By Kyra Gillespie

Pakenham’s Jessica McMahon is celebrating being selected as a Paris Disneyland performer.
The Beaconhills College Pakenham student who graduated this year recently learned that she made it through the rigorous selection process, which began with 300 performing artists and was whittled down to just a lucky few.
As well as her considerable skills as an actor and dancer, Jessica believes her height of just 149cm may have helped her score the roles of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Stitch from the famous Lilo and Stich duo.
Jessica has a long history of performing arts involvement at Beaconhills, with lead roles in many productions including her most recent role as the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.
Her mum Louise has also helped design costumes for school productions for many years.
Jessica auditioned in July 2017 to perform at Shanghai Disneyland but was not successful.
Undeterred, she made it through the series of auditions in Sydney for Paris Disneyland, finishing with an interview.
“In the first round, which was animation, they gave you a classic Disney character – for example you had to be a villain, or pretend to be a pirate,” Jessica said.
Next was a dance round, followed by what she called an “awkwardness round” where performers were observed to see which character they could best resemble.
While the characters she will play are non-speaking, Jessica admits she will have to brush up on her French before she flies out in March.
Along with the rest of the class of 2017, Jessica is anxiously awaiting her VCE results this coming Friday.
However she will be happy come what may having now landed what she describes as her dream job.
“I always wanted to have a paid gap year,” she said.
“Hopefully, I can make my way up the Disney hierarchy.”
Jess eventually hopes to pursue a career as a live theatre performer.

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