Attending a Disney audition on a whim set Nicholas Clemens down a dream-filled career path spanning multiple continents. A UC Berkeley architecture graduate with a minor in theater set design, Nicholas never anticipated the twist his career would take. Encouraged by a friend, he attended an audition that led to a magical journey from Shanghai Disney Resort to Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. Reflecting on his childhood visits to Disneyland, Nicholas credits his love for Simba and the Parade of Dreams as the catalyst for his passion for performance.

“My passion for performing comes from my childhood experiences at Disneyland. Seeing Simba standing on Pride Rock in Disneyland’s Parade of Dreams was an unforgettable moment that sparked the magic within me. The joy and happiness I felt then inspire me to create those same magical moments for Disney guests of all ages today,” shared Nicholas.

Nicholas didn’t initially pursue a career in performance. Instead, he studied architecture, though his minor revealed a growing love for theater. One impulsive audition, with no prior experience, led him to Shanghai Disney Resort. “I went in with no expectations, and two weeks later, I got a call to move to Shanghai!” he recalled. His two-and-a-half years there were transformative, filled not just with performing but also with cultural immersion, including learning Mandarin.

Training at Disney honed his skills, blending physical and vocal animation with deep dives into storylines. “The physical and mental transformation challenges our storytelling abilities. Creating magic for guests is a full-circle experience,” he said, highlighting the joy of bringing Disney’s beloved tales to life.

For Nicholas, the camaraderie with cast members and the diverse, ever-changing daily experiences make Disney an exceptional place to work. From parading down Main Street to becoming part of special events, every day is a unique adventure. His journey continued in Hong Kong Disneyland, where he pursued an MBA focused on international business culture, eventually becoming a trainer to help new performers transition smoothly.

Nicholas dreams of joining Hong Kong Disneyland’s Creative/Casting team to enhance park operations and guest experiences further. “Working for Disney has been a world of opportunity. I’ve created a life in Asia, something past me wouldn’t believe possible, with endless opportunities for professional growth.”

Thinking of auditioning for Disney? Nicholas advises going in with no expectations. “Don’t limit yourself from the start; let the casting directors see your authentic self. By being open, you’ll be seen for so much more, opening doors to opportunities you never imagined.”

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