the jobs, the housing etc. A guy called Roger and a lady... called Heather I think... had flown over from the US to give us the presentation and it was really laid back. Roger was hilarious and made it really fun :-) Oh, and I won a prize for knowing that MGM studios is now called the Hollywood Studios...wooo :D It was a Disney ICP mousemat!

Once the presentation was over, we got given our interview times which were already pre-determined. I was hoping mine would be sooner rather than later and I was in luck because it was scheduled for 12 midday.... with guess who? Sarah! Weird coincidence because obviously we didn't pick who we were interviewed with! (We were in pairs) So we went to the South Bank with a few other people (Jaques, Harry and Isabela) to see if we could get something to eat seen as it was about 10.30am now and time for breakfast! The weather was brilliant, cold but sunny and quite windy. The important thing was that it wasn't raining!! So after my yummy granola and yogurt thing, me and Sarah headed back to the restaurant for our interview. It turned out that Jaques also had his interview at 12!

Sarah and I had our interview with the lady from Disney, she was really nice and although we were wearing suits, it was actually quite informal as an interview - more of a chat really!! I was quite nervous but more excited than anything because this was the moment I had built up to for the last 2 months, ready to express how much I wanted to participate on the program. Her first question to me was quite a hard one - "Tell me about yourself". I hate that question so much. So I kinda rambled on about being from Bristol and doing TV Production... then she asked me questions about Bristol ("How would you describe your city and your country?") and about my course ("So what do you wanna do after your course, work behind the camera or...?") She asked Sarah questions as well and to be honest it was over really quickly!! The good news is that my hair looks natural enough even though I have blonde highlights so that's cool and that I might be able to go and investigate how they made and film the live shows in MGM...sorry... the Disney studios (meh... I will probably continue to call them MGM... so much easier to say!) should I be given the opportunity etc etc.

So after that we were free to go! We talked to Hannah from Yummy Jobs for a bit and that was interesting because she just told us about the process and that we would each hear from them in 2-3 weeks. So more waiting! Woo.

We headed off to the big MaccyDs by the London Eye (classy, I know...) and I had this REALLY nice Chicken burger thing. It really didn't taste like was gooood :D Can't remember what it's called though but it's one of their new ones! Then we all went our seperate ways.... :-)

I am hanging now, so I will finish this post tomorrow!!

Thursday, 21 February 2008

At WDW there is over 61,000 cast members and the payroll is over $1.1billion a year!!

Just a quick update, probably the last before my inteview! I got Lizzie to sign my form properly today and I got the letter printed on University letterhead as well :) So the last thing to get now is my birth certificate!

I have been thinking about which area of Disney I would like to work in... all along I have said merchandise because I have 2 1/2 years of retail experience (I knew Clarks would come in handy one day...) however it has occured to me through reading the various blogs and forums that I could end up working in one of the hotels if I am doing merchandise. That would be a bit rubbish, I would like to work in the parks (just as everyone else does!). I might put down attractions as my top choice which would involve working on one of the rides or shows but apparently there aren't that many positions in that (especially I'm thinking considering it's February and there are a load of people already with jobs for this summer from the November interviews). So it's a bit of a dilemma really... theoretically I have the most experience in merchandise but I might end up in a rubbish place, however I know more about it and maybe would be more likely to get the job? Meh. I don't know. Maybe I will wait until the interview day and see the presentation before I decide. The problem is these few days leading up to the interview because I just keep thinking about it!! If it was over and done with I wouldn't be overthinking the whole thing!!

Wish me luck! (Don't know who that is addressed to seen as nobody knows about this blog yet... maybe it's to myself? :P)


Tuesday, 19 February 2008

We're soarin', we're flyin'...

Well, I went to find Lizzie (my head of year essentially) yesterday to get her to sign my proof of student form. I explained the whole situation and rambled generally about how I needed her to write that my summer vacation is from 12th June rather than the 4th July (it's when I'm actually free from rather than when the official University summer holiday starts). It's not a lie exactly, it's just a tiny adjustment because there is no way I am letting some stupid thing like a date jeopardise my chance at going to Disney!

Anyway, thankfully she said "I don't see why that would be a problem" so wooohooo! However, she messed up filling in the bit of the form she needed to fill in so I have printed off another one for her to sign on Thursday. The other thing I needed to do was to get a letter stating the aforementioned term dates printed on University letterhead. When going to the "AskBU" desk, I got told "we don't go handing out headed letterpaper". Meh. So instead I found the course administrator and she was very nice about the whole thing. So now I just have to wait 'til Thursday when I can pick up both the letter and the form.

Oh, and grab my birth certificate off Mum on's about the only thing I didn't bring to Uni! And I have to decide what to wear for the interview... it's a question between suit trousers, a shirt and my black coat...or the full suit (trousers and jacket), shirt and depending on the weather my coat... but the question is between whether I should go for the whole very smart, interviewy, business like approach or the very slightly more relaxed, essentially more "fun" look which in my mind is more Disney. It may sound like I am obsessing over a really small thing here, but first impressions always count and anyway, I'm a girl and we always obsess over what to wear!!

Cat x

Monday, 18 February 2008

In the beginning, there was nothing, and nothing was everything...

Hello there! Now you've probably scrolled all the way to the bottom of my blog for a reason, and that reason is to find out how the whole Disney thing started! At the risk of tempting fate, I have started a Disney blog to document my summer and to be used as a method of communication to all my friends and family so they know what I'm up to :-) Obviously at this stage I am not letting anybody have this website address, just incase I don't actually get the job, but if I do then the whole world will know about this little diary of mine! (Oh the wonders of the Internet!)

Anyway, I currently have another blog which I have to do for a unit at Uni and I posted a long essay of an entry on there about the beginnings of this journey so I have copied and pasted it below (written on 16th February 2008):

It has happened. I’ve FINALLY heard back from Yummy Jobs about the whole Disney thing! Well, on January 28th I had my phone interview! There was a bit of a kerfuffle because they called me on the 27th and I missed the call as I was in a lecture so I only got the voicemail. However, the lady who left the voicemail had a really hard to understand voice and I didn’t quite get the phone number she quoted. Plus it was after 5pm so I thought I had better leave it until the following day.

So, bright and early on the 28th, just before my seminar, I called Yummy on their general number and explained I had been left this message. I talked to a guy (I think his name was Matt…?) and he asked me if I was free for a few minutes to chat. So after saying I was, I had my phone interview there and then!! It was quite informal, he just asked me what I was doing at Uni and why I wanted to spend the summer at Disney rather than anywhere else. He also asked me how I would cope with the heat and humidity (thank God I’ve been there twice before in August….at least I am slightly prepared!) and what I would do if a guest came up to me and didn’t like their food. Generally I thought the interview had gone ok, he asked me if I had any questions and having spent the last 7 weeks waiting endlessly I asked him how long it would be until I knew if I had a face to face interview, he told me it would be about 2-3 weeks. (He also said I had “done well” - yay!) So, buzzing with the adrenaline of this sudden interview I scampered off to my seminar.

The next day my phone rang with a London number. I wondered if it was Yummy and it turned out it was. This time it was an American girl who asked me if I had a few minutes to chat. So I said I did, and then I sat through being asked exactly the same questions as I had been asked the day before. I thought it would be rude to interrupt her and tell her that I had already been interviewed, so I answered the questions (slightly more confidently I have to say, having been through the interview once already!!) and when she asked me if I had anything to ask her I just informed her of the situation where I had rang them the day before and already been interviewed etc. It was a bit of a funny moment because I think she was slightly embaressed, but I felt it was better that way than to have seemed rude.

So… more waiting. A week goes by. And another week. And then I get up on Valentine’s Day with not much to do for the day but I had this funny feeling I would get an email from Yummy. So much so that I opened my Yahoo! Mail and kept refreshing it every 30 minutes or so. And at 10:54am I got the email inviting me to an interview day in London on February 26th!! YAAAAY!!! So at 10:59am after I had let off a few internal screams, I emailed back saying I would definately be attending.

I have to be in London for 8.30am. 8.30!!! That means leaving Bournemouth mighty early. I decided to get the train which leaves Bourney at 6am and gets into Waterloo at 7.45am. This is obviously the commuter train (reflected in the price… £24 including my Young Persons Railcard discount! For a single! Bloody national rail….) and even though my interview is being held just around the corner from the station I decided to get there in plenty of time because everybody knows how crap the railways in this country are… especially for being on time. Or lack of. So, a week on Tuesday, I will be milling around South Bank for 45 minutes in a bit of a nervous state… spare a thought for me guys! I have been reading up today on all sorts of things about the interview, and the experience… been reading a few blogs and stuff.

Oh, and I have one more hurdle before the interview. And that is to go and see Lizzie… persuade her to sign my forms (which involves stating that my end of Summer term is sometime in early June…. :S) and also to apologize for missing my seminar next Tuesday for the interview. Unfortunately it is the seminar in which we are pitching ideas for our last assessed project (which is a big ‘un, 2 day shoot etc etc) soooo I have figured I have to do loads of preparation this weekend so I have lots to talk to the group about regarding the non-assessed (we’re filming on Thursday and I’m directing… eek!), the assessed project and also the studio day in a couple of weeks in which we are going to be doing Ready, Steady, Cook! Yay. My plan is that if Lizzie can see I am being organised and thinking ahead… planning and working hard then she will be happier to sign my forms knowing I will be concentrating on the course rather than thinking about a certain mouse.