Backstage Travels

All the world's a stage…

Today I was paid to be Jewish.

Well, sort of.

My department, Entertainment, also includes the social hosts, who are responsible for activities around the ship. It also turns out that they are responsible for lighting the menorah and asking if anyone would be interested in leading the prayers.

At our last department meeting, our Cruise Director asked if there was anyone who was Jewish. Everyone pointed at me. Yep. The only one in our who department.

So, I got a phone call today from the Assistant Cruise Director telling me that the host assigned to it was kind of terrified to do it alone, so I’ve been recruited to light the menorah and lead the prayers. And that’s why I was clocked in purely because I was brought up Jewish.

So Happy Hanukkah, everyone.

Don’t worry, I also do Christmas. My mother was Southern Baptist. (Between that and the Jewish side, and then I went to a Catholic university…well, let’s just say I’ve been expose to the Guilt Trifecta.) So yay for presents!

Oh and they served latkes (that I was allowed to eat–I asked before just taking one). They were weird. They looked like regular pancakes, but they tasted like latkes. Usually the latkes we make at home look more like hashbrowns. They were pretty good. Like, they tried. I wonder what they’d do for Passover. Crew meals would probably not change at all. Which is unfortunate, because really, the only thing that I’ve found to be consistently edible is the break and packaged cereal.

Anyway.

In the spirit of Hanukkah, I will give you the link to two of my favourite Hanukkah songs. Really, they’re worth a listen (if perhaps a little dated by pop-culture standards).

Latkelicious

Hey Ya (Hanukkah Style)
(You don’t have to download to listen)

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Missing me?

Apparently not.

This exchange just happened over Facetime with my little brother:

Me: I want to video chat with mom, too.
Isaac: Ugh…you’re defeating the purpose.
Me: The purpose of what?
Isaac: The purpose of being away.

What a jerk :P

Raining in Cozumel today. Perfect day to catch up on downloads.

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Missing stuff.

I’ve complained about quite a few things about ship life lately, but there is one thing that sticks out and is happening over and over again. I keep missing stuff.

My cousin and his wife just had twins after trying for 6 years. For me, they are growing up on facebook and my iMessage. (Growing up=they are 5 weeks old almost…I’m exaggerating a bit.) Same with Frank’s sister’s little girl who just turned 1.

Obviously Thanksgiving just passed, and I almost forgot it was coming. No such luck with Christmas, we’ve already started making it snow on the ship, and we’re starting tech rehearsals for the Christma–ahem…Holiday Show soon. I think they’re allowed to call it a “holiday show” because there’s a dreidel in it.

My little brother is going to be in his school’s production of Midsummer’s Night Dream.

And now, I’ve just heard that one of my professors from university, and pretty much the founder of my department at the university, Brother Augustine Towey has passed away.  The full obituary is here: [link]

Makes you appreciate the stuff when you’re there.

 

 

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Thanksgiving away….

Well, if you’ve been looking at my craft blog recently, you know that I’ve been steaming for a short time about my room steward throwing away my entire stock of new cross stitch thread. Also, my mini swap stuff came, and it cheered me up a little bit. Mostly because it’s awesome. My nerd friends on the ship are jealous.

Anyway, this was my first Thanksgiving that I can think of that I was away from any family at all. They served turkey and stuffing on the ship, but it wasn’t the same at all. First of all, rice instead of mashed potatoes? Ew. Also raisins and dried apricots in the stuffing? Double ew, even besides the fact that I hate dried or cooked fruit, and that’s both. Gross. I did have some pretty good chocolate cake though. And in Cozumel on Wednesday, I got to video chat with my family for the first time since my contract started. That was pretty cool. Other than that, a routine is cutting its way through my life. I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

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“This is my friend, now”

This is my friend Kristen. This picture is appropriate for our friendship.

She left this weekend to go to the stupid Carnival Glory. Because she’s a jerk. But I want her to be happy also because she’s my friend.

She’s more than just my friend, though. She was the first friend I ever had with Carnival. I would like to share our story. Because it’s funny. To us. Really.

So, there I was, innocent as anything, and nervous about my new job. I wasn’t really looking at anyone or talking. I had all my paperwork and passport out and ready. Suddenly, this girl approached (accosted?) me. This is what she said: “You’re American. We’re friends now.” I didn’t have any idea at that point that Americans are kind of hard to come by on the ship. But she seemed to be knowledgeable. She told me about all the ships she’d been on. I was very interested, given my level of nervousness. She should have just stopped there. But she got cocky.

A man was approaching our group of Sign-Ons. She said “Watch, I can guess where people work just by looking at them. This guy works in the art gallery.” She then approached the man, introduced herself, told him that she was the showband singer, and asked him his name: James, and he was a first contract. Then she asked where he was supposed to work…

Personal Trainer.

And all I could think was, “Welp, that’s my friend now.”

And she was. And that was pretty much the tone of our relationship from then on.

And we watched the Paralympics together. Another bonding moment. Apparently you don’t have to be wheelchair bound to participate in Wheelchair Fencing.

Also, this happened last week:

Kristen: That ship is just called “The World”
Me: I don’t recognize that logo…
Kristen: I’ll Google it.
Me: Yes, Google “The World.” Tell me how that goes for you.
So that’s my jerk friend who left me. She’s pretty awesome.

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Hurricane Sandy and Halloween

I realized today that I never said anything about the hurricane. While we didn’t sail through the heart of the storm itself, we did get hit with a few bands. We were shut out of one of our ports and had to float around at sea for one day, when we usually spend that day and over night in the Bahamas. Then the next day we spent about 8 hours in the port. Most of our guests and some of our staff got sea sick. Luckily, my roommate and I anticipated the waves and drugged ourselves up with the generic Dramamine about an hour before we left Miami, and then that morning while we were just floating around waiting for the Nassau port to open.

We also could not do parts of our shows, as they would have been dangerous for our dancers and the men who work backstage with me. For example, we have a rather large set of glass stairs that we put together and take down during one of the shows. Not good for dancers in high heels.

Then we had to set up for Halloween. Last year, I spent about 1000 working hours on Halloween for the Haunt at Kings Dominion. This year, for set up and take down, I spent maybe….five. It was a little heart breaking, but not as much as realizing that we had next to nothing to work with: a few blow up decorations, one of which was missing completely from the shipment, and two didn’t work. We “borrowed” crepe paper and webbing from other departments, and used some of the thousands of beads we were supposed to throw at people during the party. It turned out pretty well, but it could have been so much better. And I didn’t get any Halloween candy. *pout*

Things are back to normal..ish now. We have charter cruises coming up, and one goes to Grand Turk! I’m so glad I’m not port manning.

Mostly, though I’ve been fairly sluggish…especially since I couldn’t leave the ship last week at all. So I’ve been watching Doctor Who (which I’ve kind of fallen in love with…and season 2 finale made me cry) and cross stitching my Chrismakkah Presents. I’m thinking I’ll watch Firefly next?

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Annoyances.

Small but numerous.

Portmanning provides a good opportunity to not get off the ship…/sarcasm.

I’m learning quite a bit about other nationalities and cultures. Last week, while I was very hormonally prone to being quite annoyed at random things, I paid special attention to those things that are different from the American way of life I’m used to.

Like, people crown the front of the elevators. Waiting for a turn doesn’t really happen unless the men are giving way for the women. Similarly, most don’t think anyone else’s time is as important as their own. I (and others I’ve observed) am left waiting as if I have no work to get done. Meanwhile, someone above me tried to get me to do a time-consuming inventory while I was calling 5 minutes to places for a show.

These, among others, have been a source of my complaints in the last few days.

Nassau tomorrow.

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Beginnings!

As most of you who will be reading this know, I am about to embark on a pretty awesome journey. Two years ago, I graduated university with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre and Performance. In that time, I’ve been (stereotypically) a waitress at a couple restaurants, and once I escaped that (I love the work, hated my employers) I found myself working at a local theme park as a lighting install technician. It sounds more impressive than it actually was. From there, I became a stage technician and then helped build and maintain their Halloween Haunt.

Make no mistake, working at a theme park (especially in an area that you have a degree in!) is pretty awesome. During the winter, I was a very popular substitute teacher because of where I’ve worked. But it’s time for me to move on, kick-started by Frank’s (my boyfriend) success.

So now, under the employ of a cruise line (!), I shall be taking my theatre adventures around…well, the Caribbean for now. This is where I’ll wax lyrical about the cool places I’ll see, and people I’m bound to meet, even if it’s just for me to enjoy later 🙂

My sail date is September 3rd, and I couldn’t be more nervous and excited.

This is a sister site to Backstage Stitches, where I post my crafts. I’ve cranked out quite a bit since March 😀

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