DMB: If you’ve been to Fort Wilderness for the “Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue” at WDW in the past few years, you’ve more than likely been entertained by Six Bits – Scott Whittemore! His antics, along with the rest of the cast and great food, make for a wonderfully entertaining evening. Hey Scott! Thanks for taking time to talk with us today. Tell us a little bit about your personal life, family, musical background, etc.
Scott: I grew up in Western North Carolina near Asheville. From a very young age, I took part in different theatrical and musical productions at school, church, and in theatre. I grew up a part of Flat Rock Playhouse’s Theatre for Young People (now called YouTheatre) which is where I really became passionate about performing in general. My family was always very involved and supportive of me performing. My father is a professional singer and taught music. My mother plays clarinet. My grandmother was a piano player, singer, and actor. Thankfully, music and performing has always run in the family.
DMB: When did you start working for Disney and how was that connection made?
Scott: I started working for Disney the summer of 2006. A friend of mine, McKenzie, who was performing at Disney at the time, encouraged my then-girlfriend, now wife, Sarah and I to come and audition in Orlando. About a year later I got a call offering me a contract. We both moved down from North Carolina and have been here ever since.
Scott: For 5 years, I performed with the Citizens of Hollywood at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. For the last 5 years I’ve been at “The Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue.”
DMB: Who are some individuals that have been important mentors for you at Disney?
Scott: There are so many, but some that come to mind are people like Paul Tamayko, Louie Gravance, Herbie Hansen, and Dewey McGeoch who were invaluable to work with at Citizens of Hollywood. I was so new at the time and was lucky to work with such talented performers and learn from them. At Hoop Dee Doo, I think of people like Mindy Walley-Dietterick and Jacob Haines, also experienced performers, who are so good at what they do and inspire me.
DMB: Describe the audition process for the show.
Scott: Like most shows, there is an open call which you attend. I believe they currently have you sing 16 bars and if selected for a callback give you sides from the show to read and perhaps another song to sing.
DMB: What does a typical week look like for you (in regard to performances and rehearsals)?
Scott: The show is an hour and a half long, and I do three shows a night, four nights a week. Once we’ve learned the show, rehearsals are usually reserved for brush ups for substitute performers or contingency rehearsals as needed.
DMB: How often do new singers come into the group?
Scott: There are 1-2 new training groups each year. Depending on need, it could be 3 people, or as many as 12.
Scott: I’ve had the opportunity to sub a few other shows on property, and from time to time, I get the chance to work with Disney Event Group for conventions, private events, or promotional videos. This past year I got to go on a multi-city promotional tour for travel agents that was a lot of fun!
DMB: Favorite thing to do at the parks when you’re not working?
Scott: Strolling around Magic Kingdom with Sarah during the offseason. 🙂
DMB: Thanks so much, Scott! Be sure to check out Hoop Dee Doo next time you’re at WDW. Just a boat-ride away from the Magic Kingdom!