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MouseStation 181 - Chief Magic Official Justin Muchoney

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Featured Topic - Chief Magic Official Justin Muchoney

In this week's feature, Mark and Mike talk with MousePlanet reader and MousePad member Justin Muchoney, who last week was selected as Disney's first-ever Chief Magic Official.


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Justin talked a little about himself and his life before we started discussion of the Chief Magic Official competition.

Justin worked with his wife and a few friends to come up with ideas for the video to get his personality across. They also came up with a whole lot of words that described his personality. There were so many that he came up with the idea of compressing many words into the fun compound words that he used in the video.

Next, we talked about the process of getting from 1,300 entrants to 20 semifinalists to the 10 competitors for the vote to get to the final 3.

Justin talked about the trip to Walt Disney World for the live CMO competition, and how much he enjoyed being at the Yacht Club Resort, as he usually ends up staying at Pop Century because of his budget.

We discussed the various competitions in the finals, and Justin talked a bit about the other two finalists, David Hawley and Tripp West. We also talked a little about the video segments that were posted online for each competition, and Mark wondered whether they were a fair representation of each candidate's performance in each competition.

In the interaction with the "ringers," Justin talked about how much they really tried to do to throw him off, how he eventually figured out that they were plants, and how he handled it. He also explained a little more about how much video was shot compared to how much was actually included in the video.

Justin also mentioned that he knew that the trivia competition was the one event that he knew that he had a great shot at winning. He loves reading as much as he can about everything Disney, on MousePad, other discussion forums and books, which prepared him tremendously for that performance.


MousePlanet reader Justin Muchoney is congratulated by Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck after being named Disney's first-ever Chief Magic Official in a ceremony in front of Cinderella Castle last Tuesday. Photo © Disney.

Justin had nothing but good things to say about Tripp and David. Mark noted that in the emails that he exchanged with Ricky Brigante (one of last year's Dream Jobs winners, and who spent a lot of time with the contestants in his position with Orlando Attractions Magazine, Ricky said that everyone was great and they all would have made great Chief Magic Officials.

Mark and Justin talked about how Sheila, the host of the videos, plays Annelle the maid at the Adventurer's Club, and how now Justin plans to go to Pleasure Island to see her in action. (And Mark was wrong twice on the show. The video of Paul Barrie onstage at the Adventurer's Club was with maid Beulah, not Annelle, and it was shot by Robert Krex, not John Corigliano.)

Justin will be at Walt Disney World for the grand opening of Toy Story Mania May 13-16, and hopefully will be able to touch base with Mark in person during their time overlap. He's also hoping to be able to get to the opening of the attraction in June. He still needs to work around keeping his day job back in Pennsylvania.

Justin talked a bit about his employment status with Disney and taking the Traditions training class.

We hit a couple of additional topics, then wrapped up the interview. We hope to have a standard text article about the interview coming soon.

Justin's original entry video can be seen here.

The individual competition videos are here:

The announcement of the winner is here.

Do you have any thoughts on Justin's video, his performance in the competition or anything else? Do you have a question that you would like us to ask him for you? Let us know by sending an email or calling our toll-free feedback line (1-866-939-2278) and let us know what you think!

Wrapping up

On April 27, Mark will be walking to raise money for the March of Dimes for the third time. Please consider supporting him. The March of Dimes mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.

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Thanks to our audio engineer and sound editor Steven Ng.

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The MouseStation crew (@MouseStation) currently consists of Mark Goldhaber (@MPMark) and Mike Demopoulos (@MPMike).