Perhaps you’ve wondered where I went for the last eight months. Well if you missed it, I was hired as a singer on board a mega cruise liner and have been traveling the world since last October! And as you probably guessed, the middle of the ocean is not conducive to wifi… But as I’m flying home on Saturday (ah!) I figured I should probably post something!
I went to a LOT of places over the last eight months, and saw many countries and cities I never thought I’d ever see in my lifetime! If you can believe it, I went to Italy, France, Spain, Malta, Gibraltor, Portugal, the Azores, Greece, Monaco, Turkey, Croatia, Colombia, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Belize, Panama, St. Maarten, Barbados, Costa Rica, Dominica, Grand Cayman, and Mexico.
As if that weren’t enough, the cities I got to see included Rome, the Vatican, Venice, Nice, Villefranche, Paris, Versailles, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Malaga, Valletta, Lisbon, Ponta Delgado, Salerno, Civitavecchia, Catania, Cartagena (Colombia and Spain!), Mykonos, Santorini, Dubrovnik, Athens, Piraeus, Corfu, Livorno, Istanbul, Ephesus, Kusadasi, Bridgetown, Philipsburg, Basseterre, Puerto Limon, Colon, Charlotte Amalie, Belize City, Georgetown, Roseau, and Cozumel.
And on top of that, I was getting paid to do it. I spent eight months singing for a living and traveling across the world. And did I mention that I met the love of my life on this contract?
Seize every opportunity. You never know where it will lead.
My pleasure! I absolutely love making icon packs, and I can’t wait to start up again in a week! Definitely have a lot to catch up on! :D
Sure thing! Here’s a few tips for auditioning—if you’d like more information about the good, the bad, the ugly about being a cruise ship performer, just shoot me another message and I’ll provide some more info!
- Cast your net wide. There are lots of companies that hire for cruise ship performers, particularly if you’re looking at both production cast and lounge act work. Lounge act work will be more with musician-based agencies, where as production cast work will be with a different set of agencies. I can only speak for production cast, although I will be switching to lounge musician in my next contract. The main companies will be Stiletto for Holland America, Poet Productions for Celebrity Cruises (where I currently am employed, Qdos for Azamara, and Royal Caribbean and Carnival are both in-house, meaning that Royal and Carnival have their own production company, they don’t hire a separate company to do their shows. Some of these places audition CONSTANTLY around the country (like Stiletto) and some audition less often, and take more video submissions (like Poet.) If you want to work for a cruise line, don’t be afraid to send in video submissions (that’s how I got my job, surprisingly!) and get out there and audition constantly. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to come back to the same company and audition again a few months later! They won’t think you’re needy, they won’t dismiss you, they would love to see you again.
- Know what you’re auditioning for. Different ships do different shows. Holland, Carnival, and Celebrity do a wide variety of shows, mostly cabaret based. My three shows are Broadway, Rock/Pop, and Cirque. Other companies, like Norwegian (and I believe Royal is going in this direction as well) have 45 minute versions of Broadway shows, like Rock of Ages, Cats, Chicago, or Hairspray. So be aware that different places are looking for different things. The former are more open to a variety of different performers, because they’re casting a vague gender track—I am female 1, and female 1 can be tall and lanky, short and buff, blonde, brunette, feminine, masculine, anything. She just needs to be able to sing a certain set of styles and have a certain range. With Norwegian and Royal, they’re looking for specific characters. If you’re not Tracy from Hairspray, you may not fit in as well in that particular ship, or that particular show. On that same note, if you ARE Tracy from Hairspray, that’s a perfect way to get a spot there.
- Know how the casting pool works. Unlike most theatres, cruise ships cast differently. In most companies, if they like you, you will be put into a pool of performers. You will have a ticket to this pool for up to two years at some companies, wherein at any time, you could get a call from that company asking you to come on board, perhaps tomorrow. Of course, you can always decline, because they understand that you can’t always pick up and go to the Mediterranean in a day. But at the same time, you may not hear back for a long time and then suddenly get a job, which is something pretty incredible about cruise ships. I put in my tape last January, and didn’t hear a word until October, where they asked me to join the cast in 10 days. Things can change quickly!
- Know what you’re getting in to. I won’t go too far into this, but be aware that cruise ship life is not for everybody. It’s grueling, not only physically, but mentally. It can be incredibly hard to be away from your family without any means of communications for eight months, and it is not the job for every performer.
- Just be yourself and have fun!This is an audition like any other. Be yourself, have fun, show them who you are. You’ll probably get ridiculous music to sing along to with a track, and just show them what you’ve got. You could be singing “I Will Always Love You” or “Dontcha” (both actual things I have sung at cruise ship auditions) but no matter what they throw at you, rock it. And if you’re looking for general audition advice, head on over here for my thoughts on auditioning!
Hope that helps! If anybody has any other questions on cruise ship work, shoot me any email.
Oh, and not that I’m counting, but… 2 WEEKS UNTIL I’M HOME!
Just a little advice for anybody curious!
It was rehearsed for the Original Broadway Cast, but was never used once it opened evidently. The Facebook page announced that it was being added along with the changeover to Norm and Sierra!
Any time! Let me know if you want any other pictures from my visit there—only picked my nine personal favorites but I have quite a few more!