Newspaper article News Sentinel

Want to Be a Dollywood Performer? Here's How

Newspaper article News Sentinel

Want to Be a Dollywood Performer? Here's How

Article excerpt

Dollywood may be closed for the next few months, but its entertainment team is looking for performers for its 2018 season, which begins in March.

If it's ever been your dream to perform at the park, it all starts with auditions.

The park held auditions for singers and "singers who move" on Jan. 6 in Birmingham, Alabama, and will offer them again from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, at Dollywood and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 27 at the Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Registration will begin at 9 a.m. at Dollywood and 10 a.m. in Spartanburg. Performers must be at least 17 years old, according to a Dollywood press release.

Here's what you need to know before you audition at Dollywood, what it's like to be a performer at the park, and tips and advice from Dollywood Entertainment Supervisor Roger White and Dollywood performer Paige Clabo.

How Dollywood auditions work

After registering, those planning to audition should prepare two songs in whatever style they perform the best. They will be asked to sing a verse and a chorus of each song for some Dollywood producers, according to White.

Once their initial auditions are over, some performers will receive a callback, which will take place later on in the day. During callbacks, performers will learn different movement combinations that vary in difficulty, will sing a song they prepared again and will learn some music from one of Dollywood's shows, according to White.

"The callback is really important because it gives everybody a chance to really interact," White said. "If you can't dance, it doesn't mean that you're not going to be considered for a show because we want to see how that person works. We want to see how that person learns. We want to see if that person is willing to try. We want to see if that person has a great attitude, so that's kind of what the callback process is all about."

Clabo, who auditioned at Dollywood in 2014 and has been a performer at the park since then, said her audition was a connecting experience.

"With Dollywood, I feel like everyone's very friendly," Clabo said. "They're going to listen to you for a longer period of time and really give you a true chance (rather) than your 90 seconds and you're done ... it's not like that. It's a connecting experience."

For more information on the auditions, visit

What Dollywood looks for

White estimates that the Jan. 20 auditions will bring in 100 to 150 people and the Jan. 27 auditions will include around 50 to 70. The park is looking to fill around 80 positions for its Christmas, summer and regular season show programming, according to White.

Each performer position requires a different combination of singing, acting and movement skills.

"So we have positions for shows like Dreamland Drive-In, where you're singing a lot and you're dancing a lot, and there's some acting, but not necessarily speaking acting, and then there's a show called Country Crossroads, where there is more singing and then some movement . …

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