Seaworld Audition “The great mistake”
By: Robert and Bryan Weller
Application picture on audition day.
Pictured Robert Weller
Growing up in Sumter County, my brother Bryan, nicknamed Binky, and I, Robert Weller, are not the typical Sumter County kids. We were born in Clearwater Florida, are 7th generation circus performers, with four years of circus experience with unicycling, juggling, and stilt walking under our belts. Even with these skills, we are always willing to look for new opportunities in the entertainment industry. My brother and I were so confident in our abilities. There was no job we could see being out of our grasp, or so we thought.
Our uncle who works at SeaWorld in upper-level management, sent us a job link one day. The link said SeaWorld needed puppeteer performers for the show to handle large fish puppets. Immediately, we hopped on this opportunity of a lifetime to go work at SeaWorld. We scheduled our auditions and awaited the calls and day of the audition with excitement. On the day of the audition, we drove to Orlando and found the hole in the wall dance studio where the auditions were. Once we got to the studio they were checking people in at a table outside. We handed our resumes in and received our audition numbers; my brother Binky was 429, his fiancé Itzel, who decided to join us, was 434 and I was 431. Then they took our pictures to place on our application.
2014 Stilt gig in North Carolina.
Pictured Robert (Left), Binky Weller (Right)
As we stood in line to go in the studio, we began noticing there were tons and tons of dancers. Maybe, we thought, they were auditioning for something other than puppeteering. We were placed in a holding room, looked to be your average dance room with mirrors and sat in the middle of a hundred other dancers -some looked professorial, some didn’t. As they called out the numbers for each group to go into the audition room, the dancers in the holding room were stretching. My brother and I just looked at each other and wondered, what the heck did we get into this time. As the time rolled on, and numbers began to be called the pressure set. Then they called out 429. My brother looked at me excitedly until we realized, they stopped. We were separated. The audition we planned together, talked about together, and practiced together would now be separate.
As I waited for him, music began to creep in from his room. I envisioned the different parts and the dance moves that he would be doing with every note, this was a heavily dance involved role. The next group that was called up was mine and Itzel’s. I had the chance to briefly talk to my brother Binky, who had the most confused face I have ever seen. Binky laughed at me and said, “good luck.” Upon entering the room, I realized this was at the point of no return; they described what the audition was about, which was the same corporate language they used in the links we received. The process was quick, a lead dancer went in front of the room and explained the dance moves. When she was done explaining, all the other professional dancers were saying, “that's it?”, With stunned looks on their faces or overconfident smirks stretched across their lips. At this point I'm not even going to try to get this job, I just wanted to survive without embarrassing myself. Binky and Itzel later agreed and shared the same thoughts. The lead dancer finished explaining the routine, they then filed us in four columns, and each row went off to do the dance. Of course, I put myself last to watch the other dancers perform the routine. When it was my turn, I took a deep breath in and danced the best I could, which was awful! My four years of ballet experience could never have prepared me for this. The auditions finished, Me, Blinky, and Itzel met up and just wanted to get the heck out of dodge to call our father to explain that this was nothing like what we thought it was going to be.
2015 our exotic pets.
A trained Blue and Gold Macaw and a trained Peacock.
Pictured Binky Weller.
All in all, there were about 500 professional dancers that auditioned for the parts for 20 slots. NEVER again we will audition for any Entertainment jobs at amusement parks which require years and years of professional dancing experience. To this day we don’t dare to think about the SeaWorld Audition except in hushed tones or humorous asides.