Monday, January 3, 2011

Adventures on the High Seas, Day #1

I recently had the opportunity to work on a cruise ship for a week. The opportunity landed in my lap at the very last minute and was kind of a lucky fluke. It’s the type of booking that entertainers love to get, but certainly don’t ever expect to have happen. I had worked all of my holiday bookings in the month of December and ended up getting a phone call to take the place of a magician who had canceled at the last minute for this cruise line. I had a blast on the ship and thought I would share some of my adventure.

Because it was such a last minute gig, I ended up not being able to take my normal assistant Jamie. Fortunately, Jamie’s roommate and close friend Kristin was available and was excited about the opportunity. We rehearsed for a few days and then we took off from Nashville and headed to West Palm Beach.

We took the drive in two days. When we arrived at the port it was time to get down to business. We touched base with the cruise director and got all checked in for the cruise. Kristin and I, along with several crewmembers, loaded our equipment on to the ship and into the showroom. Once that was accomplished, we had most of the afternoon to get comfortable on the ship and get ready for the show.

Now, I’ve worked on cruise ships before, but I had forgotten just how tight it can be in the cabins. Initially, it was a little bit of a shock when I opened the door to my cabin and realized that I was going to be living in this small room for the next week. (Let me say that it was a very nice cabin and I got used to it really quickly. It was just the initial shock of going from living in a house to living in a cabin that caught me off guard!)

So, we ate lunch, explored the ship and I set everything up for the show that afternoon. Somehow I was under the initial impression that we only had one show a night. Imagine my surprise when I was told that it was two shows an evening! It’s a good thing that I’m super paranoid about being prepared. I had actually brought twice as many show supplies as I thought I would need. That ended up giving me just enough to do two shows a night! We had sound check at 6 pm and went through everything with the sound guy.

Our next adventure was dinner. Normally dinner wouldn’t be an adventure. It would be awesome food in beautiful surroundings. However, we had left the port of West Palm Beach and were in some of the choppiest waters I’ve ever experienced. To say I wasn’t feeling well was an understatement. Kristin didn’t look too great either. I ate very little the first night because I wanted to make sure that I didn’t get totally sick during my act.

So, Kristin and I go back to our cabins and get ready for show time. When 8:30 rolls around neither of us feel any better and it’s time to take the stage. I didn’t feel great, but when I took the stage I totally focused on what I was doing and made through the show with no problems (other than sweating profusely).

Kristin had the bright idea of taking some motion sickness medication between the two shows and I followed suit. By show #2, I was feeling much better. Show #2 also went off great. The only thing I was really worried about was during the Metamorphosis illusion. Both Kristin and I have to stand on top of the trunk at different points in the routine and I was a little worried that with the ship rocking back and forth that one of us might lose our balance and fall off the thing! Luckily, that never happened.

After the show, we got a small snack since neither of us had really eaten any dinner and called it a night. The first day onboard was quite an adventure all by itself and we had just started our weeklong run. Click here for Day #2.

Thought I would throw in a picture of Kristin and I standing outside the showroom. Whoa, we look like a couple of bums here! If I remember correctly, this was taken on the first night when we felt pretty rough. Anyway, this photo is proof that we were actually there!

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