Jacky Rougier - Disneyland Paris

Meet Jacky Rougier, Team Leader Dresser at Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris continues to share the stories of cast members who help make the magic happen for the guests who visit this magical place. Disneyland Paris most recent story is that of Jacky Rougier, the team leader dresser at Disneyland Paris. Read below about Jacky here:

Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your career at Disneyland Paris?

I’ve been a Team Leader Dresser in the entertainment division for almost 3 years. I joined Disneyland Paris in 2005 as a parade performer. At the time, I had applied on the Disneyland Paris website following a bet with friends, because I had been a dancer for a very long time in my region. I received the email inviting me to the audition in Paris. My friends offered me the train ticket, saying “This is your chance. Go for it!” and out of the 100 candidates, two of us were hired on permanent contracts that day. I auditioned on Wednesday and started on Sunday.

Originally from Saint-Étienne, I left home overnight without hesitation. My mom and my best friend didn’t take it well at the time, but they were happy for me because they knew it was my passion. I used to come to Disneyland Paris a lot, and as I was a dancer, when I saw the shows, for me it was the “best of the best”!

I then applied for a job as a dresser in 2021, was accepted and later became a Team Leader.

What does it mean to be a team leader dresser? What training do you have?

My job at Disneyland Paris is to act as a link between the designers who dream up the costumes and the Cast Members who dance in the show. My job is to make sure that the instructions given by the designers and costume designers are followed to the letter. The dressers have to follow specifications on how the costume is to be worn.  I also have to manage the team during the day to ensure that everything runs smoothly when dressing the dancers in the park.

I have an atypical background for this job. At the time of the pandemic, I was self-taught in sewing. I watched tutorials and videos, bought my first sewing machine and a serger, did a lot of work, and that’s how I learned to sew and how I trained.

In my line of work, we usually do what’s known as small-scale sewing. That is, repairing a button, a pair of pants, or small alterations. Sometimes we do a little more, for example, when we receive the costumes, until we’ve tried them on in the show, we don’t know if the costume fits properly. Sometimes we have to rework it, and in this case we have to do some sewing.

The most important part of my job is to lead my team of dressers throughout their career with us, both humanly and technically. Their development is an important point, and we support them as much as we can with advice and the experience we’ve gained in a very caring way. What I also like is that very often it’s an exchange, and that allows me to learn too.

What are your daily tasks? Are the costumes for Disney’s Symphony of Colors a particular challenge for the dressers?

In the morning, we start with briefings with the whole team to give each other all the information on what happened the day before, so that we can set up the costumes backstage. Then each dancer gets his or her costume and gets ready for the show. From then on, we accompany them to the stage. We help them finish getting ready, and make any last little touches needed to kick off the first show of the day.

In terms of challenges, yes, we do have one, in terms of the costumes worn by our show dancers, since the symphony of colors, we have everything in the title, we have colors, and we have to try to harmonize them so that the dancers can each have a different costume color each day and avoid monotony. It’s a daily exercise to remember the color worn the day before and change it, while also respecting the show director’s request and staying in harmony with the show.

How many dressers work on the show every day?

We have 11 dressers a day on this show. It’s a show that’s full of little subtleties when it comes to costumes, so technically we need a lot of people to dress all our artists.

Can you tell us what you’re most proud of about Symphonie des Couleurs?

What I’m most proud of is having managed to get the show out in the right conditions. Stress-free, calm, pressure-free. That was really my goal. Our intervention comes in the final stages before the launch of the show, and we often have to adapt with the time we have left. So we made sure that everything went smoothly, and it did. I’m really happy, we’ve succeeded in our mission.

Before working on Symphonie des Couleurs, what project were you working on? 

Last project was Mickey’s Halloween Celebration. It was my season, I put out the Mickey’s Halloween Celebration, and everything went really well with it. I was very proud of that season.

If you had to describe your job in 3 words, what would they be? Can you explain why? 

I put communication first, because we’re in touch with all the other entities involved in the show, whether it’s the stage management, the costume designers or the parade artists. So I try to make sure that we can all get along harmoniously on the show.

Then there’s the adaptation. As I was saying, we’re often the last ones with the performers, so we have to adapt sometimes, because there can be changes right up to the last minute, like if it starts raining, for example, we have to protect our costumes.

And my last word will be show, my passion.

Is this a business where you have difficulty recruiting?

Yes, it’s hard to recruit in our business, as we’ve recently experienced for the Halloween and Christmas seasons,when the need was great. Our team grew from 20 to 50 people!

Do you have any lasting memories of your time at Disneyland Paris? 

Plenty! Which one would you choose? I particularly remember an emotional moment. I was on a Disney Voluntears event with Goofy. We went to meet a sick little boy, and Goofy was his favorite character. As soon as he saw us arrive, he came over to us and stayed with Goofy. And that’s what I always say to my colleagues and friends: yes, I experience magical things, even behind the scenes – that’s what’s so great about this company.


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