In 2016 I perform for a very famous cruise line who is currently casting. I will never regret the experience, no matter how grueling cruise ship life is (it's certainly not for everyone). Many people make a career out of performing, a dream job.
As cruise ships are starting to roll out of Florida again, that means ships are now looking for employees, performers. I say go for it, live your life, it's a job you will never forget. But there are a few things I wish I'd have known before I set out alone on a ship, things you don't want to think about, but need to.
It's very easy to get wrapped up in all the magic. You're setting out on the most incredible adventure, you fly in and you're trained (I was sent to the theme park in Orlando and it was an absolute blast). But ship life is another animal.
No matter how beautiful the ship and how fun the job, no matter how many people you're surrounded by so it's easy to not feel alone, but you are alone, When you go out to port, you're in a strange place, alone. Yes, you may have friends with you going to the bar, but it was pretty shocking how much we all let down our guards, thinking back. And while it's not safe for anyone to be out on their own, we can't deny how much more dangerous it is for women.
You're on the ship with people all the time, sometimes you get close. In my experience, there was quite a lot of partying going on, which is fine, make friends, but also consider who you're stuck in the middle of the ocean with.
A youth counselor named Rebecca had tragically disappeared from a sister ship a few years before I was cast. There was talk of suicide after the police said "no foul play," the company statement said it was a "freak wave" (and yes, there were terrifying waves), but the going story is that this poor woman was harmed after being "traumatized from a threesome."
If you've ever worked on a cruise ship or even just been on a cruise, you'll notice you don't see the employees much. Performers got clearance to go up to the main deck and use the jacuzzi if it wasn't full or get a coffee when the ship was empty, but mostly, we hung out in crew designated areas.
There was crew bar, which was very popular because of the $2 cocktail, and a small club that constantly had themed nights. When it got too hot inside or people wanted to just talk, hang out, smoke, they filed outside.
I don't even remember his name. He'd asked for a cigarette and for about a minute we stood by each other, shared a few pleasantries. He didn't know where I was staying, what my job was, which is why it was so terrifying when he called my cabin in the middle of the night.
I was able to get him off the phone, but every time he saw me in the galley where he worked, he would try to talk to me, he continued to call. One night he showed up at my door.
My roommate took care of it then because I'd froze, yelling at him in the hall to back off. I didn't see him much after that, but looking back, these are all the thoughts I wish I'd considered then.
Go audition, live your dream, make life long friends, but just remember what could happen.
That's my advice.
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