When you wish upon a star you may just receive the phone call of a lifetime. That’s exactly what happened to Talent Factory Guest Artist, Jade Perry.
Perry received the call from the Walt Disney Company last November that he has been cast as a face character at Disneyland Paris in Paris, France.
He leaves for his new gig next month, but not before sharing his experience and knowledge with the community. Mr. Jade (as the Talent Factory kids so fondly refer to him) will be offering a Theme Park Audition Workshop at Talent Factory in Lebanon on Saturday, Feb.4.
“Jim (Kochert) and I have known Jade since he was just a kid performing in our production of ‘Suessical the Musical’ at Crawfordsville High School,” said Talent Factory co-owner Paula Kochert. “We are thrilled to have been a stepping stone for his career, and we’re even more excited to have him in our Talent Factory family.”
Perry began performing when he was 7 years old as a member of The Lollipop Guild in a summer theater production of The Wizard of Oz. His parents recognized his passion and enrolled him in voice lessons and dance classes.
At the age of 16, he was ranked in the IHSAA top 10 in the freestyle and breaststroke events in men’s swimming. Due to time commitments, Mr Jade was faced with the difficult decision to dance or swim.
He cleaned out his swim locker and the rest is history.
During high school he continued to perform. His favorite role was as The Cat in the Hat in Seussical the Musical directed by Mr Jim and Miss Paula.
Mr Jade danced with Miss Madeline and Miss Marigrace for eight years. He also competed on the national level during that time, and took home several titles and trophies.
While attending University of Southern Indiana, Perry decided to try out for the dance team. He was the first male to make the team, and while on the team they ranked seventh nationally at the collegiate level.
At 19, Perry decided to audition in Chicago for Shanghai Disneyland. He was cut in the second round. He waited four years before re-auditioning in Louisville.
“I was in the dance audition with 65-70 other people. Half of them were cut within the first 60 minutes,” Mr Jade said. “I auditioned with a fractured foot since I felt that was my one chance to make it. At the end of the audition they asked me to stay longer to video me dancing.”
It took nearly two months to receive a response. Perry had a telephone interview and was offered a position as a parade dancer and rotating “fur” character at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
In 2015, Perry took a huge risk and left his position at Walt Disney World to pursue a modeling and acting career. He was signed with three different agencies, which landed him a featured extra role in the CBS series “The Inspectors,” and box office movies “Alvin and The Chipmunk’s – The Road Chip” and “War Dogs” with Jonah Hill, Miles Teller, and Bradley Cooper.
His agents kept him busy with video shoots and commercials including one for HSN with Giuliana Rancic. He was also a regular on the Florida fashion runways and was a brand ambassador for Bacardi. While in Orlando, Mr Jade was offered a job as a brand ambassador/brand model for Blue Chair Bay Rum – which is owned by county superstar Kenny Chesney. He accepted, and quickly became an intern at the Nashville headquarters.
During his time in Tennessee he learned there was a Disneyland Paris audition being held 30 minutes away in Franklin, TN. He went through four rounds of intense auditions competing against other performers around the globe.
This third Disney audition must have been the charm because Perry was offered his dream role. His contract with Disney will not allow him to disclose his character role until Disney officially announces it, so we wait.
“This is the first year Disney has offered open-ended contracts, so I am one of the first performers Disney has offered this to, which is very exciting!” Mr Jade said.
He moved back home to Indiana right before the holidays to spend time with his Mom and to get everything in order for his big move to France. Mr Jade has been keeping busy judging beauty pageants and preparing for his upcoming workshop at Talent Factory.
Mr Jade’s workshop at Talent Factory will guide young performers through an audition process for the entertainment/theme park industry by teaching invaluable skills such as character improvisation, audition etiquette, audition choreography, accepting and correcting critiques, confidence, and resume/portfolio building. The Talent Factory staff will also assist with the workshop.
“This will be a fast-paced, fun workshop that is great for anyone who would love to perform or is curious as to what goes into an audition to become a professional performer. If you love Disney, this workshop is for you!”
The workshop is Saturday, Feb. 4 from 1-4 p.m. Registration is open to anyone 9 and older. You do not have to be a student at Talent Factory to enroll. There are limited spot available, and the cost is $35 per participant. Talent Factory is open for registration Monday-Friday 4:30-7:30 p.m., or you may email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.