by Albert Rodriguez -
SGN A&E Writer
DISNEY ON ICE
'WORLD OF ENCHANTMENT'
KENT SHOWARE CENTER
EVERETT XFINITY ARENA
No, Disney On Ice isn't a cocktail. It's an entertainment experience that brings to life some of the film studio's most familiar characters on a floor of ice with music, dancing, fun visuals and, of course, that wonderful Disney magic we've all grown up loving. 'World of Enchantment' is a newer production of Disney On Ice headed to Kent's ShoWare Center on November 2 through 7 and Everett's XFINITY Arena on November 10 through 13 that everyone, from little kids to grown adults, can enjoy; it's a perfect treat for young nieces, nephews, godsons, goddaughters, or any Disney fan. For tickets and more information, visit disneyonice.com.
I recently spoke with cast member Ben Smith, who multi-tasks by appearing in several scenes of the show, to get more insight about 'World of Enchantment' and Disney On Ice itself. Here's what he had to say.
Albert Rodriguez: Can you tell us about the show, this particular production?
Ben Smith: This show is called 'World of Enchantment' and we have four different segments in the show, including 'Toy Story,' which takes up the majority of the first half. There's lots of characters, like Buzz, Woody and Jessie, and then you have all the other toys as well. From there, we transition to 'The Little Mermaid,' so everyone will go 'under the sea' and be with Ariel and Sebastian, and there's lots of different bubbles and other things going on as well, so it's great for audience participation. Then we have an intermission and we open again with 'Cars,' and we actually have cars that drive around the ice just like in the movie, and then after that we go into 'Frozen' and everyone loves Anna and Elsa, and it's a classic, so it's really, really great.
Rodriguez: How long is the show?
Smith: The show is 2 hours long with a 15-minute intermission.
Rodriguez: Is the show designed primarily for kids and families?
Smith: The show itself is for everyone. No matter how young or old you are, you're always in awe of magic; it's always going to be special to people. For me, no matter how old I get, there's always going to be Disney magic and I'm going to be enjoying it. So, I don't think the show is specifically for children, it's for all ages.
Rodriguez: Do you have a favorite part of the show?
Smith: For me, 'Toy Story' is definitely my favorite part. It's something that I can relate to, from when I was young. Woody was always my favorite character. If I ever get to portray that role, then it's just an incredible experience to be portraying one of my favorite Disney characters.
Rodriguez: How many total cast members are in the show?
Smith: There's 42 ice skaters. And we have staff members and crew members, so there's about 100 of us that travel around together.
Rodriguez: How long are you committed to the tour?
Smith: We'll be traveling around together for 9 months on this tour. We started in September and we continue for 9 months, and we do a different city pretty much every week. It's a big tour, pretty exciting with lots of different places to see.
Rodriguez: Is the cast international, or does it lean American?
Smith: The cast is really international. On the boys side of the cast, we actually only have one American, which is quite interesting. And then we have a few more female American members of the cast. We have people from Hungary, France, Spain, Canada and all over the place. Sometimes people come in and English isn't their first language, so it's great to try to help them learn the language and for us to pick up on other languages as well.
Rodriguez: What is your rehearsal schedule like, does the cast rehearse every day or before every show?
Smith: Before each tour, we go through an intense two-week rehearsal period. We'll be in one city rehearsing 8 hours a day, 6 days a week and we'll have a class every beginning of the week, so you can get back on the ice, feel the ice and work together as a team. During the tour, if we need to have rehearsals - because of new people coming on, or to re-touch on something that needs to be improved - then we'll have them.
Rodriguez: What was the audition process for getting onto Disney On Ice?
Smith: It's actually a really fun process. Basically, you just send in a video audition to Feld Entertainment - and we have all the information for that on the website, feldentertainment.com. And once you send in your video audition, somebody will look at that and then you might get asked to a live audition, like I did, so I actually auditioned for Disney On Ice twice and the first time they gave me really good feedback on what I needed to improve on, and I went away and worked on those things and came back, then in a couple of months I was offered a contract.
Rodriguez: How long have you been ice skating?
Smith: I started ice skating when I was 14 years old and joined Disney On Ice when I was 19 years old.
Rodriguez: Will you be spending the holidays here in the States?
Smith: Yeah, we actually have two shows on Christmas Day this year. It's kind of fun because you're with your tour family and we have great celebrations around this time that we create for ourselves. Although you're not with family, you still feel like you're with your closest friends.
Rodriguez: When you come to Kent and Everett for the upcoming shows, will you have time to explore Seattle?
Smith: Yeah, I'll be excited to check out Seattle. On days off, it's really our time to just relax and get a break from the show, and also if you want to go do some sightseeing or something like that, then you have the opportunity to do it.
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