More information about booking gigs and working on cruise ships.
In this second blog post let me run down a few other key ideas, about cruise ship work, keeping them brief and pithy. There are no rules in life only suggestions however I would like to point out that these suggestions are based on quite a bit of experience.
There are certain tricks that have been just done to death on cruise ships. The vast majority of passengers cruise frequently, and they have become very familiar with certain tricks. The Cruise Director (Your Boss) will likely want to scream if he sees a set of Linking Rings, a Card Sword or Baffling Bra. Worst of all is the Bandana/Banana trick, which is now as overdone as a slice of burned toast. Something is really missing from the bit when the surprise element has been removed.
There is nothing wrong with these tricks, of course, but they have become shipboard cliques and should therefore be avoided. One of the very real problems facing a ‘fly on’ magician is that he is very limited in the hand baggage he is allowed to take on the airplane. You have to (often contractually) carry you’re the majority of your props as hand baggage so we become very limited in our choice of material– it has to fit the bag! Therefore some careful thought needs to go into what you perform and how you pack it.
Most of the time you will have an excellent tech crew who will do their very best to help you providing you give them a good written rundown on what you want them to do. You need to be really articulate during your rehearsal. If you don’t have a proper technical cue sheet then a fifty-dollar bill will be ample inducement for your tech to write one for you and give it to you on a CD for future use.
If you want to use live music for your show it is also very cost effective to have the bandleader write charts for you and it can certainly enhance a show to feature some live music in it. I customize my music CD and burn them fresh for each show. You really can’t expect the sound tech to jump backwards and forwards on a CD.
When I arrive on a ship and have some idea of what I will be performing, I also burn a CD that contains my running order, sound cues, lighting cues, introduction and also a couple of JPEGs of my latest working photo. Let the production manager print out the files and you walk into the rehearsal looking like a pro. After your show is finished don’t be afraid to buy the techies or band a drink to show your appreciation, it isn’t just polite but it’s good business.
Don’t forget that ships move—that’s how they get from port to port! If your table is on wheels then have the stage manager use black sandbags to avert disaster. Other disasters can occur, if you have dancers or another act following you on the bill, if you leave liquids or slippery props onstage after your performance. Yes, cards can be slippery! If a dancer slips on something you left onstage you could cause them to fall and break an ankle or worse.
This is a short list of some excellent ways to look your best and get the job done when you work on a ship. Oh, one more tiny point, any vessel big enough for you to be working on is a ship and NOT a boat. This is important terminology and getting it wrong makes you look like an idiot.
I have in fact written an entire book on the topic that is packed with very useful and concisely phrased information on this topic. If you are interested in further information on the topic of finding work on a cruise ship and what to do when you get the job, you can get more information on Cruise Magic 101 by CLICKING HERE
To purchase the book CLICK HERE