‘Take the Stage’ is a series in which we meet some of the amazing graduates from our Performing Arts faculty, comprising of Performers College and Institute for Contemporary Theatre.
Daffyd Warren, a Contemporary Musical Theatre pathway graduate from ICTheatre Brighton secured industry representation from YOU Management upon graduating, and from there went to work with Disney for an 8-month contract as a performer in Disneyland Paris. He recently completed his second professional contract as a dancer and understudy in the pantomime Rapunzel in Bristol at the end of 2023. We caught up with him to hear about his experience.
How did you secure your first professional contract at Disneyland Paris?
I attended an open call audition at Pineapple Studios in London. The audition lasted the full day and included a dance and acting round. Two weeks later, I received an exciting phone call from the casting team offering me a contract to join them at Disneyland Paris as a Parade Performer.
What has been your personal highlight so far?
Working for Disney was such a magical experience; being able to perform in various roles on stage and in Disney’s iconic parades to thousands of people every day was amazing. One of my highlights at Disney was performing as a dancer in ‘Mickey’s Halloween Celebration’ and as part of the ‘100 Years of Disney’ event, which was so surreal.
What’s the most exciting thing about working at Disneyland?
Being able to be part of the Disney bubble; surrounded by the magic every day and seeing families’ faces light up when they saw you dancing towards them down
Main Street made it as magical as you could imagine. Every day at Disneyland was so different which brought so much thrill and excitement. Additionally, I had the privilege of working with so many incredibly talented people from around the world.
How did ICTheatre Prepare you for this kind of role?
Throughout my time at ICTheatre I received training in every performance discipline which prepared me to be a versatile performer. The many masterclasses with industry professionals provided me with knowledge on the best way to prepare myself for the industry, and how to be the most proactive performer I can. This was so valuable when entering my first contract abroad. I will definitely be relying on their knowledge and expertise when moving forward into future contracts.
Although we all love what we do and it is so FUN, it is a job. We all have tough days, but it is important to know how to deal with those in a way that doesn’t affect the workspace and those around you.
What would your advice be for current students looking to work in a similar field?
Be Proactive, Be Professional, Be Reliable, Be Ready, and Be a Nice Person.
Whatever contract you book, whether that be working for a massive company like Disney or a smaller touring theatre company, these five tips will apply to any avenue of work:
- Being proactive in your training: Stay fit and healthy and make sure you present yourself in the best way possible.
- Be Professional: This is your business and you are the face of it, so set yourself high standards and take care in your work.
- Be Reliable: Show them why you would be a great asset to their team, be on time and know your stuff.
- Be Ready: When starting your day, before your audition even begins, prepare everything you need and make sure you’re presentable. They won’t just be looking at your talent but also whether you offer a good look for the company’s brand and be a person that they would like to work with.
- Be a Nice Person: This is so important. As performers, we spend a lot of time away from our homes and families and a lot of time with cast members and peers. You need to be someone people enjoy being around and a great person to work with. Although we all love what we do and it is so FUN, it is a job. We all have tough days, but it is important to know how to deal with those in a way that doesn’t affect the workspace and those around you.
What is next for you?
Excitingly, I have just secured my third professional contract with PEEL Talent, as a Production Dancer aboard Ambassador Cruise Line for a 10-month contract. I’ll be starting rehearsals at the beginning of 2024. I am so grateful and blessed to be continuously working professionally in a career that I have put blood, sweat and tears into achieving. Thank You to ICTheatre for your experienced industry faculty, who provided me with great amounts of knowledge, vigorous training, and your ‘passion for success’ for current students and graduates!