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Inspiration from the Pros: Q&A with Cozi Zuehldorff

by The Disney Youth Programs team

In anticipation for the premiere of the newest Disney Channel Original Movie, “Freaky Friday,” we recently caught up with the star of the film, Cozi Zuehlsdorff. This classic comedy, body-swap story has been totally reimagined for a new generation featuring music from the original Disney Theatrical Productions’ stage musical based on the beloved novel by Mary Rodgers.

Join “The Hunt” and learn how Cozi got her start, her advice for performing arts students and more:

What are three pieces of advice you have for students trying to make it in musical theater?

My best advice is to be honest when you are acting, be open to notes and ideas, and be supportive of your castmates. Don’t let your big aspirations stop you from being able to fully enjoy the opportunities you have now...I had just as much fun in community theater as I have had in all of my professional work. It’s good to keep moving forward, but that doesn’t mean it’s not really, really fun along the way.

Do you have a Disney memory connected to performing?

I played Sleeping Beauty in a British Panto style production a couple of years ago. It was SO much fun! British Panto is a very comedic, loose style of theater where the cast gets to feed off of the audience and improv onstage. It was a dream come true to play a Disney princess, and incredibly fun to do it in that environment.

Tell us a little bit about your performance background specifically, were you involved in fine arts in high school?

I started acting when I was 8 years old in community theater. So, my whole life growing up I was going straight from school to rehearsals—and I couldn’t have been happier! As the years went on my theatrical and TV/film work grew more and more professional in nature, but it was never more fun than all of my time in community theater.

What gave you the performing bug?

My parents were in a band together before I was born, so performing is in my blood!

Can you tell us about your first/early audition experiences? Is there a specific audition that stands out to you?

Oh man...well, I completely bombed my first audition for a movie. Also, my first audition for a tv show...which was actually Olive in Ant Farm! I had no idea what I was doing, so when I got a callback and the casting directors started laughing in the background at my jokes, I got completely thrown off. Just goes to show that sometimes the only way to learn is through experience, and that’s ok because everything happens the way it’s supposed to happen.

Be sure to catch “Freaky Friday” this Friday, Aug. 10 at 8 p.m. EDT/PDT on Disney Channel and the DisneyNOW app. For even more Inspiration from the Pros, be sure to sign up for our new e-newsletter for all things Disney Performing Arts.

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