It would be a legit dream to star on a Disney Channel show, and for some, that dream isn't just a wish your heart makes, it's a reality.
You may have wondered how your faves like Peyton Meyer and China Anne McClain got their own stints on DC. Well, while the short version of most entertainment industry successes involves going to an audition and, you know, doing well on the audition, sometimes there's a much more interesting backstory... potentially with something for hopefuls to learn.
Whether it was to chase a dream, or a matter of sheer, dumb luck, there are a lot of ways that DC stars landed the roles they're now famed for.
Check out the gallery to see how some of the biggest names in the Disney Channel family broke into the industry!
Dove grew up with an actress mom and felt like a theatre rat from day one, but when she ended up woefully unprepared for a big time role, it pushed her to seriously pursue her dreams. "The first and only thing I went out for when I lived in Seattle was True Grit," she told Zimbio. "I had no training and I didn't even have a headshot. It ended up coming down to Hailee [Steinfeld], who got the role, one other girl, and me. That's when my parents decided that was enough to move me out to L.A."
Luckily it all worked out for her in the end!
Brenda's story is short but very sweet. She and her mother decided to move from a Sacramento suburb to Los Angeles when she was six-years-old, initially with hopes to further her acting and child modelling career. The one catch? They had to leave the rest of their family behind, including Brenda's father and little brothers! The family was eventually reunited two years later, and clearly the move paid off for the Disney Channel all-star.
China Anne McClain
It was delightful happenstance (and an impromptu performance) that got little China her big break. A family friend in the industry was over for dinner and China decided to sing a song from Spy Kids 2. The man was so impressed that he decided to give his friend Rob Hardy a call — the director was looking for a girl with strong pipes to sing in his next film. After months of auditioning, China got the role of Alexis in The Gospel, and now she's killing it as bad girl Uma in Descendants 2!
Before she embodied fabulousness as Sharpay and enjoyed a Suite Life with DC, Ashley was discovered by manager Bill Perlman at the South Shores Mall in New Jersey... at the age of three. He then sent her on numerous auditions for TV ads, and between that and her theatre work, Ashley steadily built up an acting career.
OG Disney Channel star (and current IRL troublemaker) got especially crafty when it came to getting an agent — he legit used his acting chops to trick someone into signing him! When he was 11 years old he found the number of a talent agent in the phone book and pretended to be the British manager of Shia LaBeouf, the next big thing in Hollywood. She was so impressed by his courage that she not only signed him, but she drove him to his auditions, and even paid his rent!
The High School Musical alum spent her early years in, well, a musical school, more or less. She trained at the Workshop Theatre School of Dramatic Arts and performed in over 15 plays. But one day, a guest teacher oversaw one of her classes... and it turned out to be a secret audition. Monique landed her first commercial role and from there her career only flourished.
The Disney Channel heartthrob got his start as the centre of the whole Riley-Maya-Lucas love triangle on Girl Meets World. But it took some serious dedication to nab that first role. Peyton decided at the age of 10 that he wanted to go into acting, and his mother drove him all the way from Las Vegas to Los Angeles for auditions... a four hour drive, at least!