When Chase Sieler was just a child, he had a drawing book. In this book were step-by-step instructions to drawing, but Chase instead took tracing paper and just copied the pictures from the book directly.
“I would trace all these drawings and bring them into school the next day and tell everybody ‘hey look what I drew; look at this look at that.’ And they all thought it was the best thing ever. Of course, I did too because it was traced right out of the book,” he said.
“Well, one day I vividly remember we have an indoor recess because it was raining outside, and some kid asks me, ‘draw for us while you’re in indoor recess,’ and I didn’t have my book, and I couldn’t trace in front of him, so I had to whip up something.”
Ever since, Chase has been drawing, and his passion for art, along with a similar passion for all things Disney, led him to getting to work at the company.
Chase, an MCCC student, is participating in the Disney College internship program, where he’ll be working in the quick service food and beverage next year.
Though it may not be the Disney job he wants, he said that it’s a stepping stone in his dreams of being an animator at Disney.
“It’s kind of a way to get your foot in the door,” he said. “I wanna do art and design and character design at Disney. Doing that’s like an easier way than just showing up at their doorstep and saying ‘hey I wanna draw something for you’,” he said.
The paid internship in Florida involved going through a three-tier interviewing process where Disney decides whether you should be accepted, and what you should do.
First is an application, then a questionnaire, and finally a phone-interview.
Many different jobs are available, such as working at restaurants, driving boats or monorails, working as one of the characters or princesses, being a professional face painter, and even being a lifeguard.
People from all over the world apply, and Chase has made himself a group of friends online who are planning to join this trip.
Chase, a lifelong fan of Disney, said he’s excited for this opportunity. He’s been visiting the parks ever since he was a child with his family.
“We used to go every year with my grandparents, and one year, this was before cellphones or anything, my grandma and grandpa took me and my grandpa and I got lost on the train and we were stuck for five hours, because you can’t find anyone in Disney World, there’s hundreds of thousands of people there,” Chase said.
Others have noticed his Disney enthusiasm as well. Miyuki Zerke has known Chase since middle school.
“He wears Mickey hats and shoes that match,” she said.
Disney has strongly influenced his art, and he draws both characters directly from Disney and ones inspired by the artstyle. He said that Mark Davis is one of his inspirations as an artist.
“There’s a lot of times I’ll look over and he’ll be drawing Ursula or some other Disney character,” said Ally Jacobs, who sits next to him in class. “I’ve never seen someone draw like him; he’s really detailed.”
Chase’s art is reminiscent of Davis’ work, along with caricatures of people in his life like his grandmothers.
His grandma was another person who inspired Chase.
“Of course my grandma, she’s not an artist, but she’s always one of those people that if you’re gonna do something you got to put your whole self into it and go and do it. She’s not one of those people who sit back and keep her mouth shut, she’s a little rowdy thing,” he said.
Putting your whole self into something is advice Chase is taking to heart as he plans for the future.
He is currently enrolled at MCCC and taking general prerequisite classes because he’s not quite sure what he wants to do.
On the one hand, he’s planning to go into nursing, while on the other he has dreams of becoming a character designer at Disney.
This internship at Disney is a turning point, and what he chooses here may affect what he does for the rest of his life.
“This is going to be a deciding factor if I wanna stay in Florida and try to work for Disney parks, or do I not like it as much as I thought I would and do I wanna come home and do the nursing program here,” he said.
Right now, there’s a lot of uncertainty in the air, and Chase said he isn’t sure which path is the right one to take. While his dream is character design, it’s a difficult and expensive dream to achieve. Meanwhile, nursing is safer and cheaper.
“Hopefully, I’ll decide if I wanna go for nursing, or I wanna take out my life in student loans and go for art,” he said.
If he could achieve his dream, he said he’d be fine with spending the money, it’s just the uncertainty that makes him hesitant.
“I’d much rather spend $100,000 or $200,000 on school getting a job in something I love than being debt free and doing something I hate,” Chase said.
However, he is not without people who believe that he can succeed.
Tom Hines, an adjunct professor of speech, said Chase absolutely should follow his dreams, and that it’s important that he’s giving his dreams a shot.
Hines said Chase knows what he wants to do, and that’s not a common thing to find. He also has a drive that propels him.
Though the future is never assured, Hines said that he believes that Chase will succeed. Though it may be difficult, Chase has something that sets him apart.
“Chase has an advantage, you can see his passion,” he said.
Melissa Houck, a friend of Chase’s, is confident that Chase will not only succeed but become famous one day.
“I am excited to say I knew him when, because he is going to go on to great things.”